What is a Frenectomy

frenectonomyA Frenectomy is a surgical procedure that removes or eliminates a band of elastic tissue that connects the gum tissue directed adjacent to the gum line to the lip, cheek or floor of the mouth. It is usually performed under local anesthetic with uneventful healing.

The frenum is part of the normal oral anatomy, but may sometimes restrict movement of the lip, cheek or tongue, or may impinge on the gingiva (gums). Occasionally, a large or wide frenum may inhibit normal function.

A labial frenum is a band of muscle from the lip that may attach to the gingiva, contributing to a space between the teeth. It most often affects the upper central incisors. The Frenectomy may be recommended after orthodontic treatment to help stabilize the position of the teeth. Another indication for a Frenectomy is a partial or full denture patient whose function is hindered in chewing. Frenectomies are occasionally performed for aesthetic considerations if the frenum prevents a natural smile.

Broad labial frenums on lower teeth may harm healthy gum tissue and hasten periodontal disease. In these cases, a Frenectomy may be enhanced by a tissue graft from the palate. This procedure is most commonly performed by a periodontist.

Written by Dr. Jeffery L. Wissot