What is Frenectomy?


Frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure which involves removal of the frenulum. Frenulum is a thin fold of tissue that is attached to an organ in the body. Frenectomy is usually done to correct any medical complications that arise due to excessive frenulum tissue in the body. The most common frenectomy is Oral Frenectomy, which is done in the dentist's clinic. The frenulum tissue is majorly found in 2 places in the mouth, under the tongue and under the center of the upper lip.


When is Frenectomy required?

When the frenulum tissue starts to interfere with the development of mouth.


So how does one know that they need a Frenectomy?

There are 2 ways to diagnose the situation:

  • When the tongue feels like being tied to one’s mouth, which happens when the frenulum tissue grows so much as to attach itself until the tip of the tongue,
  • When the frenulum almost attaches the muscles of the cheeks and lips to the mouth. Both these conditions lead to severe discomfort and need frenectomy immediately.

Apart from being found in the mouth, the frenulum tissue is also found in other body parts such as the brain, digestive tract and even external genitalia. However, it is very rare that any kind of surgical removal of this tissue is performed in these parts of the body.


What are the different types of Frenectomy?

There are 2 types of Frenectomy namely, Lingual Frenectomy and Labial Frenectomy.

  • Lingual frenectomy: Lingual frenectomy is performed on the tissue under the tongue. This is commonly performed in children.  The indications for lingual frenectomy are

    • When the tissue is attached too closely to the tip of the tongue, leading to interference with speech and tooth development.
    • When a person is tongue-tied or has a clipping tongue.
  • Labial frenectomy: Labial frenectomy  is performed on the lip. This is done when the tissue attaches itself to the centre of the upper lip, which creates a gap between the two front teeth. Generally braces and dentures are fixed prior to a labial frenectomy to produce leveled teeth.


How is Frenectomy done?

Frenectomy is a fairly safe and quick surgical method and takes not more than 20 minutes. A dental surgeon might use a scalpel or even laser to perform frenectomy. It has almost no complications and side-effects when compared to most other surgical procedures. Local anesthesia is generally administered during this surgery. However, the surgeon might want to administer a general anesthesia in case of younger kids.