You may only associate a procedure like frenectomy in the UK with children. This is not true - frenotomy is also performed on adults. The frenulum is trimmed when it is too short and therefore makes it difficult to speak properly, maintain oral hygiene and even chew food. Find out about the indications for frenectomy in the UK and what the procedure is like.
Why do we need a frenulum?
The frenulum, although it looks quite innocent, is very much needed! Let's start with the fact that there are as many as four in the human oral cavity. These are: the sublingual frenulum (which is discussed in today's text), the frenulum of the lips - upper and lower, or sublingual, and the cheek frenulum.
The sublingual frenulum connects the lower part of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. It is a thin fold of skin - everyone knows exactly where it is. Thanks to such a small part of the mouth, we are able to grind our food and talk properly.
What are the indications for the procedure?
An indication for frenectomy is when a specialist (e.g. speech therapist, dentist) notices difficulties with tongue mobility. A speech problem can be noted in the child. Furthermore, a too-short frenulum can already be noticed in newborn babies, who, as a result, have difficulty sucking food. This will then turn into difficulty swallowing food when you want to expand your child's diet.
IMPORTANT: Frenectomy in the office dental is performed after a prior referral for the procedure by another doctor, usually a paediatrician.
Back on topic, it's worth opting for a trim because a short frenulum can cause malocclusion. And as you know, a crooked bite leads to dental disease. We have written more on this topic here: "Crooked teeth in children - causes, prevention and treatment".
A recommendation for frenectomy in the UK can also be received as a result of a speech defect. This applies to both children and adults. Because of the shortened frenulum, the tongue does not stay in place, but goes between the teeth, which causes a seplenia.
Frenectomy in the UK - course of the procedure
Very important - the patient should be fasting before the procedure. The frenectomy procedure in the UK is under local anaesthetic, so the patient feels no pain. Previously, the procedure was carried out using a scalpel, but recently laser frenulum removal has become increasingly popular. Why?
Unlike the previous option, the bleeding is not profuse. Healing is also much faster. The procedure in both cases does not take long - several minutes. It does not require hospitalisation - patients can go home straight away. Importantly - you do not have to worry about any complications.
Note - in a small number of cases, a frenectomy is necessary. It can be performed under local or general anaesthesia and stitches are required afterwards.
Frenectomy in the UK - what happens after the procedure?
After the frenectomy, recovery does not take long. Above all, eating is possible after only about 2 hours. What you should pay attention to is doing exercises after the procedure. The specialist who gives you a referral for the procedure will instruct you accordingly.
The exercises in question prevent adhesions and makethat the tongue learns the right movements. By taking care of this, you can be sure that the treatment will be fully effective.
Contraindications to treatment
Although the procedure is one of those non-invasive ones, unfortunately, there are contraindications. First and foremost will be an allergy to anaesthetics. You may also not go for the procedure if you have a cold or upper respiratory tract infection. It should also be mentioned that a patient who has been diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder will be excluded from the procedure.
Frenectomy in the UK - what else do you need to know?
First of all, it is a good idea to have the procedure done as early as possible - if you have a suspicion that your child may have a too-short frenulum, consult your doctor. The younger your child is, the better he or she will tolerate the procedure and will not have to deal with the problems associated with a too-short frenulum in the future (e.g. septation).
Another aspect is the price frenectomy in the UK. In our clinic it costs from £120. IMPORTANT: We only perform the procedure on children over the age of 10.
And finally, as always if you have any further questions - please get in touch.