neonatal frenectomies

A frenectomy (or frenotomy) is the surgical release of a tongue-tie or lip tie. A frenectomy is a simple procedure done in our rooms to help mothers and their babies to feed better. Dr Johnston uses a laser to perform the frenectomy. The procedure takes approximately 5 minutes and the baby is able to feed immediately after.

Following the frenectomy, some mothers and their babies notice an immediate difference in feeding. For others, it may take some time as the baby adapts to their new mobility and acquires new skills. Success from a frenectomy is greatly increased with follow up from a breast feeding expert. We have a lactation consultant as part of out team to assist you immediately after the procedure. We also recommend further assistance with your lactation consultant in the following days.


A frenectomy can have the following benefits for a tongue tied baby or lip tied baby:

  • Increased tongue and lip mobility
  • An improvement in breast symptoms
  • More efficient feeding
  • Shorter feeding times
  • A more comfortable experience for mum
  • A happier baby with less wind
  • The ability to breast feed for longer
  • Less milk spilling on the bottle
  • Less stress for the entire family

A recent survey of mothers whose babies have had a frenectomy at the Perth Specialist Lip and Tongue Tie Clinic indicate that 86% have had a moderate or significant improvement one month after the procedure.

If you suspect your baby is tongue tied or lip tied and could benefit from a frenectomy, contact us on 9433 6082 for an assessment now.

Specialist Procedure

Dr Timothy Johnston graduated with his BDSc from the University of Western Australia in 1989. He practiced in general dentistry for two years before moving to Melbourne to complete his Masters Degree in Paediatric Dentistry from the University of Melbourne. Following graduation, he obtained his Fellowship in the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons, Academy of Laser Dentistry and awarded a Fellow of the Academy of Dentistry International in recognition of his voluntary work.

Tim has been in Specialist Paediatric Dentistry since 1994. Tim holds appointments as Consultant at The Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, visiting Senior Lecturer at The University of Western Australia. He holds and has held a number of advisory positions including the Australian Dental Association, Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons and the Australian Breastfeeding Association. He is a former WA branch President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Paediatric Dentistry and is currently the Federal President of the Society.

His practice, Perth Specialist Lip and Tongue Tie Clinic is a referral centre for neonates and babies who suffer nursing attachment issues. Tim has a wealth of experience and expertise in this area, having treated over 1600 babies in the past 4 years with good results. Tim and his team are regularly invited to present continuing education on tongue tie and lip tie babies to health professionals including child health nurses, lactation consultants, GP doctors, GP and paediatric dentists, dental and oral health therapists, speech pathologists and oseteopaths. He believes strongly in a team approach and works closely with lactation consultants and speech pathologists to deliver a truly specialised service. The clinic is designed to make the experience as comfortable as possible for you with a room dedicated to feed your baby after the procedure.

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