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Dental Implants

Dental Implants

Durable, long-lasting and natural in their appearance, dental implants are the most modern method of replacing missing teeth.

The procedure involves fitting an implant which is usually made of titanium, into the bone of the jaw. It is important that we have enough bone in the area and that this bone is of good quality. If this is not the case, a procedure called bone augmentation can be used, to help build up the bone levels prior to the implant procedure.

We then allow time for the bone to heal and grow in around the implant. The implant can now hold a single false tooth called an implant crown in place. This is generally the best way of replacing a missing tooth. Implants can also be used to hold multiple false teeth (an implant bridge) or to fix a full denture in place. An implant supported denture has advantages over a standard denture in that it can greatly increase the biting force. Also it won’t cover the roof of the mouth in the way that a traditional denture would.

Procedure time will depend on how many implants you’re having. It’s possible to have several implants fitted in the same procedure.

Dental implants are usually fitted under local anaesthesia. If you’re feeling nervous about the procedure we can arrange for you to have some sedation. Both nitrous oxide and intravenous sedation options are available.

At Swords Dental our implants are fitted by our specialist oral surgeon Dr Eimear McHugh. If you’re interested in making an appointment to discuss implants or for an implant assessment give us a call on 018401001



At Swords Dental, we use a tray system for all our tooth whitening cases. This involves taking impressions of the teeth at an initial appointment and demonstrating the whitening process a few days later. Whitening gel is placed in the trays. The trays are worn overnight or for a period of 2-3 hours in the evening time. Generally we require about 3 weeks for this process to ensure a good long term result.

It is important that we do a thorough examination of the teeth and gums prior to starting to ensure you are suitable for whitening. If there are white fillings, crowns or dentures towards the front of the mouth this is significant as they will not change shade and we may need to consider replacing them afterwards.

Whitening the teeth can make them slightly sensitive during the process. This will settle soon after we finish. If sensitivity is an issue it might be worth using the trays on alternate days over a longer period. This will still ensure the same result but reduce the sensitivity.

The ‘in chair’ method of whitening involves the use of much stronger whitening agents, which are likely to cause increased sensitivity. This process is also likely to contravene the EU directive (2012) banning whitening agents containing over 6% Hydrogen Peroxide. The other major drawback of in-chair whitening is that to top up the whitening effect the procedure has to be repeated, which makes it far more expensive long-term. The trays we make can be reused in the future and typically only a small amount of whitening gel is needed to achieve this at minimal additional cost.

Whitening is a great way of producing a dramatic improvement in tooth appearance and smile without doing a lot of dentistry. We have very high levels of patient satisfaction with this procedure.

To make an appointment, call us on 018401001



Tooth grinding and clenching is incredibly common. It is thought to affect 10% of the population, but about 80% of the people who do it aren’t aware of it. It is most common at night and is often triggered by stress and anxiety. The most obvious symptoms of grinding (bruxism) include:
• Aching headaches
• Jaw pain or clicking
• Teeth that are painful or loose & pain on both sides.
• Fractured, worn down or flattened teeth.

We can make you with a nightguard to protect your teeth during sleep. This is a thin plastic cover that clips over your lower teeth to act as a shock absorber. Grinding tends to come in cycles and then settle again but having a nightguard means that you can minimise the damage of grinding when it is taking place.
If stress is the trigger, you may need to consider some other ways to relax: meditation/mindfulness, counselling, and exercise can all help reduce stress and anxiety.

Teeth grinding is also common in children. However, because their teeth and jaws change and grow so quickly it is not usually a damaging habit that requires treatment and most outgrow it by adolescence.

If you’re having grinding problems and would like to come to us for an assessment give us a call on 018401001

Vhi Dental

Vhi Dental

Swords Dental is a member of the Vhi Direct Pay Dental Network.

Vhi Dental members can avail of Direct Payment of their plan benefits when they attend a dentist or hygienist at Swords Dental. You only have to pay the dentist for the costs of dental treatment not covered by your Vhi Dental plan.

Does VHI cover dental
Vhi Dental offer comprehensive dental cover. Enjoy cover for routine treatment including check-ups and cleanings as well as great benefits for more costly dental treatments including fillings, crowns and root canals.

Why do I need to phone Vhi Dental before going to the dentist?

