Almost on a weekly basis, we get asked whether it’s ok to have dental treatment while there is a cold sore present.

Before I answer this question, I will explain the causes and current treatments available for the common cold sore (which is caused by the Herpes Simplex type 1virus).

What causes them to occur?

Cold sores are caused by the HS virus (Usually type 1 for oral cold sores)-this virus is generally transmitted during early childhood via saliva i.e. kissing your baby, children sharing eating utensils, although the virus can lie dormant in the nervous system until triggered, which can be many years later.

Cold sores can be brought on by stress, menstruation, bright sunlight, wind damage, sunburn, fever, or local skin trauma. Even kissing someone with stubble! Surgical procedures such as dental or neural surgery lip tattooing, or microdermabrasion or facial resurfacing are also common triggers.

How will I know if I am getting a cold sore??

When you are about to get a cold sore, you will generally experience some or all of the following at the site where the cold sore will appear:

a)      Tingling (prodromal) stage: Itching, burning, tingling, and/or pain signal the start of a cold sore.

b)      Redness (erythema) stage: Swelling, redness, and soreness begin.

Then after this phase has passed we see:

c)      Small bumps (papule) stage: Small bumps develop and swelling may continue.

d)     Blister (vesicle) stage: One or more fluid-filled blisters form.

e)      Soft crust (ulcer) stage: Blisters break open and form an ulcer

Finally we see:

f)       Hard crust stage: Drying of the ulcer results in a scab and the hard crust disappears

g)      Remaining symptoms stage: Swelling, dry skin flakes, and/or redness remain after loss of the hard crust, and returning to the…….

h)       Normal skin stage: Cold sore disappears and normal skin returns


How can I treat/get rid of my cold core(s)?

Treatments available depend on what stage you start treatment:

Acyclivor topical cream is available in Ireland as Zovirax. This anti -viral topical cream which works by stopping the virus from copying itself, causing shorter outbreaks. It is a treatment for cold sores, not a cure.

Compeed Cold Sore Patch-this patch covers and protects the cold sore lesion, creating the optimal germ-free healing environment for faster healing and prevention of scab formation.

Plenty of other types of treatments exist for treatment for cold sores, but most centre around drying out the blister (applying alcohol Perfumes, Red wine sediment). Moisturizing the soft or hard crusts aids healing.

If you suffer from repeated severe episodes of cold sores, see your G.P., as a systemic course of anti viral medication could see you cold sore free for up to six months.

After your cold sore has healed, you may feel the area is still slightly raised. If this is the case, the root of the cold sore is living just under the skin. as such mild triggers can bring about another cold sore. Using a really rich moisturizer or vaseline for 3-4 weeks at night time can allow skin layers to shed evenly, and this will shed the root.

Finally Can I have dental treatment whilst I have a cold sore?

Technically, yes you can—but we consider it best to avoid all non-emergency dental treatments if possible, as the healing of the cold sore may be delayed due to the aggravation of the lips being stretched during treatment. Equally, it is ok to have dental treatment once you have passed the infectious stage—which is just after the vesicles have started to heal over and form the soft crust stage.

  • 8 out of 10 Irish adults entitled to free annual dental exam
  • But new figures show that of the 3.3 million people covered, less than 20% have availed of offer
  • Funding for PRSI scheme falls 87% in 3 years

Although 3.3 million Irish adults are entitled to a free oral examination once a year, fewer than 600,000 of them availed of the offer in 2011, whilst at the same time expenditure on both the Medical Card Scheme and the PRSI Dental Scheme have declined rapidly.

Know your entitlements, and take advantage of your free examination!

At Portobello Dental Clinic, your examination includes:

  • Comprehensive consultation and discussion
  • Detailed Dental Examination (Teeth)
  • Detailed Periodontal Assessment (Gums)
  • Oral Cancer Screening
  • No-obligation treatment plan and estimate if treatment needed


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.

Dental veneers in Dublin are a popular way to help perfect a smile. They are a very versatile cosmetic dental treatment that is relatively non-invasive, and which can be used to modify teeth in a number of different ways. A dental veneer consists of a very thin piece of porcelain that is made to fit precisely over the front of your tooth, and quite often the biting edge of the tooth. It is typically just 0.5mm thick, but in spite of this it is reasonably strong once cemented into position.

Dental veneers Dublin They are worth considering if you have one or two teeth that are slightly out of alignment, or if you have gaps in between one or more of your teeth. Quite a lot of people have a gap in between their front teeth, something that is called a diastema. While some like the character it provides, others would prefer to have it closed up completely if possible, or at least minimised. If the gap is particularly large then it might not be possible to close it up completely without leaving you with two front teeth that look too wide.

If it really bothers you, your dentist in Dublin might recommend an alternative solution such as orthodontics to help close it at least slightly. Once you have completed orthodontic treatment then you might find you still need veneers, but they can be more correctly proportioned to compliment your smile.

Dental veneers in Dublin are also a good way to cover up teeth that might be discoloured or stained, or just a less than an ideal shape or size. They are great for helping to replace areas of teeth that may have become worn down, or which have chipped.

Getting Your New Dental Veneers in Dublin

The first step in getting dental veneers in Dublin is to book an appointment with one of our dentists in Portobello Dental Clinic. They will assess your smile, and can help you decide whether or not dental veneers are the right choice for you. They will only recommend you have veneers if they firmly believe they will give good results, and will help to remedy any issues you have with your smile.

