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It's time you think about getting a frenectomy or frenelectomy procedure done. It's a simple, easy, and quick in office procedure that takes less than 20 minutes to complete.

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A frenectomy is the surgical alteration of a frenum which is a fold of tissue which restricts movement. In the mouth this is generally a small portion of tissue related to the upper lip, the tongue, or the lower lip.
Usually one end of the frenum is connected to a muscular part of the body, like the tongue or lip, and the other to a relatively static part such as the floor of the mouth in the case of the tongue, or to the gums in the case of the upper lip.
Too much restriction of movement of the tongue, for example, is not necessarily a good thing since it can interfere with normal function and this is why a frenectomy may be required.

Three Types
There are three types, that vary on the location of the problem in the mouth:
1-
Sometimes the frenum associated with the upper lip, which is in the midline, tends to cause or exacerbate spacing between the upper two front teeth (central incisors) and this may be considered unpleasing to the eye. Such a marked frenum extending well down into the gum can also be a barrier to an orthodontist being able to close up a mid-line gap between the front teeth and so a ‘maxillary’ frenectomy would be indicated.
2-
There is sometimes a similar situation in the lower jaw where an extensive frenum can be associated with separation of the incisor teeth or can cause the gum to pull away (recede) from the neck of one or more lower front teeth. This would invite food debris to lodge and gum disease to follow, so is again an indication for a frenectomy.
3-
The third most common type of undesirable frenum in the mouth is that which connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. If this is extensive, running almost up to the tip of the tongue, it can seriously restrict it’s movement, causing speech difficulties and adversely affecting oral hygiene. This condition is termed ankyloglossia, or more commonly being “tongue-tied”. The condition is usually noticed in the young child when difficulty feeding or learning to speak become apparent. A ‘lingual’ frenectomy is required here.

The surgery is a straightforward and a quite common dental procedure performed both on children and sometimes adults. A child might receive speech therapy first before resorting to the procedure although it is not a major operation by any means.

Adults who have no natural teeth remaining and require full dentures may need a frenectomy in one or more locations if a marked frenum is tending to unseat a denture. This is more common in the lower jaw where the amount of bony ridge to hold a denture is much less than in the upper jaw.



The frenectomy procedure
A frenectomy may be done with a scalpel or a laser. The latter causes less bleeding, reduces the need for stitches, and minimizes post-operative discomfort (and has a faster recovery), but it does require that the patient be very still throughout.


If the patient is young this may necessitate a general anesthetic. In the older patient local anesthesia is quite sufficient. The procedure only takes about 15 minutes and stitches are placed if it’s done in the traditional The surgery is a straightforward and a quite common dental procedure performed both on children and sometimes adults. A child might receive speech therapy first before resorting to the procedure although it is not a major operation by any means.

Adults who have no natural teeth remaining and require full dentures may need a frenectomy in one or more locations if a marked frenum is tending to unseat a denture. This is more common in the lower jaw where the amount of bony ridge to hold a denture is much less than in the upper jaw.

Post-operation instructions
After the operation, it’s essential to keep the area clean with gentle salt water mouth rinses for best recovery. If at all possible, the patient should carry out careful tooth brushing with a fairly soft brush, to remove plaque on the teeth without irritating the gums. Stitches may dissolve by themselves in time or may need to be removed by the dentist. It can take one to three weeks to achieve complete healing, so care is needed when eating, and very hard foods should be avoided.
Pain can be controlled with over-the-counter pain killers such as ibuprofen or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), and doesn’t usually last for more than one or two days.

Complications
There is always some blood loss when surgery is carried out, but a frenectomy is a minor procedure and doesn’t constitute a serious risk of complications in the healthy patient.
A frenectomy involving the underside of the tongue is most liable to cause a fair amount of bleeding since there lots of blood vessels in the area, but this is not usually a problem. Use of a laser will reduce bleeding significantly but it’s not always an option. There is a slight risk of damage to the facial nerve that provides for sensation in the chin and lip, and consequent numbness. The feeling usually returns within a few months, however, if this should happen.

A frenectomy is generally successful in achieving the desired result although just occasionally it might have to be done again. The freedom of movement of an otherwise “tied” tongue, or the closing of an ugly gap between front teeth is well worth the slight discomfort!

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Frena are small folds (also called “bands”) of tissue located in the mouth: under the tongue, inside the upper lip, inside the lower lip and connecting the cheeks to the gums. A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure to loosen or release these bands. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) typically performs a frenectomy to increase the range of motion of the tongue (removing the lingual frenum) or to close a gap in a patient’s upper front teeth (removing the labial frenum). Frenectomies can be performed via scalpel, electrosurgery or laser surgery.

