If you have a noticeable gap between your two front teeth, if your child has trouble speaking, or if your baby has difficulty breastfeeding or feeding from a bottle, a frenectomy procedure may be able to help.
What Does a Frenectomy Fix?
If you lift your tongue and look in the mirror, you will see a thin line of tissue connecting your tongue to the base of your mouth. Similarly, if you lift your top or bottom lip, you will see the same type of tissue connecting your lips to your gums. This thin line of muscular tissue is called the “frenum.” Everyone is born with these tissues. Unfortunately, these frenums can sometimes overdevelop and cause a variety of oral problems.
Cosmetically, a frenum may grow between the two top front teeth, resulting in a wide gap. In children, the frenum beneath the tongue can become overgrown, restricting the tongue’s movement. This can make it difficult for children and babies to swallow, breastfeed, and drink from a bottle. As they grow older, they may also develop speech impediments which are often referred to as being “tongue-tied.” In severe cases, an over-extended frenum can result in gingival recession. Thankfully, at Lifetime Dental Health, our skilled team can perform a very simple procedure to shorten the frenum and correct these problems.
How is a Frenectomy Done?
A frenectomy is a fairly simple operation that only takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. It is a minor surgical procedure that can be performed right here in our dental office.
To shorten the frenum, Dr. Barry or Dr. Love will use a scalpel or laser to create an incision. If a scalpel is used, stitches will need to be placed for proper healing. Laser technology results in very little bleeding and does not require the use of stitches. A laser also allows patients to heal more quickly and experience less discomfort. Our dentists can discuss these options with you during a consultation.
Very young children are typically placed under general anesthesia, while adults are usually given local anesthesia. For adults who are uncomfortable with the thought of an oral procedure, or for those who suffer from dental anxiety, we offer a variety of sedation options. Your comfort is our first priority!
Healing usually takes between one and two weeks, depending on the surgical method used and the patient’s personal hygiene habits.If you have any questions or wish to schedule an appointment, call our Columbus dental office at 614-451-2234.