A frenectomy refers to a type of dental surgery that removes or changes any soft tissue in the body. Oral frenectomy, a common and straightforward procedure, is often recommended to infants and small children who are experiencing problems with feeding, speech, or dental development. It is a safe and quick procedure that can help improve the quality of the patient's life.
What is Oral Frenectomy?
An oral frenectomy is a dental procedure that removes or modifies the “frenum,” or the soft tissue in your mouth that is connected to the gums and the lips. It is a simple procedure and takes about 15 minutes. A frenectomy can be performed using traditional surgical tools such as scalpel or surgical scissors, or our dentist may use a laser to minimize the chance of infection and the risk of blood loss. It can be classified into two types: lingual and maxillary.
Lingual frenectomy corrects the lingual frenum, a tissue that connects your tongue to your mouth. A short lingual frenum can restrict the movement of the tongue and cause speech impediments, a condition that is commonly known as tongue tie. A frenectomy can resolve the issue and help improve the mobility of the tongue.
A maxillary frenectomy procedure is performed to modify the labial frenum, a tissue that connects lips to the upper gum area. A short labial frenum causes lip adhesion, which can impair speech and dental development. Performing a frenectomy can help with the mobility of the upper lip.
Who is a Candidate for Frenectomy?
Frenectomies are commonly performed on infants and small children to correct lip adhesion and tongue ties, since they cause problems with feeding and speech. Infants may need the surgery so that they can breastfeed properly. An adult can also be recommended a frenectomy, especially if their frenum is pulling at their gums and causing gum recession.
A dentist is the one who recommends a frenectomy, but in the case of infants and children, a consultation with their pediatrician may also suffice. If you think you or your child require a frenectomy, please contact our office to learn more about the procedure.