Francis O’Neill

Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Oral Surgery


Main research interests

Clinically, I have a subspecialty interest in facial pain. My research interests are in the diagnosis and management of facial pain, the use of novel diagnostic tests, the pathophysiology of chronic pain, and the use of central and peripheral neuromodulation in the treatment of chronic pain.


I qualified in Dentistry from the University of Glasgow and in Medicine from Keele University. I have also completed a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh in mechanisms of trigeminal and spinal neuropathic pain. I trained in Liverpool in foundation medicine and completed my specialist training in oral surgery in 2015.

I am currently a senior lecturer/honorary consultant in Oral Surgery at the University of Liverpool. While I am mostly based at the Liverpool University Dental Hospital, I am also a member of the Walton Centre, multidisciplinary facial pain clinic.

Ongoing studies

  • Utility of corneal confocal microscopy in burning mouth syndrome. O’Neill F, Marshall A.
  • Developing a model to evaluate C-tactile fibre contribution to allodynia and for testing new topical medications. O’Neill F, Marshall A, McGlone F.
  • Registry trial investigating sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation for the treatment of cluster headache.
  • Recent - evaluation of a home-based transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) treatment device for chronic pain, a randomised controlled trial.

Publications 2014-2016

O’Neill F, Sacco P, and Nurmikko T. Evaluation of a home-based transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) treatment device for chronic pain: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials 2015 Apr 23;16(1):186.

Clarke P and O’Neill F. The dental management of patients with implantable neurostimulation devices: A suggested protocol. (2015) The Journal of Oral Health and Disability Vol 16 (2)

O'Neill F and Nurmikko T. Chapter 172: Evidence-Based Approach to the Treatment of Facial Pain. Youmans and Winn Neurological Surgery, 7th Edition Ed HR Winn. Saunders, Philadelphia, United States. (In press)