It can be a scary moment when you hear your dentist or hygienist utter the words ” you have some gum recession“, automatically you have visions of your teeth hanging on without supported gums or worse- visions of them all falling out! However, rest assured this is not the case- there are different stages of gum recession with most people falling into the “mild” category. Even if you have a more severe case, know that it can be treated and there are solutions for you.

What is gum recession? (Gingival Recession)

Gum recession is where the gum recedes below the tooth and pulls away from it leaving more of your tooth exposed at the root. When this happens, disease causing bacteria can start to build in the pockets of the gaps between the tooth and the gum line.

What causes gum recession?

  • Brushing your teeth too aggressively– you should always use a soft bristle toothbrush or an electric one and not be attempted to scrub your teeth!
  • Genetics – unfortunately the health of your gums can come down to genetics, if one or more of your parents suffered with gum recession there is a high likelihood that you will too.
  • Teeth grinding – grinding can cause undue stress on your teeth – a nigh guard can help with this. Teeth grinding can cause many dental issues so it is always worth investigating if you think you may suffer with it.
  • Not looking after your teeth– may be an obvious one, but not brushing your teeth at least twice a day, not flossing and not having regular dental checks all add greatly to the risk of developing gum recession.
  • Hormones – women have an increased risk of developing gum recession due to fluctuations in hormone levels seen in puberty, pregnancy and the menopause.

The treatment.

If you are diagnosed with mild gum recession catching it early and addressing it straight away will ensure you keep it under control. Your dentist can help identify the causes for it and instruct you on measures to address it and stop it developing it further. Your dentist will give you advice on what toothbrush you should use and how to use it properly, how to floss correctly and if needed as with teeth grinding, they can advise you on the different types of night guards. They will also recommend regular hygienists visits to keep the pockets free from bacteria.

If you are diagnosed with more developed stages of gum recession you may be referred to a periodontist (a gum specialist). A periodontist will do a deeper more intensive cleaning of your teeth and gums. How often this occurs will depend on the stage of the gum recession. Depending on the cause of your gum recession, your periodontist may advice you to have a surgical treatment also know as a gum draft. ( We will do a separate blog on gum drafting shortly!)

If you have any questions on gum recession or feel you may suffer with it you can call us on T: 01 4542022 or E: and we can advise you accordingly.

Implants are a fantastic option for replacing a missing tooth/teeth

 What exactly is a dental implant?

When describing dental implants, the best comparison is to your natural teeth. A natural tooth consists of two parts- the root of the tooth buried below the gum line, and the white enamel that is visible above it. Similarly, a dental implant has the titanium component buried invisibly below the gum, and on top of it the porcelain crown which is matched to the colour of your own teeth.

When are dental implants used

  • A single missing tooth at the front or back (implant crown).
  • Many or all missing teeth (implant bridge). It may not be necessary to place one implant for every missing tooth, e.g. 3 porcelain teeth can be attached to two implants.
  • Under complete dentures. There is an enormous improvement in the fit, comfort and chewing ability of dentures that are attached to implants.

CASE119001-implant Why the need to replace missing teeth?

Missing teeth can have a significant impact not only on your appearance, but also on your self-confidence and your overall health.

Teeth provide more functions than just the ability to chew. They are necessary for the health of the gums, jaw, and other teeth, as well. The effects of missing teeth can be detrimental to long-term oral and medical health.
  • An off-bite relationship: Having gaps where teeth are missing affects the way the jaw closes. For example, an adjacent tooth may tilt or drift into an open space left by a missing tooth causing the opposing jaw line to have bite-relationship problems. TMJ (acute and chronic pain and problems with the jaw joint) may be caused by tooth loss. In addition, food can become trapped in open spaces, increasing the risk of decay and gum disease.
  • Jawbone deterioration: As soon as a tooth is lost from gum disease or an extraction, the supporting bone in the jaw begins to dissolve. This process is called resorption. The longer a tooth is missing, the greater the bone loss. Over time, more and more of the jawbone disintegrates until it becomes weak and noticeably smaller.
  • Nutrition: As teeth are lost, it becomes more difficult to eat and chew food. Studies have shown that 29% of denture wearers eat only soft or mashed foods and 50% avoid many foods altogether.
Once the implant is placed in the Jaw, the bone and gum heals around it (3-6mths)

  What are the alternatives if I don’t want dental implants?

  • A denture – a removable appliance, which generally feels bigger and more foreign in the mouth than implants do.
  • Porcelain bridgework – false teeth fixed in place, attached to the teeth either side of a gap. Bridges may put some strain on the supporting teeth.
We use Implants fabricated by Straumann – currently the worlds biggest implant company

 How long does the treatment take?

