Frenectomy in New York City, NY
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What is a Frenectomy?
The frenulum is a small piece of tissue that connects the tongue to the mouth on both the top and bottom of the mouth. In some, the frenulum could be too tight or too short; this could increase an individual's chance of health problems, such as difficulty speaking or eating. This is often found in small children or newborn babies and is sometimes known as being tongue-tied or lip-tied. At East Village Dental Center, our dental team performs lingual and maxillary frenectomies in order to reduce the pain or other symptoms of this issue. For more information on how a frenectomy might help promote your or your child's oral and overall health, contact our New York, NY office.
Who Needs a Frenectomy?
You may have a tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) if your frenulum is too short and/or too close to the floor of your mouth. This can lead to difficulty in a variety of ways. Some indications that you or your child or infant is suffering from a tongue-tie include:
- Limited movement of the tongue (sticking out the tongue, moving the tongue side to side or up and down is challenging)
- Speaking is difficult
- Eating certain foods, like licking an ice cream cone, is difficult
- Trouble swallowing your food
- Difficulty nursing in infants
It's possible you may also have a lip-tie if the frenulum connecting your upper or lower lip to the gums is too tight or short. This could cause issues with the spacing of your teeth and may lead to gaps forming in the future and may lead to issues in your bite or require orthodontics in the future.
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How is a Frenectomy Performed?
At our New York City office, we offer two types of frenectomies. Your treatment may vary based on the type of frenectomy you receive.
- Lingual frenectomy: A lingual frenectomy is performed when the lingual frenulum connecting the tongue to the bottom of the mouth is too short. During this treatment, we will clip the frenulum in order to extend the range of motion in your tongue.
- Maxillary frenectomy: The labial frenulum, which connects the top lip to the gum above the front teeth, could be short. If this is the case, we may need to clip the labial frenulum to increase the mobility of your upper lip.
While it might seem a bit daunting, this treatment only lasts about 15 minutes and is pretty simple. We will administer a local anesthetic to help you remain comfortable during your treatment. Once ready, we will snip either frenulum. In cases where the lip-tie or tongue-tie is severe, we may need to stitch the incision.
What Can be Expected After a Frenectomy?
After your frenectomy, we will go over how best to take care of your surgical site to promote optimal healing. We will also send a list of these instructions with you. It's vital that you keep your surgical area clean. We will likely give you a list of foods you should avoid for the next day or two — certain foods may increase your risk of infection if they get trapped within the surgical site. You should continue to maintain your at-home oral health by brushing and flossing. You should notice your frenulum has healed after about two weeks or so.
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Will Insurance Cover a Frenectomy?
Issues with the frenulum could cause a variety of issues in babies, children, and adults, so it's likely that at least some of your frenectomy may be covered by your insurance company. To understand your insurance coverage, someone from our team will contact your insurance company to get more information on your policy. We will look at ways to optimize your benefits for a lower out-of-pocket cost. If you need help paying for your treatment, East Village Dental Center accepts a wide range of payment options, including low-interest medical financing.
Improve the Function of Your Mouth
Many babies, children, and adults experience issues with the function of their lips or tongue due to a tight or shortened frenulum. This could lead to issues with eating, speaking, and performing other tasks. It is possible to increase the range of motion in your mouth, however, with a frenectomy. At East Village Dental Center, we offer both lingual and maxillary frenectomies to reduce these difficulties and ease any associated pain. For more information on how we can help your infant or family member, contact our New York, NY office to schedule a consultation.