Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

We want all of our patients to feel confident in the care they receive from Beale & Cullen Dental, which is why we enthusiastically welcome your questions. Having all of the information you need to make an informed decision is important, and our entire team is friendly, experienced and ready to assist.

You will find some of the most common questions we receive listed below. You can also call us directly for a prompt answer to any question regarding the services we provide or your treatment.


CEREC One-Visit Crowns

When a tooth is weakened by decay, trauma or cracks due to large, old fillings, a crown may be suggested as the best long-term solution for your tooth. A crown provides strength to a tooth by encasing the entire structure above the gumline, much like a helmet. Dental crowns absorb the force from chewing and may prolong the life of your tooth for decades, or even a lifetime.

At Beale & Cullen Dental, we have been using CEREC technology to create crowns in one visit for well over a decade, constantly keeping up to date with the amazing hardware and software developments. 

CEREC crowns eliminate the need for multiple dental appointments to complete your treatment. We use digital impressions rather than gooey impression paste to determine the size and shape of your crown. Once uploaded into our software, our in-house milling machine, which is like a small robot, will mill your crown out of a single piece of durable and aesthetic ceramic.

You will leave our dental clinic on the same day with a brand new tooth that matches the rest of your smile perfectly. Our patients love this convenient way to complete their dental crowns. 

To learn more about CEREC crowns, contact our Christchurch dental clinic, and our friendly team will answer all of your questions.

Dental Implants

You may have a missing tooth or teeth that you want replaced to improve your chewing or because you don't like the look of gaps in your smile. Maybe you even cover your mouth with your hand when you smile or laugh instead of showing off your joy. 

At Beale & Cullen Dental, we will help you feel confident about the way you look. Not to mention, eating the food you love is one of the great joys of life and is often a major component of celebrations with family and friends.

Replacing missing teeth might be easier than you think. We will present all of your treatment options, along with the benefits and limitations of each. We trust our patients to make a choice that works best for them and will support you in achieving your goals for your smile.

Many factors may play a role in how you replace missing teeth.

  • Current oral health
  • Budget and costs
  • Lifestyle factors
  • Your goals for health and appearance
  • Planned future treatment

We have options from simple removable dentures to fixed bridges and implants, so you can smile and eat with confidence. Give us a call at our Christchurch dental practice to get started.

Emergencies and Extractions

We know dental emergencies can be miserable, so we reserve time in our schedule every day to deal with them. Please contact us as early as possible in the day, and we will do our very best to see you that same day. 

General Dentistry

We suggest brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day using proper technique.

  • Be sure to brush all surfaces of teeth
  • Angle toothbrush toward the gumline
  • Use gentle pressure – the bristle tips do the cleaning
  • Replace toothbrush every three months or earlier if it looks worn

While an electric toothbrush is not necessary to keep teeth clean, it sure makes it easier. Not only does it vibrate at a high speed, scrubbing away plaque and food particles, it also comes with a handy timer letting you know you have reached the two-minute mark. 

Brushing alone is not enough. You need to clean between your teeth where the toothbrush doesn't reach at least once a day using floss or the correct size interdental brush – a nifty little brush perfect for cleaning in hard-to-reach spots. 

Flossing your teeth not only helps to keep your teeth clean, but it also maintains your periodontal health by removing bacteria just beneath the gumline.

For patients with crowded teeth, waxed floss or dental tape makes it easier to floss without fraying. For patients with spaces between teeth, braided or woven floss will help you remove more plaque.

If you want to discuss products or need a refresher on home hygiene, we are always happy to demonstrate so that you get the most out of your home oral care.

Generally, we recommend a dental check-up and clean every six months so your dentist can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy and pick up any issues in the early stages before they become big issues. 

Just because you don't feel any discomfort doesn't mean there's not something going on. Dental decay and gum disease usually don't give any symptoms until they are well advanced. Advanced diagnostics using digital dental x-rays makes it easier to detect conditions early, potentially saving you time and money over the course of your lifetime.

Some people, especially those with gum disease, may need to be seen as often as every three months. We always recommend treatment based on your needs and never treat something as important as your health with a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, we spend time getting to know you and your goals for your smile. We also present any issues we see along with all treatment options, respecting that different people require different solutions.

We will advise you of what is the right interval between visits for you and maintain diligence to protect your oral and overall health by looking after your smile.

Has it been a while since your last dental appointment? You will not find any guilt or judgement here. We are here to help you regain your confidence and your smile.

Our dentists, Dr Richard Beale and Dr Louisa Cullen, would never tell off a patient. We'll be delighted you've made an appointment and taken the first step to healthy teeth and gums. 

Patients avoid the dental clinic for many personal reasons – finances, anxiety and busy schedules are all competing with dental visits. Our friendly and compassionate team recognises what a big step it can be to make an appointment with the dentist.

Here is what you can expect when you come to Beale & Cullen Dental:

  • A warm welcome
  • A full medical history and other necessary forms
  • Dedicated time to get to know our team
  • Plenty of time to discuss your concerns with Dr Beale or Dr Cullen
  • A comprehensive exam of your teeth, gums and bite
  • An oral cancer screening
  • X-rays with digital technology
  • A treatment consultation
  • A plan to help you have a healthy smile
  • An opportunity to arrange your next visit

One of the greatest joys of our profession is helping patients overcome their oral conditions and smile confidently again. If you have been looking for gentle dentistry in Christchurch or the surrounding areas, we welcome you to arrange a booking and see what a difference personalised dentistry makes.

We know most people are a little anxious before going to the dentist, but for some people, this fear can be so debilitating that it causes them to leave a very long time between visits. Please be honest and tell us about your fears. We want to know if you have had a previous bad experience, and often just talking about it and realising that we understand and are here to help you can be a very powerful first step in moving past it and helping you on the road to great dental health. 

One of our most significant rewards is when patients who came to us initially with a genuine fear of the dentist tell us they now look forward to their dental visits! 

It’s easy to say we are kind and compassionate, but you will only know we truly believe in respecting and delighting our patients when you make your first dental appointment with us. You will never be just a smile to us. Instead, we will treat you with a whole-person approach, caring for your emotional experience and your dental experience equally.

Our goal is for every experience you have with us to be exceptional! Contact our Christchurch dental practice and take the first step toward a smile you feel proud to show off.

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Covid-19 Red Setting
We are confidently compliant with all NZ Dental Council and Ministry of Health requirements. Please wear a surgical mask to your appointment and do not attend if you are feeling unwell or are self-isolating. Please follow the instructions at our front door. You may be required to wait in your car until we are ready for you to control patient flow at the front desk. Thanks for your patience as we prioritise the health and safety of our patients and staff.