A frenectomy is a procedure that involves the surgical removal of a frenum. Frenums are small fibromuscular bands inside the mouth, usually located between two areas, such as the upper lip and gums, the tongue and lower jaw, and gum tissue to cheeks. These tissues are responsible for keeping the two areas together, but if they become too tight or interfere with eating and speaking, a frenectomy may be necessary.
At AZ Max, our expert oral surgeons will help you every step of the way to ensure you receive the best possible treatment. We understand that surgery can cause anxiety and discomfort, so our team will take all necessary steps to reduce pain and get you back to your normal activities as soon as possible.
If you are searching for an oral surgeon Mesa, AZ, Tempe, Show Low, and Queen Creek or an oral surgeon near me, we are here for you. To book an appointment with a surgeon at any of our 5 locations, call (480) 830-5866 or complete the online booking form.
Types Of Frenum
There are three main types of frenum: lingual, labial, and buccal.
The lingual frenum is a band of tissue located between the tongue and the lower jaw, and it attaches to both sides of the mouth and restricts movement of the tongue when it is too tight. If left untreated, “tongue tied” patients can have issues with speech, eating and breathing. Infants can experience issues with breast feeding.
The labial frenum is located between the upper lip and gums and attaches to both the lip and gums. If it’s too tight, it can restrict movement, which can be uncomfortable when eating or speaking. It can also cause a gap between the front teeth, called Diastema. A labial frenectomy (maxillary frenectomy) can be performed to reduce tension and improve smiling, speaking, and eating.
The buccal frenum is located inside the cheek and attaches to both the gums and cheeks. It can restrict the movement of the cheek and cause difficulty when eating. Babies may experience difficulty with breastfeeding due to a tight buccal frenum. A buccal frenectomy can be performed to reduce the tension and help improve chewing and reduce pain or discomfort in the area.
Am I a Good Candidate?
There are several reasons why you or your child may need a frenectomy. Some of the reasons include the following:
- Difficulty eating
- Problems speaking or smiling
- An abnormal gap between the front teeth
- Painful gums due to a tight frenum
- Difficulty with breastfeeding
If you or your child have any of these symptoms, you may be a good candidate for a frenectomy. Our experienced surgeons can help determine if this treatment is right for you.
Before the procedure, you will undergo a comprehensive consultation and evaluation to determine if a frenectomy is necessary. Our surgeons will also discuss the risks, benefits, and alternatives to the procedure with you. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask.
At AZ Max, we perform frenectomies using a special electrocautery instrument or excision using a scalpel. This minor surgical procedure can help reduce pain and improve movement in the areas affected by a tight frenum. The simple procedure is done under local anesthesia or additional sedation if necessary and is typically quick, taking less than 30 min depending on the type of frenum being treated.
During the procedure, the surgeon will use an electrocautery tool to remove a portion of the frenum. This tool uses electric current to heat and seal the tissue, which reduces bleeding and helps with healing.
You can return home right after the procedure and resume your normal activities that same day. We recommend avoiding strenuous activity for several days following the surgery to ensure proper healing. You may experience some soreness, swelling, or bruising in the area, but this is normal and should improve over time.
You will be given specific instructions for home care on how to manage any pain or discomfort and speed up the healing process. It is very important that you follow these instructions carefully.
A frenectomy can help reduce pain and discomfort and improve movement in the affected area. This can have a variety of benefits, including:
- Improved speaking and smiling
- Reduced gap between front teeth (diastema)
- Improved confidence
- Easier eating
- Improved breastfeeding for babies
- Improved airway for those ‘tongue tied’
Frenectomy and Orthodontics
A diastema is a gap between the two front teeth caused by a labial frenum that is too large. Diastema can be corrected with orthodontic treatment, but a frenectomy will often be recommended after the orthodontic treatment is almost complete but before braces are removed to achieve the desired results. The frenectomy helps to reduce tension on the tissue, which allows the teeth to stay in their new, aligned position.
- A frenectomy is a procedure that involves the surgical removal of a frenum.
- There are three main types of frenum: lingual, labial, and buccal.
- The lingual frenum is a band of tissue located between the tongue and the lower jaw, and it attaches to both sides of the mouth and restricts movement of the tongue when it is too tight.
- The labial frenum is located between the upper lip and gums and attaches to both the lip and gums.
- The buccal frenum is located inside the cheek and attaches to both the gums and cheeks.
- At AZ Max, we perform frenectomies using a special electrocautery tool or excision using a scalpel. This tool uses electric current to heat and seal the tissue, which reduces bleeding and helps with healing.
- A diastema is a gap between the two front teeth caused by a labial frenum that is too large. A frenectomy may be performed before orthodontic treatment is finished to ensure the teeth stay in their new, aligned position.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can eat normally after a frenectomy. However, it may be easier to stick to softer foods while the area is healing. Stay away from spicy and acidic foods that are difficult to chew for the first 4-5 days.
It typically takes about two weeks for the area to heal after a frenectomy. You should see improvements in the affected area relatively quickly. Depending on the procedure, the surgical site can take up to 4 weeks or more to fully heal.
Yes, you can brush your teeth after a frenectomy. However, be gentle and do not brush hard around the area. The day after surgery you can use a warm saltwater rinse to keep the area clean and help with healing.
A frenectomy is not cosmetic surgery and is unlikely to change your smile significantly. But it can help improve smile and speech issues. A labial frenectomy will allow your top lip to move more freely, making your smile more noticeable and helping to reduce any space between the front teeth.
Yes, an adult can have a frenectomy. If you are an adult with a restrictive frenum that is causing discomfort or issues with speaking, eating, breathing or smiling, it may be worth considering a frenectomy.
The Best Oral Surgeons in Arizona
At AZ Max, we care about you and your family’s oral health. If you or your child are experiencing difficulty with speaking, eating, or smiling due to a tight frenum, we can help. Our experienced surgeons will create a personalized treatment plan for you. Don’t let frenum issues stop you from enjoying life; contact us to learn how we can help. We look forward to helping you achieve a beautiful and healthy smile!
If you are searching for an oral surgeon Mesa, AZ, Tempe, Show Low and Queen Creek, or an oral surgeon near me, we are here for you. To book an appointment with a surgeon at any of our 5 locations, call (480) 830-5866 or complete the online booking form.