A Frenectomy, also known as a frenulectomy, is a procedure we perform routinely in our office. This procedure involves the nearly painless removal of a muscle attachment called a frenum. A frenum, also known as a frenulum, is a tiny piece of muscle that typically attaches gum tissue to the inside of the lip. For a better description view the pictures below.
In the past, frenectomies were done exclusively with a scalpel. We perform the procedure in our office with a diode laser.
Before and After Frenectomy Photo
The photo above shows before and after photographs of a patient from Woodbridge, CT treated in our office. This was done with our diode laser. The patient remarked “the next day I didn’t even have to take Advil. It was easier than a filling!”
Reasons for a Frenulectomy
There are several indications for a frenectomy. These include:
- At the request of an orthodontist due to a concern about a gap between the two front teeth (called a diastema).
- In patients requiring partial or complete dentures where the frenum could interfere with the fit of the denture.
- To correct a speech problem.
- To correct a diagnosis of ankyloglossia (more commonly known as tongue tie or tongue tied).
We perform this procedure after a recommendation from the appropriate specialist or when we feel it is necessary.
Scalpel vs. Laser for a Frenectomy
As mentioned above, a frenectomy was traditionally done with a scalpel. This technique, although effective, always resulted in significant post-operative pain with a longer healing time, frequent swelling, bleeding, and often the need for sutures. This changed with the introduction of the diode or soft tissue laser.
The laser allows for:
- Minimal use of local anesthetic. So less sensation of the needle!
- Little to no bleeding.
- Rarely a need for sutures.
- Little to no post-operative discomfort.
- A return to normal speaking and eating activities typically within 24 hours.
Frenectomies and other oral surgical procedures are routine activities for us in our office in Orange, CT. Contact us for a consultation regarding the use of our laser if you need a frenectomy in the greater New Haven, CT area.