Alleviate Discomfort & Functional Impairment with a Frenectomy
An abnormally formed frenulum - the tissue bands under the tongue and lips - may interfere with your ability to speak or eat. It can also cause substantial gaps between the front teeth. To accommodate the needs of both his adult and pediatric patients, Dr. Kyle F. Long in Denver, CO, can perform a frenectomy. This involves incising the tissue to allow a full range of movement. Dr. Long employs gentle techniques and takes special care to ensure that patients are as comfortable as possible during each procedure.
Types of Frenectomies
There are two types of oral frenectomies:
A labial frenulum connects the lip to the gums and can sometimes cause a large gap to form between the upper two front teeth. For pediatric patients, it is typically recommended that a labial frenectomy is postponed until after permanent adult teeth are fully developed because the gap can change or may be treatable with orthodontics. However, if it is causing your child pain, a frenectomy may be necessary sooner.
A lingual frenulum connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. This can cause patients to be "tongue-tied," resulting in speech issues. It can also interfere with your ability to eat. During a labial frenectomy, this tissue is removed to allow proper function.
Dr. Long employs gentle techniques and takes special care to ensure that patients are as comfortable as possible.
The Frenectomy Procedure
Prior to your surgery, the treatment area will be numbed for your comfort. Patients with dental anxiety may also benefit from oral conscious sedation, which can be provided at your request. Sedation can also benefit those who suffer from conditions such as arthritis that make it uncomfortable to sit for long periods.
Generally, the procedure will last about half an hour. To begin, an incision will be made in the lingual or labial frenulum and the tissue will be removed. The remaining tissue will then be treated to prevent regrowth. Sutures may be placed to help the remaining tissue heal properly.
Recovery & Aftercare
The recovery period for a frenectomy is typically about 10 to 14 days. During recovery, patients should:
- Avoid biting directly into food using the front teeth
- Exercise caution when brushing teeth
- Eat a soft food diet
- Avoid strenuous activity for several days
To keep the area clean, it is recommended that patients also rinse with warm salt water. While some swelling and discomfort may persist for two or three days, it should be manageable with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Minor bleeding may occur for the first 48 hours after treatment.
Schedule a Consultation
Dr. Long always provides care with your best interest in mind. If you or your child are suffering from speech issues or difficulties eating, contact us online or by phone at (303) 722-1690 to schedule a consultation. After an examination, Dr. Long can determine if this procedure is right for you.