It depends on how complicated your treatment is, where the teeth are to be placed, and the quality of gum and jawbone in the area. We will be able to give you a timetable after your initial assessment. As a guideline, expect a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 12 months from the initial assessment to the time when the new teeth are finally attached to the implants.

What is the typical success rate for dental implants?

People have found huge success with implants, typically 95% of implants will function after 10+ years. Some instances can occur where an implant might fail. Failure might happen where there is a loss of bone structure around the implant, tooth grinding in some instances can loosen the implant. Our implant expert however can discuss any concerns you many have beforehand.

Dr. Nick Beirne – Implant specialist

 Who is your implant expert?

Dr. Nick Beirne is our implant expert – he has many years of experience in doing implants. Read more about Dr. Beirne here, alternatively if you would like to book an appointment with him you can call us on 01 4542022 or book online here .


pre ortho 3
Before ortho- patient unhappy with the gap in her front teeth


post ortho 2catherine kelly
After ortho – patient delighted with her new smile!



Patient : CK in her 20’s didn’t like the space between her 2 front teeth.

Treatment: Orthodontics done by Dr Helen Walsh.

Cost of treatment: € 2995 which included a hygienist appointment at the end of the orthodontic treatment, as well as upper and lower fixed and removable retainers.

No re-touching of photos has been done.

Your natural teeth are perfectly designed to last a lifetime, but all too often this does not happen. Tooth loss can occur due to trauma or disease, and when it does, it is important to replace lost teeth. The choices are pretty straightforward, as you can have a partial or full denture, a bridge, or dental implants in Dublin. Perhaps you are wondering why you should choose the last option, as after all it is the most expensive, and will take the longest to complete. There are lots of reasons for doing so, not least that in the longer-term, choosing dental implants could prove to be far more cost effective, without even considering the other advantages.

Long-Term Cost-Effectiveness of Dental Implants

Dental Implants DublinA recent study evaluated literature on the cost-effectiveness of dental implants, and concluded that when replacing a single tooth, a single implant was cost effective in the long-term, in comparison with alternative methods of tooth replacement such as a dental bridge. When multiple teeth were replaced with implants, the study found that although the initial costs were higher in comparison with bridges or dentures, there were better improvements in terms of overall oral health.

Although dental implants will not be the right choice for everyone, they can provide the most natural looking tooth replacement, especially when a single implant is used to replace a single tooth. When used to replace multiple teeth, they can help to secure loose dentures, or can even replace them completely with a fixed bridge.

Enjoy a Greater Variety of Foods

Anyone who has a loose and uncomfortable denture or teeth that are painful to bite or chew on will be able to see the huge advantages to this. Having teeth that function correctly and which you know will stay in position can make it easier to get the most out of life. Some people will actively avoid social situations with others because of concerns of the appearance of their teeth and concerns that their dentures may move about. They may choose to only eat soft and easy to chew foods, rather than food that really appeal, and which could help to give a nutritionally well-rounded diet. Without good nutrition it is difficult to enjoy good general health, and many social events and gatherings are centred on enjoying a meal with others.

If any of this sounds familiar, Portobello Dental Clinic can help. We have been placing dental implants for years, and take every precaution to ensure treatment is successful. This begins with an extensive planning process that will involve fully evaluating your oral health. Through the use of dental x-rays and possibly CT scans, we can see exactly how much bone you have, and whether this will be sufficient to support dental implants. If not, then a bone graft is a simple procedure that can restore lost bone, building up a solid foundation to support your new dental implants in Dublin.

During the planning process we’ll use this information to decide exactly where to place your dental implants to make maximum use of available bone while providing good aesthetic results. Every step of the treatment will be explained in a way that is easy to understand, as we won’t baffle you with lots of dental terminology, and of course you are encouraged to ask all the questions you’d like about your new dental implants in Dublin.

Unfortunately dental emergencies in Dublin can and do occur, and usually at the most inconvenient times possible. Sometimes it is simply unavoidable, but often a dental emergency can be averted through preventative dental care. Most people will need to visit their dentist in Dublin every six months, and it is recommended that you have a hygiene appointment at the same time.

Dental Implants DublinThe Argument for Regular Preventative Dental Care Appointments

The reason for doing so is that your dentist in Dublin will be able to detect any small signs of lesions or pits in your tooth enamel that could be the beginnings of a cavity. At this stage it might be able to halt the decay through the application of fluoride to help harden the tooth, or alternatively you might need a small filling.

