What is Frenectomy Procedure

Published: 24th January 2011
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Frenectomy is actually a simple dental procedure that can be conducted with the help of only local anesthesia. The procedure is conducted to correct the frenum. T Children who go in for corrective dental surgery and older people who have dentures fixed by the dentist are more likely to develop frenum abnormalities.

The procedure

The frenum is clamped with a hemostat. The extra or unnecessary tissue of the frenum is cut away below and above the position where the hemostat is clamped. After the operation, the tissue that remains is stitched firmly with sutures so that formation of new extra tissue of the frenum is prevented. All frenectomy procedures aim to improve the balance of functions inside the mouth.

What it is

The muscles in the inside of the cheeks and lips are connected to the tissues found inside the mouth and the gums by another tissue that is called a frenum. When this frenum is at a higher point than necessary, then it allows for abnormal spaces between teeth. Repairing these abnormalities is termed as labial frenectomy.

Labial frenectomy

In this procedure, the tissue, attached to the two front teeth, is removed. By doing so, the gap between the teeth can be noticeably reduced. Sometimes a labial frenectomy is conducted to improve the effect of an earlier frenum correction procedure.

In babies

In babies the abnormal growth of frenum prevents baby teeth from making their appearance.

Tongue tied

Frenum is also a tissue that is found below the tongue. If this tissue is connected to the tongue near the edge then this does not allow free movement of the tongue giving rise to the literal condition of being tongue tied. Because of this abnormality, affected children notice that they will not be able to stick out the tongue as easily as their friends.

This extra growth can lead to speech defects and difficulty in swallowing. Some people find that the tongue is blocked by the front teeth while talking or eating. The procedure that repairs frenum below the tongue is termed as lingual frenectomy.

Lingual frenectomy

The extra fold of tissue under the tongue that causes speech defects, difficulty in swallowing and the condition of being ‘tongue tied’ is removed in this procedure. Usually conducted with help of laser technique, older people are operated on with the help of local anesthesia while children may need general anesthesia. However, those who undergo the operation with local anesthesia need to keep absolutely still and devoid of movement in order that the procedure may be successful.

Post operative care

There are several precautions to be taken after the frenectomy procedure.

• The operated region will take some weeks to heal completely

• Sutures used are of two types- one that dissolves with time and the other that needs to be removed. If the sutures are of the latter type, the dentist will call you back another day to remove the stitches

• While brushing your teeth and flossing take care to see you do not apply too much pressure around the specific region

• Rinse the operated area gently with salt water in order to keep it free of food particles and bad odor

• As many blood vessels are attached to the tongue, bleeding after a frenectomy procedure is a possible complication, but it is rare. The dentist will advice you on precautions to be taken on such an eventuality.

• Lingual frenectomies are quite often repeated in order to achieve the right balance to the mouth

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