And Munster front-row Marcus Horan comes in at prop, replacing Reggie Corrigan, who fractured his wrist in the game at the Stadio Flaminio.
Dempsey's recovery means Leicester's Geordan Murphy is moved out to the right wing, despite excelling in his favoured full-back role against the Italians.
The man to lose out is Munster winger John Kelly, who scored a try in the 37-13 victory over the Azzurri.
Another to shine in Rome was Ulster's David Humphreys who retains the fly-half berth despite the recovery from an ankle injury of Ronan O'Gara.
The Munster number 10 has to settle for a place on the bench, where there is a vacancy for a three-quarter - most likely a choice between Kelly and his Munster team-mate Rob Henderson.
Ireland team to play France in RBS 6 Nations at Lansdowne Road on Saturday:
G Dempsey (Leinster/Terenure College); G Murphy (Leicester), B O'Driscoll (Leinster/Blackrock College, capt), K Maggs (Bath), D Hickie (Leinster/St Mary's College); D Humphreys (Ulster/Dungannon), P Stringer (Munster/Shannon); M Horan (Munster/Shannon), S Byrne (Leinster/Blackrock College), J Hayes (Munster/Shannon), G Longwell (Ulster/Ballymena), M O'Kelly (Leinster/St Mary's College), V Costello (Leinster/St Mary's College), K Gleeson (Leinster/St Mary's College), A Foley Munster/Shannon).
Replacements: F Sheahan (Munster/Cork Constitution), J Fitzpatrick (Ulster/Dungannon), L Cullen (Leinster/Blackrock College), A Quinlan (Munster/Shannon), G Easterby (Llanelli), R O'Gara (Munster/Cork Constitution).