Frenectomy Procedure

A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure that involves removing all or part of the frenulum. The frenulum (frenum) is a small piece of tissue at the base of the tongue, upper lip, and inner cheeks. It’s responsible for holding those body parts in place and helps them move when you talk, eat, and smile. 

At Oral Facial and Implant Specialists, we strive to give you and your family the best care possible. That’s why we specialize in performing frenectomy procedures for  infants, children and adults alike. This procedure can greatly impact your quality of life and oral health. 

If you are searching for a frenectomy procedure in Deer Park or Barrington we can help. If you are searching for oral surgeon Deer Park, oral surgeon Barrington, or an oral surgeon near me, we are here for you. Call us at (847) 381-0106 or complete the online booking form for a free consultation.

What Is a Frenum?

A frenum is a small fold of tissue that connects the skin to the underlying muscles or bones. It helps control movement and braces the gums against teeth and lips. There are three types of frenum: labial (upper lip), lingual or sublingual (tongue), and buccal (cheek). 

Labial Frenum

A labial frenum is a string of connective tissue from the upper lip to the gum tissue on either side of the mouth. These are usually thin and not very noticeable but can be thicker in some people. If these are too thick or attach too high on the gums, they can cause problems such as overcrowding or diastema when the person smiles. Diastema is a condition where the front teeth are separated by an excessive gap, which can be caused by an overly thick labial frenum. This condition can occur in both children and adults. A labial frenectomy can resolve these issues. An abnormally high labial frenum in infants may also limit upper lip movement and create difficulty with latching during breast or bottle feeding. A labial frenectomy may be beneficial for such situations as well. 

Lingual Frenum

A lingual frenum is a small string of tissue located under the tongue, and it connects to the floor of the mouth and helps control the movement of the tongue. If this frenum is too short or too thick, it can cause speech impediments, difficulty chewing or swallowing, and other oral health problems due to restriction of tongue mobility. This condition is sometimes known as tongue tie, and is treatable with a lingual frenectomy. 

Buccal Frenum

A buccal frenum is a small piece of tissue that connects the cheek to the inner lining of the jawbone on either side of the mouth. This helps control movement in the cheeks and gives support to the lips when smiling or talking. 

Am I a Candidate for a Frenectomy?

Your oral surgeon may recommend a frenectomy if you have a thick or restrictive frenum. There are several signs that you or your child may need to have this procedure done. 

These signs can include:

  • Difficulty with breastfeeding or bottle feeding in infants
  • Speech impairments or difficulty with the pronunciation of certain sounds in children and adults
  • A large gap between the front teeth
  • Pain or discomfort when smiling, eating, or talking
  • Open-mouth breathing or airway issues 

Frenectomy Consultation

If you or your child is experiencing any of these signs, it’s important to speak to a professional. At Oral Facial and Implant Specialists, we can help you find the best solution for your needs. We recommend that all patients book a consultation with us so we can assess the situation and determine if a frenectomy is necessary. During the consultation, we will discuss your health history and perform a physical examination to determine if a frenectomy is necessary. If you have any questions about the surgery, please do not hesitate to ask. 

Frenectomy Procedure

The frenectomy procedure is quick and relatively painless. It typically takes about 30 minutes or less and can be done using local anesthetic and, if needed, nitrous oxide for added comfort. A modern CO2 laser is used, so there is no bleeding and rapid recovery. During the procedure, the surgeon will carefully trim away the excess tissue causing the problem.

After the Procedure

Once the procedure is complete, you can return home the same day. The healing process typically takes about 7-10 days. For the best results, follow all post-operative instructions given by your surgeon.

Instructions may include:

  • Eat soft foods for the first 3-4 days 
  • Avoid strenuous activity 
  • Use salt water rinses to prevent infection 
  • Use over-the-counter pain medications to control pain and swelling 

Your surgeon may also recommend specific exercises to help strengthen and improve the range of motion in the area after a frenectomy. Your surgeon will be able to advise you on the best exercises for your specific needs and help guide your progress. 

Benefits of a Frenectomy

A frenectomy can help with many oral health issues. Once the procedure is completed, patients may notice an immediate improvement in their symptoms. 

Benefits include:

  • Improved speech and pronunciation of certain sounds
  • An easier time breastfeeding or bottle feeding
  • A decrease in pain and discomfort when smiling, eating, or talking
  • Closed gaps between front teeth
  • Improved confidence due to a better smile

Summary

  • A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure that involves removing all or part of the frenulum. 
  • There are three types of frenum: labial (upper lip), lingual or sublingual (tongue), and buccal (cheek).
    • A labial frenum is a string of connective tissue from the upper lip to the gum tissue on either side of the mouth.
    • A lingual frenum is a small string of tissue located under the tongue, and it connects to the floor of the mouth and helps control the movement of the tongue.
    • A buccal frenum is a small piece of tissue that connects the cheek to the inner lining of the jawbone on either side of the mouth
  • Signs you may need a frenectomy:
    • Difficulty with breastfeeding or bottle feeding in infants
    • Speech impairments or difficulty with the pronunciation of certain sounds in children and adults
    • A large gap between front teeth
    • Pain or discomfort when smiling, eating, or talking
    • Open-mouth breathing or airway issues 
  • The procedure is performed using a modern CO2 laser, local anesthetic and, if needed, nitrous oxide.
  • Benefits include:
    • Improved speech and pronunciation of certain sounds
    • An easier time breastfeeding or bottle feeding
    • A decrease in pain and discomfort when smiling, eating, or talking
    • Closed gaps between front teeth
    • Improved confidence due to a better smile

Caring Oral Surgeons in Deer Park

If you or your child are experiencing any of the issues outlined above, speak with a professional as soon as possible. At Oral Facial and Implant Specialists, we are dedicated to providing caring and compassionate services for all our patients. We aim to help you get your smile, confidence, and quality of life back on track. 

If you are searching for a frenectomy procedure in Deer Park or Barrington we want to help. If you are searching for oral surgeon Deer Park, oral surgeon Barrington, or an oral surgeon near me, we are here for you. Call us at (847) 381-0106 or complete the online booking form for a free consultation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Will My Smile Change After a Frenectomy?

No, a frenectomy will not drastically alter the appearance of your smile. If you had trouble smiling before the procedure, you may feel more confident afterward. Your surgeon will take great care to ensure minimal changes to your smile.

Is the Procedure Painful?

A frenectomy is a quick procedure and is relatively painless when performed using a local anesthetic. After the surgery, some slight swelling and bruising in the area may occur. However, this should subside within a few days.

Can Adults Have a Frenectomy?

Yes, adults can also benefit from a frenectomy procedure. If you have trouble speaking or eating due to excess tissue, a frenectomy may be the best solution for you.

Will My Tooth Gap Close After a Frenectomy?

The gap may close in young children if the tissue is removed before their adult teeth come in. In teens and adults with permanent teeth, it’s more likely that the gap will remain the same size. Your dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment to close the gap.

What Is the Best Age To Do a Frenectomy?

The best age to do a frenectomy will depend on the individual patient and their needs. For infants, early intervention is vital, as too much tissue can interfere with proper nursing. In older children and adults, it will depend on the severity of the symptoms.

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