You need to phone Vhi Dental as this is the first part of the claims process. It allows us to inform your dentist of your benefits and level of cover. Different people may have different levels of cover, and they may still have a waiting period depending on their level of cover or they may have reached their benefits limit for a particular treatment.

Can I phone Vhi Dental from the dentist?

Vhi strongly recommend that you phone them 24hrs before your appointment to allow adequate time for us to check your level of cover and any waiting periods you may have to serve. If you phone from the dentist there may not be adequate time for us to confirm your benefit entitlements to the dentist which would mean that your dentist would not be able to provide you with the Dentist Direct Pay service. The number to call Vhi to check your benefits is 046 9077 337 or alternatively you can email at If you have a dental emergency please phone Vhi as soon as possible.

Do I need to bring a claim form with me to the dentist when I’m using Dentist Direct Pay?

No, Swords Dental will have the Vhi Dental Claim form which we will get you to sign after you have had your treatment. Tel. 01 8401001

Dental Sedation

Dental Sedation

Nervous Patients

Many people are a bit anxious about attending a dentist. For some people however, this fear is more pronounced and can be classified as a dental phobia. This is an intense, irrational fear of dentistry. It may be related to one specific procedure or to a more general fear of dentistry. This phobia can be triggered by a bad experience in childhood. Dental anxiety and phobia can lead to people delaying or avoiding the treatment that they need. Often the most difficult step in overcoming this fear is making the initial appointment for a chat and an assessment. The availability of relaxation techniques, modern anesthetics and sedation means that dentistry can be performed in a relaxed and pain free manner.


This involves the use of a tablet before treatment to help the patient to relax. It offers mild sedation. Sometimes patients take a tablet the night before the treatment to help them get a good nights sleep.

Nitrous Oxide

This is a safe and effective agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a special mouthpiece to help you to relax. The use of Nitrous Oxide or “happy air”induces a feeling of lightheadedness and is often accompanied by a feeling of warmth and tingling. It makes you feel calm and comfortable. The effects wear off once the sedation is finished. This is particularly suited to children and is the only available sedation for people under the age of 16. It also works well for mild to moderately anxious adult patients.

IV Sedation

This involves using a drug called Midazolam to establish a strong level sedation. It allows us top perform a broad range of dental treatment. The relaxed state is often described as something between sleep and wakefulness. It leads to sense of detachment from the treatment. Most patients can’t remember much of the appointment afterwards. You are conscious through the appointment however and can respond to any requests. We carefully control the level of sedation to ensure the correct level is achieved.

Who carries out the sedation?

Dr Lyndsey McTavish BDS (UWCM), MFDS, RCPS (Glasg), Dip Clin Dent (TCD), Dip Con Sed. (TCD).

Lyndsey undertakes the sedation at Swords Dental.  Lyndsey completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Sedation at Dublin Dental Hospital in 2017. Lyndsey is particularly interested in helping nervous patients and is a member of the International Society of Dental Anxiety Management. Lyndsey enjoys treating children and has a young family of her own. Her friendly and relaxed approach will help make your visit to the dentist an easier experience.

If you’re interested in making an  assessment appointment for dental sedation or have any questions you can give us a call on 8401001.

Fissure Sealants

Fissure Sealants.

The adult first permanent molar teeth tend to come into the mouth at just six years old. This is a critical period for protecting them because the diet between 6-12 tends to have higher levels of sugar. We often find that when people need to have more extensive dental treatment later in life, e.g root canal treatments or crowns, it can be linked back to damage that started soon after these particular teeth erupted in to the mouth.

We can protect the molar teeth from decay by putting a white plastic coating on the tooth soon after it comes into the mouth, called a fissure sealant. The coating plugs the natural depressions and grooves on the tooth’s biting surface called pits and fissures. Fissure sealants protect the teeth from acid attack after eating sugar (dental decay). This procedure is a particularly good idea if there has been any problems with decay in the baby teeth or if the molar teeth have deep grooves.

The procedure is very straightforward- we dry the tooth, place a conditioning agent on it which we then wash off soon after and then apply the sealant and shine the curing light on the area to set it. Placing fissure sealants is a very straight forward and painless process and can often help to boost the child’s confidence if they are nervous about visiting the dentist. Sealants can also be placed by Dental Hygienists.

We generally fissure seal the four first molar teeth at the back of the mouth which come at around age 6 so this is a good age to consider this procedure. Any child can have these teeth sealed but we particularly advise having them done if the natural pits and fissures in the tooth are deep of if there has been a history of decay in the baby teeth.

