How Much Does Tongue Tie Surgery Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 9, 2018

Tongue tie surgery, which is often referred to as a frenuloplasty, is a common option for children and adults suffering from tongue tie, which is also called Ankyloglossia (tight frenulum).

Often seen at birth during a newborn screening check, the condition manifests itself as a thick or tight band of tissue (lingual frenulum) fastened to the base of the tongue’s tip to the mouth floor.  This usually results in difficulty in eating, speaking, swallowing.  When an infant is affected, this will make breastfeeding very difficult as well.

How much does tongue tie surgery cost?

In general, tongue tie surgery will cost anywhere from $350 to $700, depending on location, the type of anesthesia required and the rates of the orthodontic dentist or pediatrician.

In many cases, tongue tie is covered by dental and/or health insurance, including the before and after consultations that may be needed as long as it’s performed by an MD, DO, NP or PA-C.  In some circumstances, a dentist may be covered only if they know how to bill a health insurance policy.  Be sure to ask your insurance provider and the physician who will be performing the procedure to know what you may be responsible for ahead of time.

According to a professional at OralAnswers.com, a frenectomy will cost about $300 and that insurance may cover most of it.

On this Reddit thread, members had said they paid anywhere from $300 to $600.

Tongue tie surgery overview

The estimates mentioned above should include a consultation, the procedure and a follow-up examination.

During the procedure, the doctor will clip the lingual frenulum to help release the tongue and then will stitch the triangular-shaped wound closed.  In some cases, a doctor may use a laser instead of scissors. Younger children will often need a general anesthesia, whereas older children and adults will do fine with a local anesthetic.  The entire process takes seconds, and if done on a baby, he or she can start feeding immediately after.

In general, the procedure takes about an hour, specifically about a half an hour to complete, plus the time it takes to begin and finish the sterilization process.

After the procedure, you may have to complete tongue exercises for up to six weeks to help strengthen the tongue muscle.

What are the extra costs?

Tylenol is usually prescribed for children who suffer from pain or discomfort after the procedure is done.  Because a baby has very few nerve endings near the floor of the mouth, most babies experience little pain.

While uncommon, some may require more than one procedure to completely release the tongue.

Depending on the situation, speech therapy sessions may be necessary.

Tips to know:

Tongue tie is often not treated when it does not cause any negative effects.  In fact, some are not given treatment because they adapt to the nature of their tongue, or in some circumstances, the condition improves as they grow.  This is the reason that some parents choose not to have the surgery done until the child begins to speak to see if the effects are bad enough to need the surgery.

When requesting insurance coverage, some insurance providers may not cover the expenses if it does not interfere with the baby’s feeding.

Complications may include an infection at the site, excessive bleeding or a recurring tongue-tie from the scar tissue formation.

Tongue-tie can affect four to 11 percent of newborn babies and is most commonly seen in boys than girls.

Signs a baby may have tongue tie may include difficulty lifting their tongue, difficulty sticking their tongue out and/or the tongue looks heart-shaped or notched.

How can I save money?

Insurance can help lessen the overall cost of the tongue tie surgery; however, some find it hard to get the procedure covered, especially if it isn’t necessary.

If possible, have the surgery performed in an ambulatory surgery facility.  Oftentimes, ambulatory surgery centers charge 50% lower than the same procedure performed in a hospital.  Having the surgery done in a surgeon’s office can completely do away with the hospital charges.

Ask about self-pay or cash discounts.  Payment plans may be available if you are unable to pay up front.


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