Get To Know Our Dentists – Part 3 of 5
I joined Dr Helen Walsh and Dr Nick Beirne and the Portobello Dental team in 2016 and knew from the start that I would fit into the practice easily, with its close-knit team, ethos of hard work and consistent provision of high quality dental care to our patients.
Prior to moving to Dublin, I had worked in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle over six years with the NHS in hospital and community settings. I had just finished a Diploma in Conscious Sedation and was about to complete a Masters in Clinical Education, and Helen and Nick were happy to accommodate me in order that I could provide both in the practice here. Portobello Dental purchased the necessary equipment for inhalation sedation in order that I could establish a service for our paediatric patients.
I really enjoy creating an environment that is welcoming and friendly for children to have their formative experiences at the dentist – from giving sunglasses to a Disney music playlist (even if it isn’t quite to Nick’s taste when he comes in to work the day after I’ve been in his surgery!) and presents after treatment, I find it so fulfilling to work through treatment plans with our younger patients, and from then on foster good habits to prevent any further dental treatment being needed. It is so rewarding to have patients skip into the surgery six months after they have had a tooth removed, sit on the chair happily as they tell me all their news since I’ve seen them last.
I am a general dentist, and so also enjoy the variety of meeting and treating adult patients, particularly those who are anxious about going to the dentist. Here in Portobello Dental we are very lucky to have several specialists – a periodontist (gums), endodontist (root canal), oral surgeon and also orthodontic and implant treatment provision, in addition to a fantastic team of hygienists. This makes it easy for me to seamlessly integrate a patients’ care with any appropriate specialist treatment and ensure that they can access the highest quality treatment right here in the clinic. We also have regular clinician meetings where we discuss more complex cases, and it is not unusual for one of us to call on one another over the course of a busy day to have a chat about different treatment options for patients. All of this helps to foster a sense of community within work which is rare, in my own varied experience across many cities and clinics!
As well as working in Portobello Dental, I have also helped to supervise dental students in Dublin Dental Hospital for a session or two a week since September 2016.
Outside of work probably my favourite thing about living in Dublin is its proximity to the sea – although I like sailing and have tried my hand at canoeing and diving, one of my favourite things to do is to take a dip in the Forty Foot or Seapoint – not just in the summer either – there is nothing quite like it to feel alive (or paradoxically nearly dead of cold ;)). At home I nearly always have a sewing project of some sort on the go, or some attempt at DIY, and I’m currently brushing up on my Portuguese with weekly classes in order to be able to say more to my husband’s extended family in Brazil when we visit next.
I was very lucky that an opportunity arose to be part of the team in Portobello Dental when I had just moved back to Dublin, and I’m delighted to be part of a busy and diverse practice in a busy and diverse city!
Some of our wonderful team at last years Colgate Caring Dentist Awards