Your Frenectomy Questions Answered
At our dental offices in Indianapolis, we know our patients have questions about all things related to their oral health and the appearance of their smiles. Frenectomies are no different. What exactly is a frenectomy? Why would we ever recommend one? Can it really be beneficial? Not to worry, we’re here to answer all of your frenectomy questions.
A Bit of Background
We’d have a little trouble answering the other questions if we didn’t first talk about the anatomy of the mouth and the areas that can cause some trouble and require a frenectomy. Let’s start with the lingual frenum. This tight little muscle is the thin piece of connective tissue that attaches the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. The other is the maxillary labial frenum. This little guy is the taut muscle between the inside of your top lip and upper gum line. When either one of these are too long, it can mean trouble.
How is a Frenectomy Performed?
Now that we got the anatomy part covered, let’s look into the actual frenectomy procedure. A frenectomy is a common and fairly easy treatment that removes or shortens whichever frenum is effecting proper function. To do this, your Indianapolis dentist will cut the frenum, successfully fixing a variety of issues. Following the frenum removal, the area will be stitched together. That’s it! While it may sound scary, there’s no need to worry as the area is always numbed prior to beginning.
How Does a Frenectomy Help?
Both a frenectomy of the lingual frenum and of the maxillary labial frenum have their own set of benefits. Let’s look at each one individually.
- Frenectomy of the Lingual Frenum is appropriate when the frenum is too long and makes speaking, eating, and swallowing difficult. Usually only performed in young children, shortening or removal or the frenum can allow the tongue to function as intended, making speaking and eating easier.
- Frenectomy of the Maxillary Labial Frenum can be recommended for either adults or adolescents. Either way, it’s typically done after a patient has their permanent adult teeth. Individuals who may benefit from this type of frenectomy are those who have a gap between their front two teeth. While the gap is sometimes fixable through orthodontics, there are occasions when the teeth separate again once orthodontic treatment is complete. A frenectomy can help tighten those two teeth back up.