Frenectomy and Fiberotomy
There are a number of dental procedures out there that very few people understand properly. In some cases, people don’t even know that they exist. You have probably heard the phrase, “are you tongue tied?” used to ask or suggest that someone doesn’t have the words to describe something, but did you know being tongue tied is an affliction that many people suffer from? It’s true. Frenectomies are used to treat patients whose mouth are bound by excess skin in particular areas of the mouth. Fiberotomies are procedures that we use to ensure certain orthodontic procedures do not have to be repeated.
FrenectomyThere are a number of frenum throughout the human body, a few of which are found within the mouth. If you probe the space between your upper or lower lips and the teeth in the front of the mouth, you may find a frenum. It’s just a piece of skin that helps connect the lip to the gums. Not everyone has pronounced frenum’s, sometimes they are almost non-existent. Many of our Kenmore patients have a fairly pronounced frenum under their tongue that ties the middle of their tongue to the base of their mouth.
In many cases the frenum is no issue but sometimes they can hinder movement. When frenum make it difficult to eat or speak properly, it’s usually because they bind the tongue or the lips too tightly. In these cases, a simple procedure known as a frenectomy where we simply cut the frenum to allow for freedom of movement.
Frenum issues are usually caught by medical or dental professionals early on in an infant’s life and are frequently suspected of causing issues with latching during breastfeeding. The frenum that attach the gums to the lips can pull the gums away from the surface of the tooth and create pockets for food and particulate matter to accumulate. Because teeth have no enamel protecting them from bacterial infection below the gum line, it is important to have a frenectomy to solve this issue.
FiberotomyOrthodontic procedures are done to move teeth to better locations to achieve a better aesthetic and bite. In order to accomplish this goal, it is necessary to move teeth forward, backward, and side to side in the jaw. Sometimes, when teeth are positioned in a crooked way it is necessary to twist them into a position that looks more natural.
One of the difficulties with twisting a tooth using orthodontics is there is a network of fibers that connect the base of the tooth to the jawbone. These fibers act like springs and have a tendency to undo all the orthodontic work that was done. In these kinds of cases we can perform a procedure known as a fiberotomy to allow orthodontists to manipulate the position of teeth without having to combat the network of fibers surrounding them.
Fiberotomies are accomplished by simply making small cuts to these groups of fibers that hinder lasting orthodontic changes.
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