Celebrating Smiles | 28 August, 2023

From The Dentist's Mouth - Dr Richard Murphy

Dr Richard Murphy is the lead dentist at Lumino Pearl and has extensive cosmetic and restorative dental knowledge.

What made you decide to get into dentistry as a career?

I had a lot of dental work as a child and always found it very interesting. I knew I wanted to work in healthcare, and liked the hands-on technical aspect while still having patient interaction

How long have you been practising dentistry?

I qualified from Queen’s University Belfast in 2016, so 7 years.

Tell us about your career background?

I started my career in Manchester, then London, working in NHS dentistry. After a few years there, I moved to private practice in Ireland. This was a welcome change, as it allowed me to focus on bigger, more complex cases with an emphasis on aesthetic dentistry. I moved to New Zealand 18 months ago with my Kiwi partner and started working at Pearl Dental when I arrived.

What is your most memorable case to date?

There have been a few over the years. I have found that the most rewarding cases are the
ones where a patient is particularly anxious at the start of treatment, yet by the end of our
sessions they are completely at ease in the dental chair. Breaking that cycle of dental phobia
is a great feeling.

What do you love most about your job?

There’s a solution to almost every problem in dentistry. Whether you have missing teeth, a painful tooth, or you are unhappy with your smile, there is always something that can be done to fix it. Often patients don’t realise how advanced dentistry has become, and I love the challenge of planning out a complicated case with a patient.

What are your special interests in dentistry?

I’ve definitely leaned more towards aesthetic treatments in the last few years. I love working with the lab creating crowns, veneers and implants to improve a patient’s function, as well as their smile. I have a lot of experience straightening teeth with Invisalign, which has really added to my treatment planning over the years. That being said, fillings and checkups are the cornerstone of any good dentist, and I love the variety that each day brings.

What is the main piece of advice you give your patients?

Regular checkups help to catch a problem while it’s still small and simple to fix. If you haven’t been for a while don’t let that put you off, we’re not that scary and we’re here to help.

Where would we find you outside of the practice?

Since moving to New Zealand I’ve really come to appreciate the outdoor lifestyle you have here. You’d find me hiking, on a bush walk or at the beach, weather permitting of course…

I’ve also taken up tennis since moving here, and I try to make it to the gym a few days a
week. I like to cook, and I really love the restaurant scene here in Auckland.