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Dr. Bryan Chai and Dr. J. Brandon Luter may recommend a frenectomy to help improve your oral health and function. This simple procedure helps release tongue- and lip-ties, improving your ability to speak and eat as well as reducing your risk of developing other dental problems.

What Are Tongue-Ties and Lip-Ties?

Tongue-ties and lip-ties are conditions present at birth that restrict the range of motion of the tongue or the lip, respectively, due to an unusually short, thick or tight band of tissue (frenulum). In the case of a tongue-tie, the frenulum connecting the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth is affected, while a lip-tie involves the frenulum that attaches the upper lip to the gums above the front teeth.

These conditions can lead to difficulties in breastfeeding for infants, as they may struggle to latch properly. For older children and adults, tongue-ties and lip-ties can cause challenges with speech, eating, oral hygiene and, in some cases, social interactions or self-esteem. Additionally, lip-ties can contribute to dental issues, such as gaps between teeth or gum recession, due to the tension the tight frenulum places on the gums.

The Frenectomy Procedure

A frenectomy is a surgical procedure aimed at correcting tongue-ties and lip-ties by releasing the frenulum. This procedure allows for improved mobility of the tongue or lip, facilitating better breastfeeding, speech and oral hygiene. The frenectomy can be performed at any age but is commonly done in infancy or early childhood to mitigate the potential complications associated with these conditions.

The frenectomy procedure is relatively quick and straightforward, and can be completely comfortably in a single visit to Cherry Creek Restorative Dentistry. Thanks to advances in dentistry, this procedure can be performed with a laser as well as with traditional tools and equipment. The use of a laser for a frenectomy minimizes bleeding, reduces the need for stitches and often results in less pain and faster healing compared to traditional surgical methods. Before the procedure, local anesthesia may be administered to minimize discomfort.

During the procedure, our oral surgeons will carefully cut through the restrictive frenulum to free the tongue or lip. The entire process typically takes only a few minutes, and patients can often return to normal activities almost immediately. For infants, this means breastfeeding can be attempted shortly after the procedure to assess improvements in latch and comfort.

Postoperative care is relatively simple, involving pain management with over-the-counter pain relievers and, in some cases, exercises to prevent the frenulum from reattaching and to encourage mobility. Follow-up visits are important to ensure proper healing and to evaluate the success of the procedure in improving the functionality of the tongue or lip.

Schedule An Appointment

To schedule a consultation with our experienced oral surgeons and learn more about frenectomies in Denver, Colorado, call us today at 720-792-8227!

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Dr. Chertok, Dr. Aguirre, Dr. Chai, Dr. Luter and our team are committed to helping you achieve a confident, healthy and beautiful smile. Your health, smile and well-being are our highest priorities, and we offer the full scope of prosthodontic and oral surgery procedures to meet your unique needs. We invite you to call Cherry Creek Restorative Dentistry today to schedule your personal consultation and learn how comprehensive specialty dental care in Denver, Colorado, can benefit you!

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