This early on there may be very few, if any symptoms. You might notice the tooth feels more sensitive to hot and colds foods, but this is a sign that is very easy to ignore. If the decay were left to continue then it would eventually reach the centre of your tooth that contains all the nerves. By this stage things are likely to have become much more painful, and treatment is likely to be more invasive and a lot costlier, as you may need root canal treatment and to have the tooth restored with a crown.

Your dentist in Dublin will also be assessing the health of your gums. Advanced gum disease (periodontal disease) is the major cause of tooth loss in the world, and the early symptoms are all too easy to miss or just ignore. If you have ever noticed your gums bleed when you brush or floss then you might have tried to fool yourself that this is normal. It isn’t, and is an early sign that your gums need professional attention. Gum disease is a bacterial infection that causes the gum tissues to become inflamed as the body tries to fight back. This inflammation can destroy not only the gum tissue, but also the ligaments that support the teeth, and the bone around the teeth.

The early stages of gum disease are called gingivitis and are really simple to treat. Our hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth and gums, removing much of the bacterial infection. The next part is down to you, as you will be given lots of advice on how to care for your teeth and gums at home. Great home dental care is essential to get rid of this condition.

Dealing with Accidental Tooth Loss

Regular preventative dental care can help lessen the risk of toothache and ultimately tooth loss, but if you do have an accident that knocks out a tooth then quick action could save it. Store the tooth in a little milk, and find a dentist as soon as you can. Reinsertion can be successful if carried out within the first half hour to an hour. This window of opportunity is pretty small, but it is worth trying. If reinsertion fails then you could opt for dental implants in Dublin, as these provide a long-lasting means of tooth replacement.

Diabetes mellitus is a world-wide health problem, and it is growing. In Ireland, approximately 200,000 have been diagnosed with Type II diabetes, while another 100,000 already have high levels of glucose in their blood, but will only be diagnosed with Type II diabetes when they encounter some sort of health problem due to their condition. Even worse, it is expected these figures will double over the next couple of years.

The Connection between Diabetes and Oral Health

Dental Implants DublinA number of clinical studies have shown a connection between serious gum disease or periodontal disease, and diabetes. Unfortunately people who have diabetes are more susceptible towards developing periodontal disease, but it’s also thought that gum disease has the potential to affect diabetes, as it may make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels, and could lead to the progression of diabetes.

Diabetes is a condition that affects the immune system, and people with diabetes are more at risk of developing infections, including bacterial infection in the mouth due to their decreased ability to fight bacteria. Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to an increase in the amount of glucose in the saliva and this in turn provides the perfect fuel for bacteria. As a result the numbers of the bacteria can multiply more quickly and will produce more toxins to irritate and inflame the gums.

Advanced gum disease or periodontal disease causes the gums to frequently bleed, allowing bacteria from the mouth to enter into the bloodstream. It’s thought the presence of these bacteria makes it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar levels, exacerbating the problem even more. In addition diabetics tend to be more at risk of developing other oral health conditions such as dry mouth, ulcers and thrush. Diabetics are less able to heal as the condition can narrow the blood vessels, preventing the transport of essential nutrients to the gums, and the removal of harmful toxins.

Ask Us for Help and Advice

If you do have diabetes then make sure your dentist in Dublin is aware of your condition. We may recommend additional treatments to help keep your teeth and gums healthy. This might include additional professional cleanings with one of our hygienists and possibly more frequent check-ups. We can work with you to help mitigate the effects of the conditions such as dry mouth and ulcers. You can also help yourself by making sure your blood sugar is levels are as well controlled as you can manage. Ensuring you brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day and that you floss once a day will help to ensure your mouth is kept as clean as possible.

Gum disease is one of the major causes of tooth loss, and one of the best ways of replacing missing teeth is through having dental implants in Dublin. Unfortunately this treatment may not always be suitable for diabetics, especially if the disease is not well controlled. If you are diabetic and are thinking about having implants in Dublin, then we do urge you to discuss this with one of our dentists. We will only recommend this treatment if we think it’s suitable for you and has a high chance of success. Otherwise there are still lots of alternative methods of tooth replacement that may suit you a little better.

Perhaps our patients will benefit from this treatment one day, but not quite yet. Just to clarify, the dental implants that might one day be assisted by these diamonds will not give you an extra sparkly smile, but they could help to improve the longevity of this treatment for certain people who are at risk of implant failure. The diamonds in question are tiny, and are called nanodiamonds. These are created as a by-product during conventional mining and refining techniques, and are just a few nanometres in diameter.

