Infant Frenectomy Procedure
At Gallatin Valley Pediatric Dentistry, we offer an outpatient surgical procedure known as a frenectomy. This procedure, which is common in pediatric dentistry, may be necessary to alleviate several dental issues. If we do recommend a frenectomy, rest assured knowing we use cutting-edge technology and advanced techniques.
What Is the Frenum?
The frenum refers to a band of soft tissue that is located in two areas of the mouth. The lingual frenum connects the tongue to the floor of your mouth. The labial frenum connects the inside of the upper lip to the gum tissue above the upper anterior (front) teeth. You can usually feel the labial frenum with the tip of your tongue.
A lingual frenum that it is too tough, long, short, or tight can cause immobility issues with the tongue. If it inhibits movement, your child may have difficulty with eating and speech development. The labial frenum may create a gap between the two front teeth that can be aesthetically displeasing.
The removal or severing of these frenums will not have any adverse effects on your child’s oral health. Modifying them early on can even prevent potential problems. During an initial consultation, our dentists will determine if your child is a suitable candidate for a lingual or labial frenectomy.
We may recommend a lingual frenectomy if your child or infant shows any signs of being “tongue-tied.” This may include difficulty with breastfeeding and problems with speech. During the frenectomy, we will remove the frenum completely, or make an incision that frees up tight tissue. The type of surgery we perform is dictated by the nature of your child’s abnormal frenum.
We may recommend a labial frenectomy to help with proper lip posturing and ability to create a seal with the lips, especially in infants who are having difficulty with breast feeding. This procedure may also be recommended to remove tissue that can create a gap between the two upper front teeth. Along with additional orthodontic treatment, the frenectomy will ensure your child’s permanent teeth are appropriately spaced. Ask Dr. Justin or Dr. Joni if this procedure is indicated for your child's teeth.
After a Frenectomy
Thanks to new technology, the recovery time following a frenectomy is much faster than ever before. We will give you a set of post-operative instructions, including important stretches, before you leave our office. Be sure to follow these instructions to prevent complications.
If your child experiences any pain or discomfort, you can use over-the-counter pain medications as recommended by your child's pediatrician and based on their age to alleviate their symptoms. Minor swelling, bruising, and discomfort is normal. If these issues persist or worsen over time, be sure to call us as soon as possible.
The biggest risk associated with frenectomies is premature reattachment. These tissues can heal so fast that immobility issues persist. Be sure your child follows the stretches we detail in our instructions to avoid this problem. These stretches should be performed as directed by Dr. Justin or Dr. Joni. We will also schedule a follow-up appointment so we can monitor your child's progress.
Schedule Your Child’s Consultation
If you would like to learn more about your child’s oral health, our team is happy to help! Call 406-224-4272 to schedule a consultation today!