Frenectomy

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322 Vincent St, Leederville

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In the mouth, most people have two bands of tissue called frenum in and around the teeth and gums. What happens if the tissue affects oral function? Frenectomy may be the answer.
A frenectomy is the surgical procedure of removing a frenum, which is a small fold of tissue in the mouth. There are two types of frena that might qualify you for a frenectomy. The lingual frenum is in between the base of the tongue and the floor of the mouth.

It comes in different sizes, and if the frenum limits the movement of the tongue (a condition called “tongue-tied”), a surgical procedure called a frenectomy might be carried out. Frenectomy can be performed by a general dentist or dental surgeon. The objective is to free the tongue and allow proper speech, swallowing, and movement.

The labial frenum is the tissue that connects the gum to the lip on the upper arch. If it is unusually wide or long, it may connect through to the gum tissue between the teeth and reach to the front portion of the roof of the mouth.

When the upper frenum is abnormally wide or long, it can create a space between the two front teeth, and that may require surgery performed by a general dentist or dental surgeon.

Tongue-Tie – What Does It Really Mean?

Ankyloglossia, or tongue-tie, is the limitation of tongue movement as a result of adherence of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. A tongue-tie is caused by a frenum that is abnormally short or attached too close to the tip of the tongue.

Normal tongue function is important for several reasons. Among its many advantages, normal tongue function will let a baby latch adequately and breastfeed effectively, encourage normal speech development, make it possible for a child to self-cleanse the mouth while eating, allow adequate swallowing patterns, allow proper growth and development, and it makes it possible to do fun things like eating ice cream, kissing, or sticking your tongue out.

Lip-Tie– What Is It?

A lip-tie occurs when the upper lip is attached to the upper gum.

Challenges that can happen in children and infants with moderate to severe lip-ties include:

  • A large gap called a diastema can form
  • Difficulties while brushing and flossing
  • Increased risk of tooth decay
  • Repeated trauma to the maxillary frenum because it is so low and prominent
  • Pain while breastfeeding
  • Inability to adequately flange the maxillary lip upward while breastfeeding, affecting an infant’s latch and ability to create a good seal

Frenectomy Procedure

The frenectomy procedure is the excision or removal of the frenum, which can be performed by the traditional technique using a scalpel, or by the use of a soft tissue laser. Frenectomy is the recommended procedure for patients with a thick and vascular frenum where severe bleeding may be expected, and for some, reattachment of the frenum by scar tissue may occur.

The procedure is often performed without anaesthesia, or with topical anaesthetic alone. It is often bloodless, with the laser cauterising the affected area. Patients can return to their normal activities after, with post-operative discomfort managed with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. A normal diet can be resumed immediately in most cases.

For newborns and infants, the child is never left alone, with the dental assistant and dentist always present. This allows us to focus all of our attention on the patient without any distraction, which is of the utmost importance.

For older children, we often recommend the use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas). The CO2 laser in addition to the topical anaesthetic, typically provides a painless experience, but it is still a procedure that many patients are scared of, and nitrous oxide can help with the anxiety, and also provide some numbing of the oral tissues.

After the procedure, you will be shown a series of exercises to be performed 2 to 3 times a day for about two weeks, to prevent healing tissues from fusing back together. The area will look white and almost “infected looking” but will look normal within two weeks.

What Happens After a Frenectomy?

In most cases, there is very little post-surgery pain and swelling, and the patient has normal function of the lips and tongue.

Some patients compare the procedure to having a “pizza burn” in and around the mouth. Swishing with a fluoride mouthwash may protect the uncovered area and speed up the healing process.

After a few post-surgery examinations, patients can then continue to see their dentist regularly.

Having a frenum reduced is a simple procedure, and it can be performed at any age to boost oral health and promote a lifetime of smiles.

Frenectomy in Leederville

Whether you or your child is tongue-tied or lip-tied, come to us at Dentists on Vincent! We provide safe and painless treatment procedures for your oral health issues.

Dentists on Vincent serves local communities in Leederville West Leederville, Northbridge, North Perth, Wembley, Floreat, Mount Hawthorn, Subiaco, Menora, Coolbinia and Jolimont.

Visit your Leederville dentist today!

Call us on (08) 9242 4400 or request your appointment online.

We are located at 322 Vincent Street in Leederville.

Frequently Asked
Questions

Why do we have frena and is there any negative effect associated with removing them?
None of the frena in our mouths serve an important purpose. They are remnants left over from the band of tissue that initially helped guide the formation of our facial structures. In addition, the frena have very little nerve tissue in them; another reason why the procedure is relatively painless for our patients.
What is frenectomy for?
Improved breastfeeding is often the reason for giving a frenectomy to an infant soon after birth. However, other reasons include improved speech, and oral and facial development as the child gets older.
What can I expect after the procedure?
After the procedure, a white diamond-shaped area may appear where the frenum was, and this is completely normal and not an infection. This will heal in approximately two weeks.
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Contact Info

Dentists on Vincent

Address: 322 Vincent St, Leederville, WA 6007

Phone: (08) 9242 4400

Email: smile@dentistsonvincent.com.au

Opening Hours

Mon: Closed

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Sun: Closed

PARKING/PUBLIC TRANSPORT

There is ample car parking across the road from the practice

There are cafe's and eateries within walking distance

LOCATION

Dentists on Vincent is located in Leederville, 14 min from Northbridge and only short stroll from Leederville Oval and Water Corporation

Leederville dentist also serving local communities in West Leederville, Northbridge, North Perth, Wembley, Floreat, Mount Hawthorn, Subiaco, Menora, Coolbinia and Jolimont.