What Are The Different Types Of Frenectomies?

What Are The Different Types Of Frenectomies?

When it comes to pediatric dental care, understanding the treatments available for common issues is crucial for parents. At Pristine Pediatric Dentist, we often address questions about frenectomies—a minor surgical procedure that can make a big difference in your child’s oral health. Frenectomies are performed to correct restrictions caused by the frenum, a connective tissue found in several parts of the mouth and body. This post will explore the different types of frenectomies, why they might be necessary, and what you can expect during and after the procedure.

What is a Frenectomy?

A frenectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal or modification of the frenum, a band of tissue that connects different parts of the mouth, including the lips, cheeks, and tongue, to the dental ridge or the floor of the mouth. The purpose of this procedure is typically to resolve complications related to speech, eating, or dental alignment that arise from a frenum that is abnormally tight or restrictively positioned.

Types of Frenectomies

Lingual Frenectomy

  • Purpose: The lingual frenum connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. A lingual frenectomy is often performed when a child has a condition known as “tongue-tie,” where the frenum restricts the movement of the tongue, affecting speech and the ability to eat properly.
  • Procedure: The procedure involves a small incision to release or remove the restrictive tissue. It is often done using scissors, a laser, or electrocautery, depending on the extent of the tissue involvement and the specific needs of the patient.

Labial Frenectomy

  • Purpose: The labial frenum attaches the gums to the inside of the upper lip, and sometimes the lower lip. If this frenum is too tight or extends too far down along the gum line, it can cause a gap between the front teeth or pull the gums away from the teeth, leading to periodontal issues.
  • Procedure: Like the lingual frenectomy, the labial frenectomy involves the removal or alteration of the frenum to allow better movement and reduce tension. This procedure is particularly common before or during orthodontic treatments to ensure proper alignment and stability of the teeth.

Buccal Frenectomy

  • Purpose: Though less common, the buccal frenectomy addresses issues with the frenum that connects the inside of the cheek to the gum area near the molars. This type of frenum can interfere with the proper fitting of dental appliances or contribute to the development of oral ulcers due to frequent biting.
  • Procedure: The buccal frenectomy is similar to other types in that it involves cutting the frenum to relieve tension. This procedure is less frequent but crucial for patients who experience discomfort or functional issues due to a restrictive buccal frenum.

Why Are Frenectomies Important?

Frenectomies are not just about improving oral aesthetics; they play a significant role in functional aspects of oral health. By freeing the tongue or lips from restrictive tissues, children can experience improvements in feeding, speech development, and oral hygiene. Early intervention often prevents more severe complications, such as speech impediments and dental misalignment, from developing as the child grows.

What to Expect During and After a Frenectomy

At Pristine Pediatric Dentist, we ensure that every frenectomy procedure is as comfortable and stress-free as possible. The procedure is quick, often taking less than 15 minutes, and can be performed under local anesthesia or sedation, depending on the patient’s comfort level and age. Post-procedure care is minimal, with mild discomfort that can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. Healing is typically rapid, and most children return to their normal activities within a day or two.


Frenectomies, though they may seem daunting, are common and straightforward procedures that can significantly improve your child’s quality of life. At Pristine Pediatric Dentist, our team is committed to providing expert care in a compassionate environment, ensuring that your child’s dental health is nurtured from the start. If you suspect your child might benefit from a frenectomy, or if you have any questions about the procedure, don’t hesitate to contact us. Together, we can ensure that your child’s smile is both beautiful and functional!