A ‘Frenectomy’ is a surgical alteration of a ‘Frenum’ which is a fold of tissue that can sometimes restrict movement. Usually, it is either related to the upper lip, the tongue or lower lip. If movement is restricted and is interfering with normal function, this is why a ‘Frenectomy’ may be required.
Although the procedure is not a major operation by any means, in a child’s case they may receive speech therapy before undertaking surgery. In adults, the procedure is usually performed to relieve restricted movement in the mouth, to close spacing between two teeth which may be deemed as unsightly, and in those patients that wear full dentures in order for them to seat properly if a frenum is causing complications.
The procedure is performed using a scalpel and then the area is stitched, which only takes about 15/30 minutes from start to finish. In adult patients, local anaesthetic is given which is usually enough although Sedation for any treatment can be offered. In children, we may suggest a referral to undergo the procedure under General Anaesthetic.
As with any surgical procedure, the aftercare will be discussed in length with you by your dentist but it is essential that you keep the area clean with gentle salt water rinses which aids the best healing and recovery. The stitches will need to be removed a week or so after the procedure. Usually, 3-4 weeks see’s you completely healed and during the healing phase, over the counter pain killers can be used for any post-operative discomfort.
Complications are often very rare with this procedure, especially if you take good care of yourself afterwards, but if there are, your dentist will discuss the best way to resolve them with you. In those patients that take anti-coagulant medication (Blood thinning medication), bleeding may be a risk for you but again you dentist will make you aware of these risks and deal with them accordingly.
Success rates are high as the procedure is simply and short and patients can achieve their desired result, experiencing only slight discomfort in the healing phase.