A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure that is performed to remove a frenulum which is a small band of tissue under the tongue and also between the lips and gums. When a frenulum is too short, it can cause a patient to be tongue tied or lip tied and cause serious challenges for the patient when eating and speaking. Babies who have a short frenulum may have trouble nursing or bottle feeding. As children get older, they can have difficulty speaking properly.
Labial frenectomy: A labial frenectomy is the removal of the frenulum that connects the lip to the gum tissue. We have one on both the upper and lower jaw but if it is too short, you may have trouble eating and speaking. A short labial frenulum can also cause large gaps in the teeth and even gum recession, both of which can lead to more severe dental problems.
Lingual frenectomy: A lingual frenectomy is the removal of the frenulum that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Patients that have a short lingual frenulum are often tongue-tied and can have trouble speaking and eating. This is especially hard on babies when they are trying to nurse or bottle feed. Tongue-tied babies will not gain weight as they should. Young children that are tongue tied tend to have trouble with their speech, swallowing, and even malocclusion.
If you or your child needs a frenectomy, we can refer you to either an oral surgeon or to an otolaryngologist, both of which perform frenectomy procedures.
What is the procedure for a frenectomy?
A frenectomy can be performed using either a scalpel, a soft tissue laser, or an electrocautery tool and is usually done at an oral surgeon’s office. If an otolaryngologist is going to perform your procedure, you may be seen in a hospital. Regardless of the tool your doctor chooses to use, a local anesthetic will be administered to the area being treated before they begin.
Very young patients may be given general anesthesia to make sure that they are completely still and calm during. In this case, they will have no memory of the procedure. Using their tool of choice, the doctor will cut the frenulum and remove it to free the tongue or lips. If a scalpel is used, the patient will need sutures to close the incision site. If a soft tissue laser or electrocautery is used, those tools have the ability to seal the skin without the use of sutures and allows the patient a shorter recovery time.
How much does a frenectomy cost?
The cost of a frenectomy may start at $795 but the doctor that provides treatment and the tool they use will be the biggest factors that come into play when determining the total cost of treatment. The amount of tissue being removed and where it is located in the mouth will also affect the overall cost of treatment.