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Frenectomy -  is the removal of a frenulum (small fold of tissue that prevents an organ in the body from moving too far). It can refer to frenula in several places on theFrenectomy Marielaina Perrone DDS human body. In dentistry, this procedure is routinely done for orthodontic purposes but can also be done for other functional reasons.

Types Of Frenectomy As Used In Dentistry

-Lingual Frenectomy – This refers to the frenum attachment between the tongue and the floor of the mouth. When this tissue is too tight, restricting movement of the tongue, it is referred to as ankyloglossia, “tongue-tied”. It is easily identified by having the patient lift their tongue up and if it is too tight you will see a heart shape form from the pulling of the tongue. Ankyloglossia comes in varying degrees from mild to one where the tongue is completely attached to the floor of the mouth. As you can imagine this restricts movement of the tongue in all directions. Ankyloglossia can have far reaching effects to include speech, oral hygiene, swallowing, and even eating.

-Labial Frenectomy – This refers to the attachments on the inside of the upper and lower lips. Most commonly, the upper frenum attachment  causes a large gap (also called a diastema) to appear between the upper two central incisor teeth as well as gum recession by pulling the gum tissue away from the bone. The frenectomy procedure is generally done on two populations of patients:

Orthodontic Patients – This procedure assists in closing the front gap between the 2 front central incisor teeth. The frenum attachment will prevent the teeth from closing on their own through normal orthodontic procedures.

Denture Patients – This attachment can and often will become uncomfortable as a patients lips move through eating and talking. This will become irritated as it rubs against the dentures and often will not allow the denture to be as stable as it should be. The frenectomy in this case will remove the discomfort and allow the dentures to fit better than before.

The labial frenectomy procedure should not be done until the permanent central incisors have erupted at least 3/4 of the way into the mouth. The timing can be delicate because scar tissue can develop in this area following the frenectomy making it much harder to close the gap between these teeth through orthodontics.

How Is A Frenectomy Performed?

A frenectomy is a fairly, simple straightforward procedure, usually taking less than fifteen minutes from start to finish. The surgeon can choose to use a scalpel or a laser to excise the frenum. The laser has distinct advantages over the scalpel. The use of the laser tends to cause minimal bleeding, does not require the use of sutures, and is usually noted with little to no post operative discomfort. A frenectomy is usually done using only local anesthesia. Very small children will probably have to use general anesthesia to tolerate the frenectomy surgery.

Conclusion

A frenectomy is only necessary when the frenum attachment is causing pain, discomfort, difficult speech, eating difficulty, or a cosmetic issue. Of course, in cases of speech and eating, it is definitely recommended as it will affect a child’s development over time. Without the procedure, they will have trouble saying certain words and many children also will have trouble breast/bottle feeding. This can be a very serious matter in children with a severe form of attachment. It is important to have your child seen regularly by a dentist so that they can monitor their development and ensure these issues can be taken care of at their proper stage.

Your big day is fast approaching. You have done all the hard work of planning for the wedding. You have chosen the invitiations, the flowers, the caterer, and even your first song to dance to together. You have left nothing to chance to make this your perfect day to start your new lives together.

You are wearing a beautiful, flowing white gown, your hair is perfect and you are carrying a rose bouquet fit for a queen as you stare into your partner’s eyes. It’s exactly how you always imagined your wedding day to be.

Then the photographer says “everyone smile”. You begin to panic. Afraid that the gap between your front two teeth or your discolored, uneven smile will forever mar the photos. This should be the happiest most worry free day of your life. Instead you are now being self conscious of your smile and appearance.

Your wedding day will be celebrated on your anniversary every year and commemorated in beautiful photos that will last the test of time. It is a special occasion you, your family, and your friends will always remember. But how will you and your family look in those photos? Will it be the way you imagined? You have an opportunity to visit your cosmetic dentist and get makeovers that will make your smiles shine like a movie star, and not only in your album. Your makeover will improve your esthetic appearance, your self confidence, and your oral health far into the future.

In a recent online poll, almost 80% of those polled planned on visiting their cosmetic dentist before their big wedding day. For many, this will merely include a thorough cleaning to remove stains and plaque/tarter and freshen both their smile and breath. However, a growing number of brides, grooms, and even parents (and grandparents) are seeking cosmetic dentistry procedures or more specifically, a cosmetic dentistry smile makeover, to transform their smile for their special day as well as their own futures.

