At Smile Hilliard, our office is fully equipped with some of the most advanced tools and technology in modern dentistry. As a result, Dr. Sanyk can perform various oral surgeries, including frenectomies, right here in our Hilliard office.
What Is a Frenectomy?
A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure designed to either remove or release a frenulum. Frenectomies are performed on adults, children, and even infants to improve oral health and promote healthy, normal development.
What Is a Frenulum or Frenum?
A frenulum (also called a frenum) is a band of soft tissue in the mouth. There are two types of frenula:
- Labial Frenulum – The labial frenula spans the lips and the gums, connecting the two. You can see or feel them just in front of and below your upper and lower front teeth.
- Lingual Frenulum – The lingual frenulum spans between the floor of the mouth and the base of the tongue. If you lift your mouth and look in a mirror, you’ll be able to see yours.
Both types of frenula come in all different shapes and sizes, or sometimes they can be too taught. An abnormal frenulum can cause oral health issues and developmental problems.
What Does a Frenectomy Treat and Is It Really Necessary?
The intention of a frenectomy procedure is to prevent and correct problems resulting from an abnormal frenulum.
Lip Ties and Tongue Ties
One or both labial frenula can be too long or wide. An abnormal labial frenulum is commonly called a “lip tie.” Likewise, the lingual frenulum can sometimes be too taught or too short, limiting the use of the tongue. An abnormal lingual frenulum is commonly called a “tongue tie.”
Developmental Problems in Children
Issues with the frenula can result in developmental concerns in children, such as infants having difficulty nursing and young children having trouble with speech due to the restricted movement of the lips and tongue. In addition, children can develop problems with shifting teeth and jaw development.
Oral Health Problems in Children and Adults
An abnormal frenulum can also cause oral problems for anyone, regardless of age. For example, a lip tie can create a gap between the front teeth that causes malocclusion (misaligned teeth/bite). Lip ties can also lead to significant gum recession and the subsequent exposure of a tooth’s dentin and roots. This not only causes painful tooth sensitivity but can also compromise the health of the front teeth.
What To Expect: Superior Care With Soft Tissue Laser Surgery
Like other oral surgeries, a frenectomy begins with a consultation in our office. At this appointment, Dr. Sanyk will examine your frenula, evaluate your oral health, and help you determine whether or not you are a good candidate for a frenectomy.
(For infants and children, Dr. Sanyk usually recommends scheduling a consultation and examination with your family’s pediatrician before scheduling a frenectomy at Smile Hilliard.)
On the day of your frenectomy, the procedure begins with administering a mild, local anesthetic to ensure you experience no pain or discomfort during your appointment. Dr. Sanyk then uses our soft tissue laser to correct your frenulum’s abnormality to ensure normal function and address any oral health issues resulting from the lip tie or tongue tie.
Thanks to our advanced soft tissue laser, aftercare for a frenectomy performed at Smile Hilliard is minimal. We will provide you with specific instructions before you leave our office. Typically, we recommend continuing thorough oral hygiene while being gentle and careful around the treatment area. Additionally, you should avoid using tobacco products or alcohol (including mouthwash that contains alcohol) until completely healed.
Tongue Tie and Lip Tie Treatment With Frenectomies in Hilliard
If you or your child has been diagnosed with abnormal frenulum or you suspect you might have a lip tie or tongue tie, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sanyk at Smile Hilliard.