Sometimes children have too much connective tissue, or frenum, in their mouths to allow them to talk or eat properly. At Easy Dental Care in Gainesville, Virginia, Hisham Merdad, BDS, DSCD, and Zuwena Abraham, DDS, offer frenectomies to remove this excess tissue and allow your child’s teeth to grow and function without interference. To learn more about this relatively simple procedure, call or book an appointment online.
A frenectomy is a common dental procedure that removes extra connective tissue, or frenum, from your child’s mouth. In some cases, the frenum can prevent or limit natural movement. Typical frenectomies involve removing frenum around the tongue and upper lip. The three most common types of oral frenectomies are:
Frenectomies allow children to move their mouths freely so they learn to speak correctly. Adults sometimes require a labial frenectomy of the lower lip to ensure the frenum doesn’t interfere with restorative dental work, such as dentures or implants.
If you notice that your child lisps, has trouble closing their mouth completely, or you can see a large amount of gum tissue between their front teeth, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with Dr. Merdad so he can evaluate your child’s teeth and gums. Dr. Merdad generally recommends pediatric frenectomies when he recognizes that the extra tissue is preventing your child’s tongue or lips from functioning as they should, or when it’s causing gapped front teeth.
In some cases, the frenum under your child’s tongue may be too short, preventing their speech from developing as it should. This condition is also known as being “tongue-tied.” If left untreated, it can hinder jaw growth and lead to long-term orthodontic problems and even sleep apnea.
Frenectomy procedures are relatively simple and heal quickly. In a basic frenectomy, Dr. Merdad numbs the area with a local anesthetic and simply clips the frenum to release it and removes it from your child’s mouth. Your child’s comfort is a top priority at Easy Dental Care, so Dr. Merdad may recommend nitrous oxide — laughing gas — to help keep your child relaxed during the procedure. Depending on how much frenum Dr. Merdad has to remove, the procedure may or may not require sutures.
Additionally, the latest laser technology allows Dr. Merdad to remove excess frenum with a laser that gently severs the tissue. Laser frenectomies reduce bleeding, cause minimal tissue damage, improve healing, and reduce pain after the procedure.
To schedule a consultation for your child, call the office or book online.