What You Need to Know About Oral Frenectomies
A frenectomy, also known as a frenotomy, can refer to any procedure where binding tissue on the body is cut or modified.
Frenectomy procedures are quite common, especially during the infant stage of life. Genital frenectomies, such as circumcision, for example, happen frequently in the United States.
Most of the time, however, the term refers to an oral procedure meant to resolve a tongue tie or a lip tie.
In your mouth, the “frenum” refers to a piece of soft tissue connected to the lips and gums. If the frenum is too short or too tight, it can interfere with breastfeeding, swallowing, or speech development.
In most cases, the oral frenectomy procedure is fairly straightforward. Here are the general steps:
After a consultation with your doctor or pediatrician, the person getting the frenectomy procedure will need to be secured while lying faceup. You may need to hold your child during the procedure.
Your doctor may apply a topical anesthetic to the area to numb any pain.
Your doctor will quickly snip the frenum using a scalpel, surgical scissors, or a cauterizing instrument.
If the lip tie is severe or more complicated, it may require a few stitches to close the incision.
The entire procedure will likely take 15 minutes or less from start to finish.
A laser frenectomy is basically the same procedure as a traditional oral frenectomy. The only difference is that the procedure uses a laser, which minimizes the risk of infection and blood loss.