What Is a Frenectomy?

I have a seven-year-old daughter who lost her two top central incisors five months ago. Only one permanent tooth has come down. Her dentist took an x-ray yesterday and he is suggesting that she have a frenectomy in order to cut the ligament and allow the second tooth to come down.

Is this a new procedure? Should we go ahead with this procedure?


The frenum (or frenulum) is a connecting fold of membrane that supports or maintains a body part such as the tongue or, in your daughter's case, the inside of her upper lip. A frenectomy is not a new procedure. Frenectomies are commonly performed to correct the situation you describe. In some cases, the frenum can hold back one or both central incisors (i.e. upper middle front teeth).

You will probably be able to see the lateral incisors developing in an x-ray. Feel free to ask your dentist to share the x-ray results with you so that you and your daughter are comfortable with this safe, common dental procedure.

Don't be overly concerned that your daughter has lost only 4 incisors to date. She is pretty close to the average age for losing both the central and lateral incisors.

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