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Are upper labial frenectomies in children aged 11 and under appropriate? Is it time to change practice and agree guidelines?

A selection of abstracts of clinically relevant papers from other journals. The abstracts on this page have been chosen and edited by John R. Radford.

Abstract

The authors urge the development of a national consensus for a clear guideline as to the indications for an upper labial frenectomy.

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Al-Najjim A, Sen P. Fac ulty Dent J 2014; 5: 14–17

The blanche test ('blanching of the papilla when the upper lip is pulled', with possible pain), a persistent diastema and associated prominent frenum after canine tooth eruption, when oral home care is compromised by the frenum, sub-optimal dental aesthetics and even hurtful teasing have been trotted out by generations of dental students as indications for frenectomy. In this audit of 41 patients who received upper labial frenectomies at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital over a five year period: 1) 73% of patients were aged between 12–16 years, 2) 81% were female, 3) 59% received frenectomies for orthodontic reasons, and 4) one quarter for aesthetic reasons. No outcomes were given. There would appear to be little evidence for, but then there is no evidence against a frenectomy.

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Are upper labial frenectomies in children aged 11 and under appropriate? Is it time to change practice and agree guidelines?. Br Dent J 216, 355 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2014.224

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