Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Anatomy of an Oral Frenectomy

Anatomy of an Oral Frenectomy

A frenectomy is a surgical procedure that removes or loosens a band of muscle tissue that is connected to the lip, cheek or floor of the mouth. It is usually performed under local anesthetic with uneventful healing.

The frenum is part of the normal oral anatomy, but may sometimes restrict movement of the lip, cheek or tongue, or may impinge on the gingiva (gums). Occasionally, a large or wide frenum may inhibit normal function.

A labial frenum is a band of muscle from the lip that may attach to the gingiva, contributing to a space between the teeth. It most often affects the upper central incisors. The frenectomy may be recommended after orthodontic treatment to help stabilize the position of the teeth. Another indication for a frenectomy is a partial or full-denture patient whose function is hindered in chewing. Frenectomies are occasionally performed for aesthetic considerations if the frenum prevents a natural smile.

Broad labial frenums on lower teeth may harm healthy gum tissue and hasten periodontal disease. In these cases, a frenectomy may be enhanced by a tissue graft from the palate. This procedure is most commonly performed by a periodontist.

Sometimes a thick frenum on the floor of the mouth may restrict movement of the tongue, preventing speech or chewing functions. It may also contribute to tooth decay since the patient cannot adequately use the tongue to sweep food from the teeth. A lingual or glossal frenectomy may be indicated on a toddler, depending on the extent of the restriction. It is most often performed by an oral surgeon. Difficulty in speech may be an early indication of the problem.

The Labial Frenum is a little tag of tissue in the center of the upper and the lower lip that attaches the lip to the gums. It too is not especially useful, and sometimes causes orthodontic or periodontal problems if the attachment on the gums is too close to the teeth. If it becomes a problem, we usually simply cut it .

This is most often done on children if the attachment of the frenum is too "high" and causes a diastema (space) between the adult teeth. The procedure is called a "frenectomy". An interesting thing to note is that a glancing blow to the face will generally rip this structure, and a ripped labial frenum, in combination with other "recurrent" bodily injuries is considered to be a legal indication of child abuse.

* * * * * *

I've to say goodbye to my labial frenum, forever.
I didn't even know that was its name...
I'm meeting the dentist again tomorrow for another doctor's second opinion before I move on with the surgery, in 2 weeks time.

If I don't do this surgery, the 2 years of having these braces are gonna go to waste. The tension of my labial frenum will make a gap in between my lower two front teeth again after removing my grills. Doc said that usually people's frenectomy is on the upper teeth.

Mine's on the lower teeth.
So, it's a pretty rare case.

The price of vainity.


ezra said...

Woah. Uh, congrats? xD

☆..:¤Öñ€ ÔF ª K¡ñФ:..☆ said...


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