A frenectomy is a dental surgical procedure performed to remove or modify a frenum, which is a small fold of tissue that connects two structures in the mouth. Frenums can be found in various locations within the oral cavity and can sometimes cause issues related to oral function, aesthetics, or oral health. The two most common types of frenums that may require a frenectomy are the lingual frenum (located under the tongue) and the labial frenum (located above the front teeth).

Lingual Frenectomy:
The lingual frenum is the tissue that connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. A restrictive or tight lingual frenum can result in a condition called ankyloglossia, commonly referred to as "tongue-tie." This condition may lead to difficulties with speech, eating, and oral hygiene. A lingual frenectomy involves surgically removing or releasing the restrictive tissue to improve tongue movement and function.

Labial Frenectomy:
The labial frenum is the tissue that attaches the inside of the upper lip to the gum tissue between the upper front teeth. In some cases, a labial frenum that is positioned too close to the teeth can cause a gap between the front teeth (diastema) or contribute to gum recession. A labial frenectomy involves removing or modifying the frenum to alleviate tension and prevent these issues.

Procedure Steps:
1. Local anesthesia is administered to numb the area and ensure the patient's comfort during the procedure.
2. Frenectomy: Using precise surgical techniques, the frenum is carefully removed or modified. The goal is to release tension and improve oral function without causing unnecessary trauma to surrounding tissues.
3. Suturing (if necessary): Depending on the size of the incision and the location of the frenum, sutures may be placed to help with healing.

Healing and Recovery: After the frenectomy, the area may require several days to heal. Patients are typically advised to follow post-operative care instructions to promote healing and minimize discomfort.

Benefits of Frenectomy:
Improved Function: A frenectomy can enhance tongue movement, speech, swallowing, and oral hygiene.
Aesthetics: In cases of a labial frenum causing a gap between the front teeth, a frenectomy can contribute to a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
Preventive Measure: Addressing a restrictive frenum early can prevent potential oral health and functional issues in the future.
Minimal Discomfort: Frenectomy is a relatively minor surgical procedure, and recovery is typically straightforward.