Correcting Tied Tongues and Gaps in Teeth

Some dentists focus their practice of providing basic preventive and restorative dental care, potentially adding a few cosmetic services to their list. Dr. Hofkes in Cerritos, CA is a surgery specialist, but still provides a comprehensive list of dental services ranging from corrective to cosmetic. Common oral surgeries include removal of wisdom teeth, biopsies to remove suspicious spots, tumors, or cysts, and dental implant placement. Less common are frenectomies which address tongues that are tied, or teeth that are significantly spread apart due to excess tissue.

Maxillary and Frenectomies

While most of the oral surgeries we listed probably sound familiar, you may not know as much about maxillary and lingual frenectomies unless you’ve had one. Frenums are attachments of gingival tissue bands with muscle. You can take stock of the two you have in your mouth as you read this. Underneath your tongue and between your inner lip and upper front teeth you have these flaps of skin. In some people, frenums are too big, thick, or poorly placed. This means an obstruction of normal function which causes dental issues such as a large gap between the front upper teeth (clinically known as a diastema) or a tied tongue. Surgical treatment easily resolves these issues in a fairly simple outpatient procedure. The tongue surgery is called a lingual frenectomy and the procedure to help close the gap in upper teeth is called a maxillary labial frenectomy.

Sedation for Oral Surgery

Many dental procedures might include local anesthesia or laughing gas (technically referred to as nitrous oxide). These methods are particularly useful if you are a particularly anxious patient. With any type of surgery, naturally there needs to be some form of sedation and/or anesthesia. A skilled surgeon will always find the least complicated means of sedation to meet the desires and anxiety levels of the patient. Nitrous may work for you, or you may require oral sedation, or even complete IV sedation. The more nervous you are, the deeper your sedation needs. However, your health and safety will always remain the number one priority.

About Shawn Hofkes, DDS

As a trained professional in oral and maxillofacial surgery, Shawn Hofkes, DDS is certified to provide comfortable, safe dental surgery from our state-of-the-art dentist office in Cerritos, CA. Schedule an appointment for dry socket or tooth extraction treatment by calling: 562-584-4082 today!