What is a Frenectomy?
A frenectomy is a procedure that releases the frenum from its attachment, allowing for proper tooth alignment and full range of motion for the tongue.
This procedure can be both preventive and corrective. The treatment can correct an infant’s inability to breastfeed, reduce a mother’s breast pain and also prevent later issues such as palatal development, tooth spacing, and dental caries. The procedure can also prevent issues with speech, swallowing, and gum disease. If detected before a child’s permanent teeth erupt, a frenectomy can prevent frontal gaps that might require orthodontics if left untreated.
What is laser surgery and how does it work?
Traditional surgery with a scalpel or scissors can bruise or crush tissue. When we use the LightScalpel CO2 laser, only an intense beam of laser light interacts with the tissue. There is no mechanical trauma to the tissue.
The CO2 laser has the unique ability to vaporize or ‘erase’ tissue. The CO2 laser can be used to make incisions, as well as to remove unhealthy tissue. The CO2 laser is so precise that we can selectively remove only a few cells at a time, if needed.
What are the advantages of laser procedures?
Minimized Bleeding: As it vaporizes the tissue, the LightScalpel laser seals small blood vessels. This great reduction in bleeding makes surgical procedures quick and easy. In most cases, no sutures are required.
Less Swelling and Discomfort: The CO2 laser beam seals lymphatics, resulting in less post-operative swelling and discomfort associated with traditional scalpel surgery.
Reduced risk of Infection: Sanitizing effect of the laser reduces the risk of infection and means faster healing.
Shortened Surgery Time: The hemostatic effect of the laser beam results in the improved visibility of the surgical field. The dentist and the team do not have to spend much time trying to control bleeding. As a result, the duration of the procedure is reduced.
Faster Recovery: Reduced trauma, minimized bleeding, pain and swelling, and shorter periods of anesthesia means you can go back to work or school the same day, in most cases.
What to Expect at Consultation
Signs and Symptoms
The Procedure Process
During the Procedure
Right After the Procedure
- Within the first 72 hours avoid any spicy and acidic foods; stick to cold foods such as ice cream to alleviate discomfort.
- Drink plenty of cool water to counteract drying of the tissue from the laser.
- The ability to eat normally will return in about 2-3 days.
- Discomfort levels should be minimal but can be relieved with Advil or Tylenol
- Talk to your dentist about oral stretching exercises to prevent the return of symptoms or a premature reattachment of the frenum.