The next step will be to prepare the teeth. A minimal amount of tooth material will almost certainly need to be removed from the front surfaces of the teeth. This is necessary, as even though the veneers are incredibly thin, they would look too bulky and artificial if they were simply cemented onto the front of teeth that had not been prepared. Once your dentist is happy with the preparation, they will take an impression of your teeth to send to the dental lab. This is cast up in dental plaster to provide a detailed working model of your teeth, and is used for fabrication.

It can take a couple of weeks for your veneers to be made as the process is quite involved and intricate. Once they are ready you can return to Portobello Dental Clinic to have them tried in and bonded onto your teeth. You’ll need to take care of your veneers with regular check-ups, and good dental care at home, as this will help to prolong their life.

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.

The days may be dingy but there’s no need for your smile to match. If your teeth are looking a little stained or discoloured these days then why not think about finishing off the year with teeth whitening in Dublin? Having your teeth whitened by your dentist in Dublin is the safest and easiest way to do it, as Portobello Dental Clinic will only provide you with professionally made whitening trays and whitening gel if we know this treatment is right and safe for your teeth.

Whitening Isn’t Right for Everyone

Teeth Whitening DublinThis is the reason why your dentist in Dublin will need to check your teeth and gums beforehand as it’s essential you don’t have any existing dental diseases such as tooth decay or gum disease. If you do then these will need treating before you can proceed with your treatment. The reason for this is that otherwise the bleaching gel will penetrate your teeth and gums in these damaged areas, and could cause unwanted sensitivity or possibly even pain. We can also assess whether or not this treatment will work well for your teeth. For instance if you have any existing porcelain restorations such as crowns or veneers or composite resin fillings you need to be aware that whitening will not change their colour. This means you will either risk ending up with teeth of varying shades, or that you may need to budget to have these restorations replaced.

Teeth bleaching in Dublin will not work well on teeth that have internal stains. For example, it is not likely to help lift stains caused by antibiotics, or dental fluorosis, a condition caused by excess exposure to fluoride as a child. You also tend to get better results from teeth that are yellow coloured rather than grey.

The system we use is extremely safe and is designed to gently whiten your teeth over a period of one or two weeks. We provide you with custom-made dental trays that fit exactly over your teeth so the whitening gel cannot leak out. We will give you full instructions on how much gel to use, and you should find the trays are comfortable to wear overnight. Some people do experience tooth sensitivity after whitening their teeth, and this is because the treatment makes the teeth slightly more porous immediately afterwards, increasing sensitivity towards hot and cold foods. It can help to use toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth, or we can suggest some products that may be useful. In any case, the effects should quickly go away.

One of the advantages of using this type of system is that the results are highly controllable as you will see your teeth gradually becoming whiter over a matter of just a few days. This system allows you to control the level of whitening you’d like, but it’s always important to be realistic about your chosen tooth colour. For the best and most natural results you should never try to whiten your teeth beyond the colour of the whites of your eyes.

If you do need to replace any restorations then it’s best to do so after whitening as this will enable us to accurately match the colour of the porcelain to the shade of your newly whitened teeth.

Are you looking to get a whiter smile in time for the holiday season? If so there might still just about be time but you’ll need to contact us as soon as possible. Otherwise you can look forward to starting off the New Year with teeth whitening in Dublin.

Dental phobia is incredibly common, but many people feel unable to voice their concerns in case they’re told they’re simply being silly. This is not something that will happen when you visit Portobello Dental Clinic. Our dentists are extremely sympathetic towards people with dental phobias, and we are highly experienced in providing dental care in a way that is easy to manage for those who are particularly anxious.

sedation dentistry DublinThe main thing to bear in mind is that you’re not alone, and that there are people who understood your anxieties and who can help you. Some people who have not felt able to visit a dentist in decades are worried and embarrassed about the state of their teeth. You can rest assured our dentist in Dublin will probably have seen worse and won’t judge you in any way at all, and we won’t lecture you.

Our aim is to make sure your experience of visiting a dental clinic is positive. After all your dentist is a professional who’s trained to help people just like you. You’ll find we take your dental anxiety extremely seriously, and there are lots of little things that we can do to help make each visit more pleasant and bearable. One of the things we find that really helps is to ensure we see you on time, as we realise many patients feel anxious simply sitting in our comfortable waiting room, even though we’ve done our best to make it as relaxing as possible.

Your First Visit Is Just a Check-up

Your first visit is just a check-up, and this is your chance to become familiar with the dental clinic. Hopefully you’ll already have talked to us about your dental fears as this will help us to make sure the appointment proceeds at a pace you’re comfortable with. We will not do anything without your consent, and always remember you’re in control the whole time.

Sedation Dentistry Keeps Things Comfortable

All of our dentists are trained in sedation dentistry and what this means is that they are fully qualified to provide oral and intravenous sedation. This helps to ensure that your dental treatments are completely comfortable and manageable. It’s also ideal for anyone who has a phobia about the sights and sounds and smells of a dental clinic or who has a strong gag reflex. It can also just as easily be used to treat someone who needs quite a few procedures, as sedation dentistry in Dublin allows us to carry out several different procedures during just one pain-free and comfortable appointment.

Knowledge Is Power

Other common concerns include not knowing what’s going on during the procedure. All our dentists in Dublin will take the time to explain exactly what’s going on during a procedure so you know exactly what to expect during treatment. It is often difficult to take in information when sitting in the dentist chair, especially when you’re feeling particularly anxious and this is something that we understand. If we’ve explained something to you and you still don’t quite get it, please feel free to ask us again. We will also provide you with a written treatment plan that includes estimated costs of treatments. We will only ever suggest treatment that is necessary to restore your teeth to dental health so you can rest assured we will not carry out any unnecessary procedures.

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.