Labial and Lingual Frenectomies
Ensure Proper Movement of the Lips and Tongue
A prominent frenum or frenulum is a condition formed during early fetal development and usually affects both the lip and the tongue, restricting movement of the tongue and causing painful and/or ineffective feeding. This is commonly known as being tongue tied or lip tied.
Tongue/lip tie affects nearly 10% of the population. To correct this condition, oral surgeons perform a procedure called a frenectomy. This treatment uses a soft tissue laser to release the frenum, a connective muscle between two tissues in the mouth.
If you or your child is showing signs of tongue/lip tie, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our oral surgeons so that you or your child can receive a diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Our oral surgeons perform frenectomies at our offices located in Avon, Glastonbury, and Enfield, CT.
Types of Frenectomies
There are two types of frenectomies that are frequently performed on adults and children for a variety of reasons:
- Labial Frenectomy. A labial frenectomy is performed on the tissue that connects the lip to the gums. This may be performed on children or adults to aid with orthodontic treatment or even help with the proper fitting for a denture or appliance.
- Lingual Frenectomy. A lingual frenectomy may also be referred to as the release of tongue ties (ankyloglossia). This procedure is performed on the connective tissue under the tongue. The procedure is often performed on infants to assist with nursing or on toddlers or older patients who need the surgery to help correct speech issues caused by limited movement of the frenum.
Why a Frenectomy is Important
The most common indicator of tongue or lip tie is when an infant is having trouble latching effectively during breastfeeding, causing painful feeding for the mother and fussiness and/or poor weight gain in the infant. An ineffective latch happens because the lip is unable to fully lift, and the restriction of tongue movement causes problems drawing out the milk. A baby who is bottle fed and has a tongue tie may have issues with feeding as well, although this is not as common.
When a tongue or lip tie is not surgically corrected, speech and dental problems may occur as the child grows, and there may be a higher probability of the child needing braces or having breathing issues. Performing a frenectomy procedure in infants is safe. Most pediatricians will recommend the procedure to correct feeding issues and prevent other associated problems.
The Frenectomy Procedure
When you visit our office, we may take 3D scans of the infant’s mouth to assess the facial bones and tissues. As with any procedure, we offer anesthesia to ensure the comfort of our patients at all times. However, infants undergoing this procedure often do not receive any anesthetic so that they can feed right after the procedure.
Our office proudly offers EXPAREL®, the safe and long-lasting pain management option. It provides comfort following surgery and reduces or eliminates the need for narcotic medication. Learn more about EXPAREL.
The frenectomy procedure uses a special soft tissue laser to quickly release the frenum to allow the lip and tongue to move freely and normally immediately following the procedure. Soft tissue lasers are used for numerous procedures in and around the oral cavity. We use this type of laser for performing labial and lingual frenectomies, as well as biopsies and removal of precancerous lesions. These lasers are efficient, cause less discomfort than other methods, promote a faster healing time, and decrease the risk of post-surgical infection.
If you or your child suffers from a tongue tie or lip tie, please contact Avon Oral, Facial and Dental Implant Surgery so that our doctors can answer any questions you may have about the frenectomy procedure and form a treatment plan to restore oral function and proper feeding.
Types of Anesthesia
Our surgeons offer a variety of anesthesia and sedation options so that patients remain as comfortable as possible.
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