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A frenectomy is a safe and effective procedure commonly performed for children (and occasionally adults) who have frenum-related issues. Frenums are small folds of tissue that are responsible for restricting or securing the motion of various organs throughout the body. The most common oral issues that can develop are caused by abnormalities of the maxillary labial frenum and/or the lingual frenum. Children or adults who have issues with their lingual frenum have difficulty speaking, and are frequently (as it is commonly referred to) “tongue-tied.” Fortunately, correcting frenum related issues is relatively painless and can be performed on an outpatient basis simply by removing the frenum using a scalpel or laser.
Frenectomy for Children
The most common type of frenectomy performed on children is removal of the lingual frenum, which makes speaking difficult, resulting in speech patterns that are commonly referred to as being “tongue-tied.”
Additional symptoms include the following:
- Failure of baby teeth to erupt naturally
- Difficulty nursing or breastfeeding
- Frenum gets frequently stuck between teeth
- Receding gums, which can cause periodontal disease to develop later in life
- Diminished ability to stick tongue out
There is some debate concerning when to perform a frenectomy for children. One school of thought (commonly held by lactation consults and doctors) is that the frenum should be treated as soon as the issue is identified, even as early as performing the frenectomy on a newborn before they are discharged. Others argue that the frenectomy procedure should be postponed as long as possible, as there is a possibility that either the frenum issue will naturally correct itself, or that there will be few developmental issues that will have any major impact, so it is better to perform the frenectomy when the child is older.
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Frenectomy for Adults
Although frenectomies are typically performed on children, there are instances when adults have over-sized frenums that need to be corrected. A frenectomy may also be performed to create a better fit for dentures.
Adults who have over-sized frenums may experience the following symptoms:
- Poor or Diminished Dental Health: An over-sized frenum can create issues with an individual’s ability to efficiently move food through their mouth. As a result, there is a greater likelihood that particles of food remain on the surface of the teeth longer than they should, which can result in the development of gum disease and other oral health issues. A frenectomy is an effective method for preventing these food particles from collecting, and will reduce your risk of developing gum disease.
- Jaw Pain: Some of the most common symptoms of an over-sized frenum include patients experiencing a clicking sensation while opening and closing their mouth, as well as general soreness and/or chronic pain, which are also symptoms of TMJ disorder. As a result, over-sized frenums occasionally go undiagnosed. If you have been undergoing TMJ treatment and symptoms are not improving, talk to your periodontist about whether the issue might be frenum-related.
- Difficulty Talking: Patients with frenum issues commonly have difficultly enunciating clearly and/or speaking at high or low volumes, due to limited tongue movement.
- Difficulty Eating: Limited tongue movement can also make it more difficult for patients to swallow. A frenectomy can make an incredible difference in restoring patient’s ability to enjoy eating.
- Difficulty Kissing: Limited tongue movement and a tight frenum can negatively impact the feel and experience of kissing.
- Difficulty Playing Musical Instruments: Limited tongue movement caused by over-sized frenums may make playing certain instruments (trombone, trumpet, et. al) difficult.
Cost of Frenectomy
The cost of a frenectomy is contingent on a variety of factors, including the severity of your case, whether dental sedation is used, and your dental insurance plan. At Anthem Periodontics and Dental Implants, we are committed to helping you maximize your insurance reimbursement so you can receive optimal care, which is why we will file your claim and handle your paperwork. Please be aware, though, that any remaining balance following coverage is your responsibility to cover. Though not required, we do offer a discount for patients who pay their bill in full (cash, check, or credit) prior to treatment.
Before scheduling your appointment, we will provide an estimated total cost and answer any questions you have concerning payment plan options, such as Care Credit which offer interest-free payment plans for six-to-twelve-month periods and/or a payment arrangement made in advance with our office.
For your convenience, we accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.
Schedule Your Appointment
At Anthem Periodontics and Dental Implants, your oral health is our number one goal. We are committed to providing you with the comprehensive periodontal support you need to continue enjoying a bright, healthy smile. To learn more or schedule an appointment for a frenectomy, contact our office at (702) 270-4600. We look forward to providing you with quality care tailored to your unique needs!