Implants DublinResearch is being carried out into how they could help patients with osteonecrosis. This is a disease that is caused by the blood flow to the bones being reduced. Without a healthy blood supply the bones will begin to break down faster than the body can manufacture new bone cells. If this affects the jaw then it can lead to implant failure. This condition is thankfully rare, but can develop as a side effect of chemotherapy. Treatment to try to save dental implants affected in this way can often be quite invasive as it tends to involve surgical procedures to try to repair the bone.

The hope is that nanodiamonds might be used to deliver proteins to help repair the bone, and this could be in the form of an injection, or even through a mouth rinse, both of which would be very non-invasive. The initial studies are promising, but it is likely to be quite a while before this technique is in regular use.

Healthy Patients Can Look Forward to Healthy Implants

Dental implant failure isn’t something most of us will need to worry about, as dental implants in Dublin have a very high success rate. This does rely on the implants being well-placed, but you will be in good hands at the Portobello Dental Clinic. Dr Nick Beirne has successfully placed hundreds of implants, and the clinic uses Nobel Biocare dental implants. Nobel Biocare have been pioneering and developing implants for decades and are regarded as being one of the world leaders in this field. The use of top quality implants help to ensure surgery is a success, as do the techniques and stringent controls utilised by Portobello Dental Clinic. All the surgery is carried out under sterile conditions, something that is extremely important to help ensure the implants do not become infected.

Once surgery is complete, then you will receive full support from the clinic in helping the implants to heal, and in ensuring they remain healthy and strong for many years to come. Portobello Dental Clinic is so confident in its technique that it guarantees against dental implant failure for up to five years after placement.

Keeping Your Dental Implants Strong and Free from Infection

Most dental implants failures occur due to infection, and this is something that can be avoided through making sure you take good care to clean around the implant, removing all the plaque and food debris that could otherwise cause infection. The dental team will give you lots of advice on how to clean your implants in Dublin, but you are always encouraged to ask questions if you are unsure about any aspect of your treatment. Of course we also recommend that you visit us regularly for check-ups and professional cleanings to keep your dental health the very best it can be.

We hope you do, as it is something that can help keep your dental bills to a minimum, and which will help your own teeth to last as long as possible. Even though we can replace your teeth with dental implants in Dublin, we’d rather help you have a naturally healthy smile, and this is something that can be achieved through preventative dental care.

The Importance of Regular Check-ups

Dental Implants DublinRegular check-ups are a great way to get peace of mind that your teeth and gums are in good health. Most people will need to visit Portobello Dental Clinic every six months or so, although some people with certain health conditions may be recommended to visit more frequently. During your check-up one of our dentists will carefully examine your teeth, your gums and your oral tissues.

They will be looking to see if you have any signs of dental decay or any small lesions in your teeth that could indicate the beginning of a cavity. It is much easier to treat dental decay at this stage, and will mean that any fillings will be smaller and cheaper. In addition it will help to prevent the decay from spreading, as otherwise it could reach the inner part of your tooth which is called the pulp, resulting in infection and toothache. By this stage you may need root canal therapy, and the tooth might require crowning.

Your gums will be examined to make sure you do not have any early signs of gum disease. This is a common condition that will affect most people during their lifetime. Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss, and could mean you do end up requiring dental implants in Dublin after all.

You might notice your dentist examining your oral tissues, including your tongue, and this is a very important part of your check-up, and has the potential to save lives. This is a screening for mouth cancer, a disease that is often diagnosed rather late when the prognosis is far less favourable. Symptoms can include ulcers that fail to heal within three weeks, or noticing changes to the tissues in your mouth, for example areas that have changed colour, or which have become rougher or thicker. IF you do think something is wrong then give us a call for help and advice.

Dental Hygiene Appointments

Dental hygiene appointments are another valuable part of your preventative dental care regime, as our hygienist will remove the hardened tartar from your teeth, reducing the risk of gum disease. Tartar is made up of hardened plaque bacteria, and has the ability to cause inflammation and infection in your gums. Regular removal will ensure your gums stay healthy, and there is an added benefit in that your teeth will look a bit whiter due to being polished, and your breath will be fresher.

Ask us about how to care for your teeth and gums at home, as it is important that you brush twice daily and floss once a day. We know many people find it awkward to floss, but there are alternative tools such as interdental brushes that help to make the task easier and more effective.

Preventative dental care appointments by our dentist in Dublin at Portobello Dental Clinic will only take an hour or so of your time every six months, and a good home dental care regime will take less than ten minutes a day. This isn’t much to keep your smile in great condition.