What is a Frenectomy?
A frenectomy is simply the removal of a frenum in the mouth. A frenum is a muscular attachment between two tissues. There are two frena (the plural form of frenum) in the mouth that can sometimes obstruct normal function and are candidates for frenectomies. These frena are called the lingual frenum, which connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth, and the maxillary labial frenum, which connects the inside of your upper lip to your gums just above your upper two front teeth.
The Frenectomy procedure is a simple surgical procedure that generally takes less than thirty minutes to complete. The procedure is performed using local anaesthesia, sometimes with intravenous sedation as well.
What are the follow-up instructions for Frenectomy?
Frenectomies will usually take a couple of weeks to completely heal. You may have to take over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs like Ibuprofen to relieve any pain that you may have.
You should rinse with saltwater or an antiseptic mouthwash such as Chlorhexidine mouthwash in order to keep the surgical area clean. You should brush carefully around the area and floss daily as well.
If you have had Frenectomy using a scalpel, you will have resorbable sutures which should disappear by themselves within a couple of weeks. You should go back to see your dentist after two weeks to remove any sutures that have not resorbed and for your dentist to check that good healing has occurred.
What are the risks involved with Frenectomy?
Like many other surgical procedures, there can be some pain, swelling, bruising, tenderness, gum scarring and bleeding after Frenectomy surgery. If the Frenectomy operation does not solve the problem completely then it may have to be repeated. Redoing a lingual Frenectomy is common whilst labial Frenectomies are less likely to be repeated.
Occasionally nerve damage may occur after Frenectomy surgery. This damage may be in the form of a slight tingling sensation around the surgical area to total numbness of the area. Nerve damage in this area may only be temporary, and after a few weeks, sensations in the area may increase. On rare occasions, the nerve damage persists, and feeling around the surgery area is not regained.
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