A frenectomy is a procedure performed to remove the frenulum (a fold of skin beneath the tongue, or between the lip and the gum). A frenectomy (also known as a frenulectomy or frenotomy) is indicated when the skin is interfering with functions such as breastfeeding, solid food eating, speech, airway development, and placement of teeth and/or oral hygiene.
The frenulum is considered a “tie” when the piece of skin is restricting movement of the tongue and lip leading to a specific set of symptoms.
Infants: Poor latch, poor weight gain, wanting to feed frequently, gumming/chewing of the nipple, reflux symptoms, and falling asleep while nursing. Mothers may also experience pain while breastfeeding, cracked/bruised nipples, and poor/incomplete breast drainage after feeding.
At West U Pediatric Dentistry, we use the function-first model to diagnose our patients. With this model, our patients get a comprehensive assessment prior to determining whether a frenectomy is needed. This eliminates unnecessary procedures.
After a comprehensive consultation of your child, they may be identified as a possible candidate for a frenectomy. We perform this procedure under laser guidance in our office.
Historically, this procedure has been performed with a scalpel. A laser is a modern alternative, which allows for a less painful, more precise procedure. Furthermore, a laser assisted frenectomy will have less scar tissue and inflammation during the healing process. There are different types of lasers that are utilized for this procedure. Knowing which type of laser that is utilized is important as it affects discomfort after the procedure and healing.
At West U Pediatric Dentistry, we use a CO2 laser called the Lightscalpel. This laser does not produce any heat damage to the tissue which makes the procedure more comfortable. It is also very precise, allowing us to safely laser in the tiniest of mouths.
Prior to the procedure, you will have a consultation to determine if the procedure is necessary. Once it is determined that the procedure is indicated, the frenectomy is completed in several minutes followed by the placement of sutures to aid in primary healing. We provide a comprehensive list of adjunct functional providers to assist you before/after the procedure.