Frenectomy

At Truly Dentalwe appreciate the immense trust involved when patients place their health and welfare needs under our care.

No matter what oral healthcare concern our patients come to us with, our clinical team is dedicated to ensuring as comprehensive and diverse an offering of essential procedures are available in our Dublin city central practice as possible. 

A Frenectomy, also known as a frenotomy, is a minor surgical procedure which involves the removal of excess or disruptively positioned tissue in the oral cavity. A frenum is the name given to the soft tissue that connects the muscles of the cheeks and lips to the gums and flexible tissues of the mouth. There are three frenums located in the mouth – one under the tongue connecting to the floor of the mouth, and two connecting the upper and lower lips to the gums. 

An overly short, tight or pronounced frenum between your upper or lower lip and the gum can cause spacing between the teeth (often very noticeable in the upper front teeth), contribute to gum recession and even interfere with routine oral hygiene procedures. Whereas a short, thick or tight frenum connecting the tongue to the mouth can prohibit the normal range of movement of the tongue, which can have an impact on speech and normal oral functions such as swallowing. 

A Frenectomy is a simple, straightforward procedure which offers enormous benefit to the patient’s who require it, and which can usually be completed in as little as 5 to 10 minutes with one of Truly Dental’s highly experienced and specialised surgical dentists. 

Benefits of a Frenectomy

Benefits of a Frenectomy

  • Remove an obstructive band of tissue which is causing a gap between upper or lower front teeth, or preventing that gap from being closed by treatment with Braces
  • A minor-surgical solution to spaced teeth, greatly reducing the chances of relapse once a gap is closed
  • Prevent and reverse gum recession, particularly caused by a short or tight band of tissue under the lower lip, improving the overall health of your gums 
  • Improve speech and swallowing function and comfort in adults, by greatly restoring your tongue’s range of movement  

What to Expect When Having a Frenectomy

What to Expect When Having a Frenectomy

Initial consultation 

Your dentist will carry out a full examination to determine the health of your teeth, gums and mouth tissues, and to assess your need for treatment. Your dentist will be happy to address any questions or concerns you have at this stage, whether you have taken an appointment specifically to discuss an issue resulting from excess tissue, or if the benefits of treatment by Frenectomy was an incidental finding during your regular Dental Check-Up.

Based on this discussion with you regarding your ideal treatment outcomes and your smile goals, in addition to the full assessment of your mouth, your dentist will prepare a detailed treatment plan for you, including scheduling you to return to the clinic for a Frenectomy procedure if that is indicated and recommended for your situation.  

Frenectomy procedure

Your dentist will first administer a highly effective local anaesthetic to numb your mouth before beginning the procedure, ensuring that the entire treatment will be completely pain-free. 

In the majority of cases at Truly Dental, a high-tech electronic laser will be used to release the frenum or excise the excess tissue – this technique greatly improves the speed of the procedure over a traditional surgical scalpel, and the ability of the laser to cauterize the surgical wound as it goes also accelerates the healing process, as there is greatly reduced bleeding or swelling using this method, which also does not require the use of post-surgical stitches. 

Alternatively, your dentist will simply excise the frenum with a hand scalpel, and your suitability for either of these options will have been discussed with you during your initial consultation. The gums will be held together with dental stitches to aid in the healing process in the event that a conventional scalpel was used for your procedure. Using either method, in most cases the treatment will be over in 5-10 minutes. 

Once the surgical procedure itself is complete, a flexible, protective gauze will be applied, as it is normal after your local anaesthetic wears off to experience some bleeding and discomfort at the site. Your dentist will also give you full aftercare instructions and guidance at this stage, to make sure that your recovery and healing process goes as smoothly and uneventfully as possible. You will also have the chance to ask any questions you need, and your dentist will let you know when you should return to the clinic for a check-up and review of the surgical site.

Questions? Answers?

Is a frenectomy painful?

No, your dentist will use a highly effective local anaesthetic to numb your mouth before beginning, so the entire procedure is completely pain-free.

It is quite normal to experience some slight discomfort for 2 to 3 days after any minor-surgical procedure, but this can be effectively managed with over-the-counter pain medication and by following the aftercare guidelines provided by your dentist. 

It is important to allow the area to heal fully during this period, and so to promote healing (and minimise any discomfort or tenderness experienced) you will have to be very careful and gentle when brushing the surgical area, and while chewing. It is also important to refrain from taking part in any sport that requires the wearing of a mouthguard for at least one week.

When should an adult frenectomy be carried out?

There are a number of different types of Frenectomy which correct a range of different situations – including a quick and relatively painless procedure which is routinely carried out in infancy, to release a tight sub-lingual frenum which is interfering with a baby’s ability to swallow or breastfeed successfully. 

However in adults, a Frenectomy in generally recommended by your dentist to correct one of three not-uncommon conditions:

  • A tight frenum between the upper teeth can create a large gap (called a diastema); in this case braces alone will not be able to close the space and so a frenectomy is required to allow the teeth to close together, without simply relapsing after the braces are removed
  • A short tongue frenum can interfere with speech and eating and so a frenectomy may be recommended to greatly improve function 
  • A tight lower frenum can create a strong force on the gums, and may lead or contribute to receding gums
Are there any side effects from a frenectomy?

A frenectomy is a highly predictable, safe minor-surgical procedure, and in both medical and dental terms it is considered to be very low risk. There is no risk of damage to your teeth or gum health by undertaking this procedure, and your treating dentist will always be happy to address any concerns or questions you have regarding your treatment during your initial consultation at our clinic. The goal of this procedure is simply to remove excess tissue and ‘release’ your tongue or lip and increase mobility – you do not have to worry about your frenum being removed entirely, the tissue simply remains attached further or deeper into the mouth. 

Following your procedure, the wound will begin to heal right away, and rapidly begins to show improvement, and is almost unnoticeable after 3 to 4 weeks. While a minor scar is created by this treatment, it too will heal rapidly, becoming practically invisible with time. 

How much does a frenectomy cost?

At Truly Dental, a Frenectomy surgical procedure will cost between €150-300. The exact cost of the procedure will vary depending on the extent and severity of the condition, which your dentist will be able to determine during your initial consultation and assessment, and a full cost breakdown will be provided to you as part of your treatment plan at this initial visit. 

At Truly Dental we are delighted to offer multiple payment plans to suit all treatment needs, lifestyles and budgets. One of our available plans allows you to pay for your treatment monthly, with absolutely no down payment required and at 0% interest! 

Concerned about your smile and ready to take back control of your oral health and wellbeing? 

Call (0)1 525 2670 or book your initial consultation with one of our dedicated and experienced restorative or surgical dentists today

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