Reviewed by Dr. Kerri Font, DDS

In the previous blogs in this series, we explained what tongue and lip ties are, how they can affect infants and adults, and when to seek treatment

In this blog, we will dive deeper into the frenectomy procedure – a common treatment option for tongue and lip ties.

Let’s take a closer look at what the procedure entails.

Table of Contents

What is a Frenectomy?

A frenectomy is a quick surgical procedure aimed at releasing a tight band of tissue – either the lingual frenum under the tongue or the labial frenum connecting the upper lip to the gums.

This tight tissue can restrict the range of motion and lead to issues such as difficulty in breastfeeding, speech issues, gum recession, and could even necessitate orthodontic treatment later in life.

The Frenectomy Procedure

For Infants

The frenectomy procedure is quick and straightforward. A numbing agent is used to minimize discomfort and a careful scalpel incision is made in the affected frenum. The entire procedure, from applying the numbing agent to performing the frenectomy, is typically completed in 20 to 30 minutes. 

What to Expect Post-Procedure for Infants

  1. Immediately after the procedure, the infant will be given to their mother to encourage skin-to-skin contact.
  2. Once the infant has calmed, breastfeeding is encouraged to begin the healing process and comfort both the mother and child.

Aftercare Instructions for Infants

  • Monitor the infant for any signs of discomfort or difficulty in breastfeeding, and consult with a pediatrician if concerns arise.
  • Gentle massage of the gum tissue may be recommended to prevent the reattachment of the frenum.

For Adults

Adults can also expect a relatively quick procedure with immediate improvements in their oral range of motion. A numbing agent is used to minimize discomfort. Sedation is available if you are particularly anxious about the procedure.

What to Expect Post-Procedure

  • You will experience an immediate increase in the range of motion of the tongue or lip.
  • Some discomfort and swelling may occur, but this typically subsides within a few days.

Aftercare Instructions for Adults:

  • Rinse the mouth with saltwater to promote healing and prevent infection.
  • Avoid spicy or acidic foods that might irritate the wound until healing is more advanced.
  • Follow the aftercare instructions provided by the specialist.

Benefits of a Frenectomy

Regardless of age, a frenectomy can have significant impacts on your oral health and overall well-being. Some of the benefits include:

  • Improved oral function and range of motion
  • Better speech articulation and pronunciation
  • Reduced risk of tooth decay and potential orthodontic issues
  • Relief from discomfort or pain caused by a tight frenum
  • Improved breastfeeding experience for both infants and mothers

Highlands Ranch Periodontics – Frenectomy Specialists

A frenectomy is a safe, simple, and effective procedure that can address tongue and lip ties in individuals of all ages. If you are experiencing any symptoms or discomfort related to a tongue or lip tie, it may be time to seek treatment.

At Highlands Ranch Periodontics, our skilled team has years of experience in diagnosing and treating tongue and lip ties. Contact us today at (303) 683-1144 or complete the online inquiry form to schedule an appointment with one Dr. Kerri Font, DDS, or Dr. Nike Norouzinia, DDS.

If you are searching for a ‘tongue tie specialist near me’ or a ‘frenectomy near me,’ trust Highlands Ranch Periodontics & Implant Center.

FAQs About The Frenectomy Procedure

Why would you have a frenectomy?

A frenectomy is typically done to correct a tight or restrictive frenum that may be causing issues with oral function, breastfeeding, speech, or overall comfort.

Is a frenectomy painful?

The procedure itself is relatively painless as a numbing agent is used. Some discomfort and swelling may occur post-procedure but can be managed with over-the-counter medication.

How long does a frenectomy take to heal?

The healing time for a frenectomy varies depending on the individual and the extent of the procedure. For infants, it can take 1-2 weeks, while adults may experience discomfort for up to a month.

What are the disadvantages of frenectomy?

There are minimal disadvantages to a frenectomy. The main risk is the potential for reattachment of the frenum tissue, which can be minimized with proper aftercare and follow-up visits.

Categories: Periodontics