A frenulum is a piece of tissue that prevents an organ from moving during development. There is a frenulum that attaches your upper lip to the gums, while another connects the lower lip to the gums. The frenum is supposed to become laxed or dissipate so it does not cause restriction. A frenulum that is too short or thick, will cause problems in speech patterns and tooth misalignment. In infants, a shortened frenulum underneath the tongue will inhibit proper breastfeeding. When the frenulum disrupts movement, growth, or development, corrective action is necessary to resolve the situation.
A frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure that is performed in our dental office. Dr. Steele and Dr. Reider have the ability to perform the procedure with new laser technology and takes less than 15 minutes. Using a laser causes very little bleeding and does not require stitches. A laser also results in less postoperative discomfort and a shorter healing time. Newborn children and infants are able to have procedure completed with only high strength local topical anesthetic. Adults have the choice of topical anesthetic or local anesthetic. If your child needs a frenectomy, there is nothing to worry about. The procedure is very successful and causes minimal discomfort. For more information about child frenectomies (tongue-tie and lip-tie) please see tongue tie tab under pediatric tab.