So Wait… You’re Telling Me Frenectomies and Frenotomies are Different?

By December 6, 2023February 6th, 2024No Comments

Being a good parent involves learning more about the healthcare field than you probably ever wanted to know. Even just within the realm of dentistry, there are a ton of things to learn that you might not know, or that might not be apparent at first blush.

For example: how is anyone supposed to know the difference between a frenectomy and a frenotomy? They’re similar procedures, done to the same part of the body, and if you’re just skimming this article, you might not have even noticed that they’re actually two different words.

Don’t worry—the answer is simpler than you might think. Here’s how to tell these two procedures apart, and how to know which one is right for your child.

So, What’s The Difference?

Part of the confusion here comes from the fact that these procedures are in fact quite similar. Both treat either lip or tongue ties by removing a portion of a frenulum, the small piece of tissue connecting the various soft tissues in the mouth. You might be able to feel one of these small tendons under your tongue, if you’re unfamiliar with what they are.

The difference between these two treatments is slight, but simple: Frenotomies, on the one hand, involve trimming the frenulum slightly until the child’s tongue can move easily. On the other, frenectomies entail removing the frenulum entirely.

Which One Will My Child Need?

If your child has a lip or tongue tie, the likely solution will be one of these treatments. It’s only a matter of selecting which one is best.

Typically dentists would recommend trying the least invasive option that will produce success. In other words, it’s a good idea to remove as little tissue as they possibly can. If your child’s tongue tie is mild, they may be able to get away with just a frenotomy, making it the better option. However, in some circumstances, a full frenectomy will be necessary in order to afford your child full use of their tongue.

About Our Practice

At Children’s Pediatric Dentistry, we know how hard it can be to find a dentist you can trust to treat your child. That’s why we endeavor to not only be someone you can depend on, but to offer comprehensive services that your loved one can enjoy through their whole childhood. From your child’s first dental visit until they lose their last baby tooth and well beyond, we want to be there for you and your family.

If you have any questions about lip or tongue ties, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (480) 282-6746.


Dr. Veronica

Author Dr. Veronica

More posts by Dr. Veronica