What Is A Frenectomy And Why Is It Necessary?

If you’re the parent of an infant or toddler with tongue or lip ties, your little one may need a frenectomy to treat their condition and ensure proper oral development. But you might have questions. What exactly is a frenectomy? Is it really necessary for your child? And how does the process work? Read on to get the answers you need from Little Smiles of Eastvale.

What Is A Frenectomy? Why Does My Child Need One?

A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure. It involves snipping the band of tissue that attaches your child’s tongue to the base of their mouth (lingual frenum), or the band of tissue that attaches their upper, lower, or both lips to their gums (labial frenum).

Your child will need a frenectomy if they have a tongue tie or lip tie. If your child has a tongue or lip tie, this means that the frenum of their tongue or lip is overdeveloped and is too thick. This can cause issues with oral range of motion. 

If left untreated, tongue and lip ties can cause problems with feeding, oral development problems, and speech impediments, which is why dentists always recommend treating tongue and lip ties with a frenectomy as soon as possible. The sooner your child gets treatment, the better their outcome will be.

Different Kinds of Frenectomies:  Lingual (Tongue) And Labial (Lip) Frenectomies

Tongue ties are more common than lip ties, so lingual (tongue) frenectomies are a more common surgery. In this treatment, a surgical tool is used to snip the frenum that attaches your child’s tongue to the base of their mouth. Then, as the area heals, normal range of motion is restored to their tongue.

A labial (lip) frenectomy is the same basic procedure, but it’s done on the band of tissue that connects your child’s lips to their gums. Depending on the case, a labial frenectomy may be required on the upper, lower, or both lips. 

Understanding The Laser Frenectomy Treatment Process

At Little Smiles of Eastvale, we use a soft tissue dental laser to perform frenectomies. This means that your child won’t feel any pain or discomfort, and they will also heal much more quickly from their treatment. The entire procedure only takes a few minutes, too. Here’s what to expect from the laser frenectomy treatment process:

  • Initial preparation – Before the treatment begins, Dr. Zala will clean the treatment area, and may apply a topical numbing agent for your child’s comfort. We also offer dental sedation for kids, though this is rarely needed for laser frenectomies.
  • Snipping the frenum – Next, Dr. Zala will use a powerful dental laser to quickly snip your child’s lingual or labial frenum. Typically, there is no need for stitches after a laser frenectomy, and discomfort and bleeding are minimal. The entire process usually takes less than 15 minutes.
  • At-home recovery – Once you and your child go home, you will need to follow Dr. Zala’s recovery instructions, and do some stretches and exercises with your child’s lips or tongue. These exercises ensure that the frenum heals properly after treatment, so make sure that your child’s recovery stays on track.

Worried About Tongue Or Lip Ties? Come To Little Smiles Of Eastvale!

If you think that your child may need a frenectomy for a tongue or lip tie in Eastvale, our team is here for you. Dr. Zala has years of experience with laser frenectomies, and can treat kids of all ages. He’s always accepting new patients in Eastvale, too. Contact us online or give us a call at (951) 456-4646 to schedule a consultation for your child today.

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