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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.
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?
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
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?
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
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We are located at 322 Vincent Street in Leederville.
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