Frena are small folds of tissue located in the mouth: under the tongue, inside the upper lip, inside the lower lip, and connecting the cheeks to the gums. The purpose of these tissues is to prevent the attached organ from moving too far from its point of origin.
A frenectomy is a simple procedure performed in the oral and maxillofacial surgeon’s office to loosen or sever the frenum’s connection and extend the range of motion in that part of the body.
A labial frenectomy is performed inside the middle of the upper lip. This is typically required for patients undergoing denture treatment in order to achieve a proper fit, or patients whose attached frena are causing recession of the gums or a gap between the central incisors.
To begin, your doctor administers local anesthesia. The lip is then turned inside out to identify the anatomical frenum, and an elliptical incision is made around it. Sharp dissection of the frenum is performed to remove both mucosa and underlying connective tissues. Wound margins are then undermined and closed with resorbable sutures.
Another method of performing said procedure is the Z-plasty technique, which involves the doctor making two releasing incisions in order to create a Z shape. Wound margins are then undermined, rotated and closed with resorbable sutures.
A lingual frenectomy is performed below the tongue. This is a procedure designed to treat ankyloglossia or tongue-tie.
In this procedure, the doctor uses a curved hemostat to mark and stabilize the lingual frenum’s surgical release, which is performed in order to divide the attachment of the fibrous connective tissue at the base of the tongue in a transverse fashion. Careful attention is given to Wharton’s Duct and superficial blood vessels. Wound edges are then undermined and subsequently closed.
A frenulotomy is a lesser procedure which involves creating a relief incision in a tight frenulum in order to loosen it while maintaining the attachment.
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