A frenectomy is an oral procedure for removing one or both frenums inside the mouth. A frenum is a piece of tissue connecting interior areas of the mouth together. One frenum is situated on the underside of the tongue and connects it to the bottom of the mouth. A second frenum connects the gums to the interior of the upper lip. Problems can occur when these frenums are too large. At the Children’s Dental Center of New Hampshire, Dr. James McAveeney and Dr. Andrew Cheifetz are your pediatric dentists for performing frenectomies in Amherst.
Types of Frenectomy
There are two types of frenectomy, labial and lingual. A labial frenectomy removes the labial frenum, while a lingual frenectomy removes the lingual frenum. The labial frenum is the one connecting tissue connecting the upper lip and gums. The lingual frenum is the one on the underside of the tongue. A lingual frenectomy is needed when the frenum is too large, resulting in your child becoming tongue-tied at times. A labial frenectomy is needed when the frenum is so prominent that it causes a large gap to form between the two upper front teeth.
To perform either type of frenectomy in Amherst, the area where the frenum is to be removed is first numbed with an anesthetic. A small cut is then made in the frenum. If made to the lingual frenum, the cut frees up the tongue so that it no longer becomes tongue-tied. If made to the labial frenum, the cut allows the gums to be free of the frenum. Once the cut is made in the proper place, it is sewn closed with small sutures to allow the area to heal.
Benefits of a Frenectomy
Having a frenectomy performed when needed can improve your child’s quality of life in several ways. A lingual frenectomy, which eliminates the problem of being tongue-tied, can improve oral communication and make it easier for children to express themselves. In some cases, it also improves appetite because eating normally is no longer a challenge. A labial frenectomy eliminates the gap between the upper front teeth, which often has the effect of improving self-confidence. It also improves biting and chewing functions, while reducing oral discomfort.
Whether one or both types of frenectomy are needed, your child can experience improved quality of life after undergoing a frenectomy. Certain oral and speech functions are improved, and self-confidence is often boosted. For a frenectomy in Amherst, schedule an appointment for your child with either Dr. McAveeney or Dr. Cheifetz by calling the Children’s Dental Center of New Hampshire at (603) 673-1000.