Frenectomy Frenectomy is a dental procedure that surgically removes the frenum, a fold of tissue in the mouth found in the front teeth (can be upper or lower), sides of the gums and under the tongue. Frenum has no important function so removing it will not cause loss of function. A frenum
- It is tight under the tongue which can cause “tongue tie” (known as ankyloglossia) and affect feeding infants or impede a child’s speech development.
- It is attached between a child’s front teeth upper incisors as this may cause the permanent teeth to come in or cause gap between them.
- It is at the lower lip and pulling away the gums from the lower front teeth which may cause gum problems.
- It is interfering with denture fitting.
It may take several visits to the dentist and conferring with other doctors if the frenum is interfering with the patient’s development (for infants’ speech development, for example). When the patient is very young, a few more years may be needed to see if the condition can fix itself before resorting to surgery. If surgery is needed, the procedure may be done in a little as 15 minutes.
The healing process is generally problem-free and involves very little pain. But you must follow instructions set by the surgeon to minimize complications. Pain medication may be prescribed. You may also go back to the dentist for removal of stitches.
Frenectomy may be redone if the problem persists. This is not uncommon. Don’t hesitate to discuss your condition with the dentist so you can have realistic expectations regarding the outcome of this procedure.