When does a patient need a Frenectomy?
Some people have a large frenum that limits tongue movement and can interfere with speech. The condition of limited tongue mobility is called ankyloglossia, or tongue tie. Tongue-tie is generally diagnosed in childhood and symptoms include:
Interference with feeding in infants.
Problems with speech at 12 to 18 months.
Some older children or teenagers may notice that the frenum under their tongue becomes stuck between their front teeth, or that they can’t stick their tongue out as far as their friends can.
Adults receiving dentures may need a frenectomy if the position of a frenum (usually one between the cheek and gum in the back of the mouth, or in the middle of the upper or lower lip) will interfere with the proper fit of the denture.
Before recommending a frenectomy in a child, a dentist will consider several factors, including the probability that the condition eventually will resolve itself without surgery. If a child has tongue-tie, he or she will receive speech therapy first to see if that can correct the problem. The therapy will involve special exercises to increase the tongue’s mobility.
The surgery itself takes very little time, and can be completed in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. A frenectomy is a simple procedure when performed correctly. Our patients rarely experience any complications from the procedure and it can often correct problems that have or could occur due to excess tissue.