To make an appointment give us a call at on 01 8401001.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry

Dentistry is no longer just a case of filling and taking out teeth. Nowadays many people turn to cosmetic dentistry, or aesthetic dentistry, as a way of improving their appearance. They do this in the same way they might use cosmetic surgery or even a new hairstyle. The treatments can be used to straighten, lighten, reshape and repair teeth.

Cosmetic treatments include veneerscrownsbridges, tooth-coloured fillings, implants and tooth whitening.

What is a veneer?

Veneers are thin slices of porcelain. These are precisely made to fit over the visible surface of your front teeth, like a false fingernail fits over a nail.

Why might I have a veneer?

Veneers are an ideal way of treating discoloured or unsightly teeth, closing gaps between front teeth, or repairing chips and cracks.

How are veneers fitted?

A small amount of enamel is removed from the tooth, usually the same thickness as the veneer will be. The dental team take an impression and send it to a dental technician, who makes the veneer in a laboratory. The veneer is then bonded to the tooth to form a strong and natural-looking repair.

Can I have white fillings?

For over 150 years standard fillings have been made out of a silvery-grey material called amalgam. This is considered one of the strongest and longest-lasting materials for fillings. However, many people find it unattractive and some are concerned about possible health risks.

White fillings are now a popular alternative to amalgam fillings. The new dental materials mean it is much easier to find a perfect match for the shade of a particular tooth. In most cases, it is quite impossible to see that the tooth even has a filling. Sometimes white filling material can be used to cover unsightly marks on teeth, in a similar way to veneers.

My tooth is badly broken – what can I do?

When a tooth is badly broken or heavily filled, the dentist may need to crown or ‘cap’ it to restore its appearance and strength.

How does the dentist make a crown?

The usual method for fitting a crown involves shaping the tooth under local anaesthetic and then taking an impression using a rubber-like material. The impression is then sent to the laboratory along with the details of the shade to be used, and the technician makes the crown.

What happens to my teeth while the crown is being made?

While your crown is being made, the prepared tooth can be protected with a temporary crown. This is easily removed just before fitting the permanent one. In most cases, the temporary crown is in place for about two weeks.

What is a crown made of?

Crowns can be made of a variety of different materials, such as porcelain or porcelain bonded to gold. New materials are continually being introduced. It is a good idea to talk to your dental team about which crown would be best for you.

How can my dentist fill a gap in my mouth?

If a tooth is missing, or needs taking out, there are several ways to fill the gap that is left. In some cases it is important to try to replace any missing teeth to balance the way your jaw bites. If you have several missing teeth, the remaining teeth are under more pressure. This can lead to broken fillings or even jaw problems.

A partial denture is the simplest way to replace missing teeth. However, some people find dentures uncomfortable and eventually decide to look at alternatives, such as bridges or implants.

What is a bridge?

Bridges are ideal for people who don’t like dentures and only have a few teeth missing. Bridges are usually made by putting a crown on the teeth on either side of the gap and attaching a false tooth in the middle.

The bridge can’t be removed. These bridges are usually made of precious metal bonded to porcelain. Sometimes other non-precious metals are used in the base to give it extra strength.

What if I don’t want my remaining teeth drilled?

Adhesive bridges are another way of bridging a gap, and less of the tooth needs removing. These bridges are made up of a false tooth with metal ‘wings’ on either side. These wings are made to bond to the teeth on either side, with very little drilling needed. Instead, the teeth are roughened and the bridge is fitted using a very strong composite resin.

Can implants be used to replace missing teeth?

Implants are an alternative to dentures and bridges, but they are more expensive. Implants are titanium rods which are surgically placed into the jawbone and act as anchors for fastening dentures or crowns onto.

Can I lighten the colour of my teeth?

Yes. Tooth whitening can be a highly effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surfaces. It cannot make a complete colour change, but it should lighten the existing shade.

What does tooth whitening involve?

Professional bleaching is the most common form of tooth whitening.

Your dental team will apply the whitening product to your teeth, using a specially made tray which fits into your mouth like a mouthguard.

The ‘active ingredient’ in the product is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. As the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel on the teeth and the tooth colour is made lighter.

Once your dental team has started this treatment you may be given the trays to take home and continue the treatment, or you may need more appointments with the team. This treatment can take around 3 to 4 weeks, depending on how long you keep the trays in your mouth each time, and how much whiter you want your teeth to be.

