F. Monte Purcelli, MD -  - Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor

F. Monte Purcelli, MD

Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor located in Santa Monica, CA

Division Of Lingual Frenulum Specialist

As an experienced, UCLA-trained physician, Dr. Purcelli has helped hundreds of children who have problems with "tongue-tie," performing division of the lingual frenulum, or frenulectomy, to enable the tongue to move freely. Dr. Purcelli has experience working with patients from newborns and up.

Division of Lingual Frenulum Q & A

What is the lingual frenulum?

The lingual frenulum, also called frenum, is the little band of tissue that extends from the bottom of your tongue to the bottom of your mouth. Stand in front of a mirror, open your mouth and lift your tongue: See that band of tissue stretching down from the bottom of your tongue? That is your lingual frenulum or frenum.

What is a frenectomy and why is it needed?

In some people, the frenulum is attached much farther forward on the tongue than normal, resulting in a condition called “ankyloglossia,” or “tongue-tie.” Children with this condition frequently have trouble speaking and moving their tongue. A lingual frenectomy refers to a procedure that clips the lingual frenulum to allow the tongue to have greater range of motion.

How common is "tongue-tie" (ankyloglossia)?

According to clinical data, about one percent to 10 percent of the population has the condition.

What problems can ankyloglossia cause?

Although some children learn to adapt to their condition, most experience problems which can include:

  • difficulty nursing

  • gaps between the lower front teeth

  • speech problems

  • difficulty clearing teeth of chewed food particles

  • social issues such as teasing from speech or related problems

What is the division procedure like?

The procedure is relatively simple.  The baby is swaddled and held still while Dr. Purcelli divides (cuts) the frenulum.  Some parents opt to wait before having their child undergo treatment to see if the child adapts on his or her own, or if the frenum stretches as the child grows. Dr. Purcelli carefully evaluates all patients and suggests an approach aimed at helping each individual child and his or her symptoms.


Major Insurance Providers Accepted

We accept all PPO insurance, as well as Medicare on assignment on a fee-for-services only basis. We do not accept any HMO plans. We also accept Medicare Advantage, but please call the office prior to your first appointment to verify.

Below is a short list of the insurance we accept. If you do not see your insurance listed, and for any other health insurance questions, please call our office.

Anthem Blue Cross
Assurant Health
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Shield of California
First Health

Words from our patients

  • Yelp

    "He is professional, nice, and extremely knowledgeable about his profession."

    Neil M.
  • Yelp

    "His staff is kind and works with you to get an appointment booked ASAP, and Dr. Purcelli is very nice, explains everything, and is compassionate."

    Kim C.
  • Yelp

    "I love everything about this office. The staff is always friendly and efficient and Dr. Purcelli is thorough and knowledgeable."

    April H.
  • Yelp

    "Whenever I was there, i never waited longer than a few minutes to see the doctor if that long. I highly recommend him."

    Abraham W.
  • Yelp

    "The staff was kind and the doctor was personable and generous with his time and explanation. The cleaning was painless and effective."

    Gabe S.
  • Yelp

    "This doctor is old school, he is very dry and does not do small talk. He helped me and I felt he is a real professional that knows what he is doing."

    Marina R.