Removal of odontomes, labial frenum, cysts and biopsies

Removal of an odontome

An odontome is a growth of haphazardly arranged tooth tissue.

It can cause swelling, delayed eruption of nearby teeth, displacement of permanent teeth and an abnormal occlusion (bite). Depending on the age of the patient, once diagnosed we usually remove an odontome as soon as possible.

Removal of labial frenum (frenectomy)

An abnormally large labial frenum may cause a large gap between the two upper front teeth, and may pull on the gum margins between the upper two front teeth.

The dense, fibrous tissue between the incisors may need to be surgically removed. Its removal often improves your long-term orthodontic outcomes, and may improve the periodontal health of the adjacent teeth.

Cysts of the upper or lower jaw

Cysts are fluid filled sacks within the jaw bone.  They grow by expansion and can gradually increase in size to the extent that the adversely affect the support of the adjacent teeth and strength of the jaw.  It is essential to treat cysts before they become too large.

We remove cysts in order that bone can grow into the empty space. There are two surgical treatments performed for this purpose:

  • Enucleation – the cyst is opened and the lining of the cyst is removed.
  • Marsupialisation – the cyst is opened, part of the lining is removed and a pouch is made so the remainder of the lining is continuous with the tissue inside the mouth.  Marsupialisation is sometimes carried out in an effort to reduce the size of the cyst prior to definitive removal.

We always try to save teeth involved with the cyst, but one or more teeth may need to be extracted depending on the size and location of the cyst.


If abnormal tissue occurs in the mouth, we may need to remove a small piece for analysis. We use a variety of cutting instruments in order to complete biopsies. We then send the tissue to a pathologist who can confirm the diagnosis.  Once we receive the pathologist’s report, we’ll discuss treatment options with you.

What else do I need to know about surgery?

For more information about oral hygiene and recovery after surgery click here.