It is important to remember that only natural teeth will be whitened, and that any crowns, bridges or dentures you have will stay the same shade.

How safe are whitening kiosks and beauticians?

Under European law, tooth whitening can only be carried out by or under the supervision of a dentist. Whitening kiosks are now therefore illegal, as is whitening by a beautician. Only a dentist is able to properly examine your teeth to see whether whitening is appropriate, and to make sure that it is done safely without damaging your teeth other parts of your mouth such as your gums.

Can my crooked or twisted teeth be straightened?

Teeth can be straightened with orthodontics (braces). This is usually done during the teenage years, when the jaws are going through a period of growth. However, many adults also have treatment to straighten their crooked teeth or to improve their appearance. The treatment can take much longer in adults and is therefore more expensive.

Some people have clear or plastic braces, which are hardly noticeable. If you are considering orthodontic treatment, first see your dental team and get their advice. Your dental team can talk to you about your treatment options and if necessary refer you to an orthodontist, a dentist who specialises in straightening teeth.

There are also now ‘invisible’ braces. Your dentist will make you a series of clear plastic shields (like a mouthguard) which need to be worn all day and gradually move your teeth into a new position.

If you’d like to make an appointment to consider any of these options you can contact us at

Tel 8401001

Smoking and the teeth

Smoking and the teeth (depressing stuff)

It is said that quitting smoking is harder than giving up heroin- so the odds aren’t great. Heroin is also bad for the teeth but I’m going to focus on the smoking. I’m sure there are lots of smokers out there who are fed up of being told what to do by condescending dentist types. However…while most people know about the links between smoking and cancer, heart disease, emphysema etc. I find that a surprising number of patients don’t know about the catastrophic effects of smoking on the gums. Numerous times over the course of a year I’m forced to extract the lower front teeth and fit a denture for people in their twenties and thirties directly because of it. I find this profoundly depressing- largely because the teeth are perfect but the gums and bone which are the foundations for the teeth have collapsed.
Losing your front teeth is hugely psychologically damaging to anybody, particularly young people. I remember doing it once for an older lady who was a heavy smoker and losing a lot of her front teeth. The denture looked much better than what was there previously but she cried for twenty minutes afterwards when I told her they were gone.
The facts: Periodontal disease is the most common reason for people losing their teeth. Its a complicated process but after poor oral hygiene, smoking is the major preventable risk factor. It happens when bacteria in the mouth attack the gum and underlying jaw bone. Periodontal disease can be treated but if the patient is still smoking the success of the treatment is greatly reduced. At the age of sixty-five 41% of smokers have lost all their teeth. Smokers are seven times more likely to have it than non-smokers.
Smoking causes the blood vessels in the gum to constrict. This reduces the oxygen and nutrient supply to the area. It also reduces the numbers of white blood cells and antibodies which are needed to fight infection. The number of periodontal disease linked bacteria can be up to eleven times higher in smokers than in the mouths’ of non-smokers. This rapidly increases the rate at which it progresses and explains the decreased chances of successful treatment. E cigarettes are thought to be far less damaging to the mouth and are a far better option than smoking tobacco.
Other than the gums, smoking causes increased rates of: oral cancer, bad breath, mouth sores, loss of taste, tooth staining and wrinkling. Memorably one of my patients who smokes descibed her mouth as being “like a cat’s arse” because of the cigarettes. Oral cancer in particular is a nightmare scenario with only a 40% 5-year survival rate.
Giving up smoking is something that I often speak to patients about. I find that it generally takes five attempts or more to actually give up for good. Often patients who have given up say the same thing:
I had to mentally accept that I was going to give up, no matter what, before I was able to do it. The next thing they say is: I wish I’d done it sooner.
The HSE have a website that might be worth a look if anyone’s
If anyone would like to speak to me about treating gum disease or giving up smoking contact at

Tel 018401001.

Dentistry for older people

Dentistry for older people

Am I certain to lose my teeth?

No. With the right home care and help from your dental team, it is possible to keep your teeth for life. Gum disease and tooth decay can be prevented whatever your age.

What problems may older people have?

Your gums may recede (shrink back) as you get older, and your teeth may become a little more sensitive as a result. Your dental team will be able to show you the best brushing methods to keep any gum problems under control, and may suggest a mouthwash to deal with the sensitivity.