Lingual Frenectomy
The lingual frenum connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth, and its size and flexibility vary from person to person. These variations mean that some people will have a lingual frenum that restricts the movement of the tongue. This is sometimes referred to as a “tongue-tied.” Infants with this condition can have difficulty with nursing and, eventually, with speaking. A lingual frenectomy is a quick procedure that reduces the size of the frenum, allowing the tongue to move freely. If restricted tongue movement is discovered early, a frenectomy can be performed as early as the first few weeks after birth.

The labial frenum connects the inside upper lip to the gum area near the front teeth, posing potential orthodontic and hygiene issues. When the labial frenum extends too near the gum line, it can affect the spacing and growth of a patient’s upper two front teeth. Although many parents and patients worry about the gap for cosmetic reasons, extra space between the teeth can make it easier for food to become stuck and contribute to gingivitis.

What is Lingual Frenectomy?

A frenectomy is the removal of a frenulum, a small fold of tissue that prevents an organ in the body from moving too far. It can refer to frenula in several places on the human body. It is related to frenuloplasty, a surgical alteration in a frenulum. Done mostly for orthodontic purposes, a frenectomy is either performed inside the middle of the upper lip, which is called labial frenectomy, or under the tongue, called lingual frenectomy. Frenectomy is a very common dental procedure that is performed on infants, children, and adults. A similar procedure frenulotomy is where a tight frenulum may be relieved by making an incision in the tight tissue.

A lingual frenectomy is a surgical procedure that removes a band of tissue that connects the underside of the tongue with the bottom of the mouth. This procedure treats patients having difficulty eating or speaking. These patients are often referred to as being tongue-tied. Learn more about lingual frenectomy.

Some children are born with a short frenulum (FREN-yuh-luhm). The frenulum is the thin tissue that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. The tongue is one of the most important muscles for speech and for swallowing. Having a short frenulum can make it difficult to swallow — especially for infants and children — and speak. Newborn babies with a short frenulum may struggle to nurse, which can make it difficult to gain weight. These patients are often referred to as being tongue-tied, a condition known as ankyloglossia [ang-kuh-loh-GLOS-ee-uh]. The condition may also cause dental problems in children. One way to treat tongue-tied patients is with a procedure called lingual frenectomy [fren-EK-tuh-mee].

A lingual frenectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the frenulum. During the operation, the surgeon makes a small cut on the frenulum to free up the tongue. The procedure may also be referred to as a frenuloplasty [FREN-yoo-loh-plass-tee]. An Ears, Nose, and Throat (ENT) surgeon or oral surgeon will perform a lingual frenectomy.


What are the benefits?
Benefits of a lingual frenectomy include:

Quick procedure. It takes only a few minutes.
Quick recovery. It causes discomfort for only a few days.
Improvement in speech.
Corrects problems with nursing and eating (in infants).
How do I prepare?
Your physician will provide instructions to help prepare for the procedure. You may be asked to avoid food or water a few hours beforehand, depending on whether or not anesthesia will be used for the procedure. Fill any prescriptions ahead of time, so that they are ready once you return home.
How is it done or administered?
A lingual frenectomy may be performed in a doctor’s office, a dental office, or at a hospital. You will be given instructions on what time to arrive for the surgery. Once you arrive, you will be brought back to a procedure room.

The procedure is administered by:

Numbing the area around the frenulum with a local anesthetic. If your child is having the procedure, they may receive general anesthesia.
Using either a laser or a scalpel. The surgeon will make a small cut on the frenulum to free up the tongue.
Placing a few stitches in your mouth to help the area heal.
When will I know the results?
You should notice results almost immediately. If you were given a local anesthetic, you might need to wait a few hours until the anesthetic wears off before you notice any results.
What are follow-up requirements and options?
Following a lingual frenectomy:

Children should not be placed on their tummies. This will put pressure on the jaw and could interfere with healing.
You will have a follow-up appointment. You will meet with your dentist in about a week.
What should I expect during recovery?
During recovery:

There may be bleeding from the surgical site. If you notice that the bleeding won’t stop, use a sterile gauze pad and press gently against the surgical site until the bleeding stops.
You may experience swelling and pain. Your doctor may prescribe pain medicine to help during recovery. Be sure to take any medicine as instructed by your doctor.
You may be able to resume normal activities in just a few days. The typical recovery time is about a week.

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