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What Is Frenectomy?

Posted on 6/15/2024 by Rai Oral Surgery and Dental Implants
Woman smiling before surgery at Rai Oral Surgery & Dental Implants in Virginia Beach, VAA frenectomy is a surgical procedure that removes a small piece of mouth tissue called a frenulum. There are three common types of frena.

Types Of Frena

Labial Frenectomy

This involves the removal of the frenulum that attaches the upper lip to the gums (maxillary labial frenum) or the lower lip to the gums (mandibular labial frenum). A labial frenectomy is often performed when the frenulum is too tight, causing issues such as a gap between the front teeth (diastema) or restricted movement of the lips.

Lingual Frenectomy

The lingual frenectomy removes the lingual frenulum, connecting the tongue to the mouth floor. Lingual frenectomies are typically performed when the frenulum is too short or tight, causing limitations in tongue movement (ankyloglossia or tongue-tie). This condition can affect breastfeeding, speech, and oral hygiene.

Buccal Frenectomy

This involves the removal of the buccal frenulum, which connects the inside of the cheeks to the gums. Similar to labial and lingual frenectomies, a buccal frenectomy may be performed when the frenulum is too tight or short, causing issues such as restricted movement of the cheeks or interference with orthodontic treatment. This procedure can be beneficial in improving oral function and comfort for patients experiencing problems related to the buccal frenulum.

Why Is Frenectomy Done?

Improve Feeding and Speech in Infants

Babies may struggle with effective breastfeeding or bottle-feeding due to tongue-tie, an elongated lingual frenum that affects infant feeding and speech. This can lead to feeding problems and insufficient intake as well as reduced maternal milk supply. If left uncorrected, it may also cause speech difficulties in toddlers and young children due to restricted tongue movement.

Correct Spacing Issues in Teeth

An extended maxillary labial frenum can cause a gap between the upper two front teeth. While this might be a cosmetic concern for some parents, the frenectomy is typically recommended when braces fail to close the gap after permanent teeth erupt.

Oral frenectomies are simple and quick in-office procedures. Releasing a lip tie or tongue tie has a low risk of infection or complications. The healing process generally starts right away. If you suspect your child has a lip or tongue tie, speak to our doctor.

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