You may find it more difficult to clean your teeth properly if you have problems with your hands or arms, or if your eyesight is poor. Your dental team can give you help and advice on the best aids to use. A magnifying mirror and a good light are often helpful.

If you have lost some teeth in the past, and have bridges or dentures, you may have particular cleaning needs and problems. Your dental team can help you with these.

Some people take regular medication which makes their mouth dry. Saliva helps to protect your teeth against decay, so if you have less saliva than usual ask your dental team for advice. Or you can buy special products, including artificial saliva, in most pharmacies without a prescription.

Should I expect to have problems with my gums?

Gum disease is caused by a build-up of bacteria called ‘plaque’. Plaque forms constantly on your teeth. It is important to remove this plaque to avoid gum inflammation (swelling and soreness). If the plaque is not removed, the gum disease will, in time, affect the bone under the gums. This bone supports the tooth roots, so your teeth may gradually become loose.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

As it is often painless, many people may not know that they have gum disease. Some common signs are:

  • Gums that bleed when brushed.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Receding gums.
  • Bad Breath

Not everyone has all these signs. You may have only one.

Can I still get tooth decay?

Yes. The same dental plaque that causes gum inflammation can cause decay, particularly if you have sugary foods and drinks often. There is a particular risk of decay at the gum edge when the gum has receded, as the ‘neck’ of the tooth is not protected by enamel (the hard coating that covers most of the tooth).

How can I prevent gum disease and tooth decay?

  • Thoroughly remove plaque from your teeth (and dentures if you have them) last thing at night and at least one other time during the day.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste containing 1350 to 1500ppm (parts per million) of fluoride. There are many special toothpastes on the market, including tartar control and total care toothpastes. Your dentist may prescribe a higher-fluoride toothpaste if they think you need it.
  • You should clean in between your teeth at least once a day using interdental brushes or dental floss.
  • Cut down on how often you have food and drinks containing sugar – especially sweets that last longer in the mouth such as boiled sweets or mints.
  • Visit your dental team regularly, as often as they recommend.

What do I need to clean my teeth properly?

You need a small-headed, soft- to medium-textured toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. To help clean between your teeth you could use an ‘interdental brush’, floss or tape. If you have arthritis you may find it difficult to grip a toothbrush handle, but you can get handle adapters.

Electric or ‘power’ toothbrushes are also ideal for people with limited movement. The handles are thicker and easier to hold and the oscillating head does most of the work.

Power toothbrushes have been proven to remove more plaque than manual toothbrushes, so everyone can benefit from using them. There are many products available, and your dental team can help you decide which are best for you.

How do I know if I have removed all the plaque?

Plaque can be stained with a special dye painted on your teeth with a cotton bud, or with special ‘disclosing tablets’ from the dentist.

This stain is harmless and will show any areas of your mouth which need closer attention. Look particularly where the teeth and gums meet. A further brushing will remove the stained plaque.

What if I have missing teeth?

Dentures, bridges or implants replace lost or missing teeth so that you can enjoy a healthy diet and smile with confidence.

What causes mouth ulcers?

Mouth ulcers can be caused by broken teeth, poorly fitting dentures or sharp pieces of food. Once the cause is removed, ulcers should heal within 3 weeks. If you notice an ulcer which does not heal, see your dental team straight away. Many serious conditions, such as mouth cancer, can be better treated if diagnosed early at a routine check-up.

Tel 018401001

Tooth grinding and clenching

Tooth grinding and clenching is incredibly common. It is thought to affect 10% of the population, but about 80% of the people who do it aren’t aware of it. It is most common at night and is often triggered by stress and anxiety. The most obvious symptoms of grinding (bruxism) include:
• Aching headaches
• Jaw pain or clicking
• Teeth that are painful or loose & pain on both sides.
• Fractured, worn down or flattened teeth.

We can make you with a nightguard to protect your teeth during sleep. This is a thin plastic cover that clips over your lower teeth to act as a shock absorber. Grinding tends to come in cycles and then settle again but having a nightguard means that you can minimise the damage of grinding when it is taking place.
If stress is the trigger, you may need to consider some other ways to relax: meditation/mindfulness, counselling, and exercise can all help reduce stress and anxiety.

Teeth grinding is also common in children. However, because their teeth and jaws change and grow so quickly it is not usually a damaging habit that requires treatment and most outgrow it by adolescence.