Children’s dentists Dr. Mindy and Dr. Peterson perform frenectomies at all three Cornerstone Family Dentistry locations. If your baby or child is having a difficult time eating or even talking, a frenectomy could improve his or her quality of life tremendously in just one simple procedure.
What Is a Frenectomy?
A frenectomy is a surgical procedure in which the dental surgeon removes or loosens the frenulum (the muscle that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth; there is also a labial frenulum that connects the top lip to the gums, between the two front teeth). People with short frenula are referred to as being tongue-tied or lip-tied. With severe tongue-tie, the tongue often can’t move beyond the lower incisor teeth, causing a number of issues for the sufferer.
Issues that May Require a Frenectomy:
- Trouble feeding in infants
- Difficulty talking in young children just learning to speak
- Frenulum getting stuck between lower teeth, especially in older children and teens
- Gum issues caused by frenulum pulling gum tissue away from front teeth
During the procedure, the doctor uses a laser to remove the frenulum. The procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia, though younger children may need general anesthesia to remain still. The entire procedure lasts about 15 minutes, and healing is uneventful.
Labial Frenectomies for Denture Preparation
Sometimes, prior to fabricating dentures for a patient, we must perform a labial frenectomy to ensure a proper, comfortable fit of the dentures. If the frenulum connecting the top lip to the gum tissue is too short, dentures will not sit right in the mouth. Your doctor will perform this short and simply surgery, and once you’re healed, we’ll fit and fabricate your dentures.