Oral frenula refer to small folds of tissue in the oral cavity including the one under the tongue (frenulum linguae) and the upper and lower lip ones. Their function is to restrict excessive movement. They are a completely normal phenomenon that every human being has. In some cases, they can be more pronounced, which can have certain consequences. You have most likely met a person that has a noticeable gap in between the upper incisors or has minor issues with their speech. One of the reasons for this could be pronounced frenula. And while these can sometimes be cute (especially in children), they need to be taken seriously. Although a pronounced frenulum does not necessarily lead to serious consequences, it can still have an unwanted effect from an aesthetic and functional aspect.
Sometimes, their connection can be very close to the ridge which can cause certain difficulties, aesthetic and functional. Most often, a labial frenulum positioned in between central incisors causes diastema or a gap between the teeth. Beside the aesthetical consequences, this phenomenon can also cause gum recession and at the final stage it can lead to periodontitis.
How is a frenectomy done?
Frenectomy refers to the surgical intervention of removing the frenulum. There are two methods for frenectomy: surgical and laser frenectomy. The surgical method is done with a scalpel and requires stiches. That’s why it is much more invasive than the laser method, but nevertheless, it is still common. The stiches are removed after a week. During that week, the patient can feel discomfort due to the tension of the stitches. Due to discomfort, patients often avoid teeth brushing, which can result in additional plaque accumulation, slowing down the healing process. These are the flaws of a standard surgical frenectomy method. However, with the increasing usage of dental lasers, these problems and flaws are eliminated. Laser frenectomy is a safe method for removing frenulum and we promote this method when choosing a method for a frenectomy. Healing of the wound is eased by the fact that there are no stiches. The intervention itself is done with local anesthesia, so it’s completely painless for patients. Laser provides precise cutting with an instantaneous hemostasis (coagulation) which is why bleeding is minimal. Also, it decreases the possibility of fibrous tissue formation after healing. Considering that the laser stimulates the healing process, in the phase following the procedure, the tissue can be stimulated by laser until it heals completely.