To create your ideal smile of your dreams, you should schedule a visit to your cosmetic dentist to discuss your concerns regarding your teeth, goals, expectations and timeline for the big event. A good place to start would be to peruse thru magazines and pick out images of smiles that you consider beautiful and attractive. This will help both you and your cosmetic dentist find out what you find attractive. Each person’s definition of beauty can vary greatly from patient to patient. During your initial consultaion, you will become educated on the various procedures available to you. A lot of what can be done for you will be based on amount of time until big day and cost.

At a minimum, you will probably need a professional cleaning to make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy. You will need to have any cavities treated before doing any cosmetic dentistry work. Sometimes the treatment of these cavities can be cosmetic in nature with the use of tooth colored fillings. If you have not already done so, now is a great time to establish healthy oral hygiene habits including proper daily brushing and flossing.

For some subtle improvements we may consider teeth whitening and dental bonding (staples of cosmetic dentistry). Both of these options can take place in just a few office visits and produce very attractive, cosmetic results. Porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns are another option that can provide you with longer lasting results that can last from 10 to 20 years with proper oral health care. Porcelain Veneers and Porcelain Crowns typically require a longer lead time to complete properly. It is important to plan this treatment out as far in advance as possible to ensure you have more than enough time prior to your special day.

Another procedure in cosmetic dentistry that can play a dramatic role in improving your smile makeover is something called peridontal plastic surgery. This allows you to improve and change your gum tissues and their relationship to your teeth.

Periodontal plastic surgery is performed to improve the look of the gum line prior to restorative and cosmetic dentistry procedures. If your teeth look short, or if you feel you have a gummy smile, you can dramatically improve your smile in as little as an hour through a procedure called esthetic crown lengthening (also known as gum lift, or gingivoplasty). During this procedure, excess gum and sometimes, bone tissue, is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. This can be done to one tooth, or to several teeth to even your gum line, and expose a wider and more beautiful smile.

The following cosmetic dentistry procedures can be used to dramatically alter your smile for your big day:

-One Visit Teeth Whitening or at home teeth whitening. Usually completed in one visit our in office teeth whitening

procedure is fast, effective, and long lasting. Imagine how wonderful it would be to walk into your cosmetic dentist’s office with stained,

discolored teeth and walk out with a bright, sparkling wedding picture ready smile. The cosmetic dentist will also give you custom made trays to take home so you are able to maintain that pearly white smile for a lifetime. At home teeth whitening is also available but will take longer than one hour. It generally takes about 2-4 weeks depending on discoloration.

-Dental Bonding. If your teeth are badly stained or damaged, your cosmetic dentist may recommend dental bonding to restore them to their natural beauty. Bonding involves the use of a tooth colored material that allows the dentist to shape, contour, and polish to look like your natural teeth. It is very effective if you have just a few teeth that need work. Dental bonding is a durable, long lasting cosmetic dentistry procedure to achieve that amazing look on your wedding day. This procedure can often be performed in one visit.

cosmetic dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry at work in the form of Porcelain Veneers and Teeth whitening

-Porcelain Veneers or Porcelain Crowns. This would be the ultimate cosmetic dentistry restoration available. This is generally reserved for patients with more extensive cosmetic issues. More extensive staining or damage that would be unable to get the result we want with other methods or techniques. A porcelain veneer is a permanent, custom made, ultra-thin shell that is permanently adhered to your natural tooth structure. Each one is custom made to look as good, if not better, than your natural teeth. Porcelain crowns are needed if you need full coverage over your teeth for repair of tooth structure. A porcelain crown gives the advantage over traditional crowns in terms of esthetics as well as not having a dark metal line present along the gum line.

-Orthodontics. Braces are not just for children and teenagers anymore. The heavy silver braces you may remember are not the only option anymore. Modern cosmetic dentistry has moved past this to newer materials that are more esthetically pleasing. In their place dentists are able to use clear or even “invisible” braces. Braces can help straighten crooked teeth, reduce crowding or close spaces where teeth do not meet properly. While technology has changed the appearance of braces, they still do not work overnight. Start treatment as early as possible if you want a perfectly straight smile by your wedding day.

A Cosmetic Dentistry Smile Makeover Will Make You Shine On Your Special Wedding Day!

Your wedding will be remembered forever by both you and your husband but also by your family and friends. A wedding smile makeover will give you a fantastic new smile that will still look great long after the honeymoon is over. All of this thanks to cosmetic dentistry.

Periodontal Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic Dentistry – Before Gingivoplasty

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry – After Gingivoplasty