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Bakersfield’s Friendly General Dentist

Welcome to McCullough Dental, Bakersfield! We’re so excited to have you as part of our dental family. If you’re looking for a family dentist you can trust, you’ve come to the right place! Our general dentistry services are performed with care and compassion.

Don’t let dental anxiety keep you from getting the care you need. It’s not out of the ordinary to be nervous around dentists, especially for children. Dr. McCullough and our staff have been trained to help your children feel more comfortable in our office.

If you need anything, don’t hesitate to reach out. We care about our patients and want them to be happy and comfortable at our practice.

General Dentistry Prevents Health Problems

We see many patients who wait to get treatment until they have severe and painful dental problems such as periodontitis or a tooth infection. While we can help with such issues, we hate to see our patients in pain.

We’d prefer to see you more often under less painful circumstances! General dentistry services focus on preventing oral issues, and helping you enjoy the following benefits:

  • Wear-Resistant Teeth: Our cleanings and treatments help teeth resist wear and erosion.
  • Peace of Mind: At least you won’t have to worry about your oral health.
  • Healthy Smile: Each general dentistry service helps get your smile healthy and keep it that way.

Why Families Love McCullough Dental

Our patients are part of our family, and we do everything we can to help them feel like it. This includes high-quality, efficient, and patient-focused dentistry with an artistic flair! General dentistry is one of our focuses as a practice because we believe that preventing issues is so important for the overall health of our patients.

For anyone who needs a little more reassurance than a caring team and an office that feels like home, we offer sedation dentistry. We have different options, depending on the severity of your dental anxiety, but all can help you feel more comfortable in the chair and during a procedure.

Schedule Today for Accessible, Accelerated, and Quality Dentistry

Do yourself a favor, set an appointment with McCullough Dental in Bakersfield right now, and avoid painful, interfering dental problems in the future. We’ll take good care of the whole family, making time for each patient to give them the attention and care they deserve.

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Why Our Patients Love Us

I have been going here for some time now, and I can say Dr. McCullough and his team truly care about their patients like family. Also, they offer a lot of different services, and have helped me maintain and improve my dental health drastically! Highly recommend them for your general dentistry needs. – Dirk D.

General Dentistry Issues We Can Help With

General Dentistry Issues We Can Help With

Plaque and Tartar

Plaque is a mixture of bacteria, food residue, and saliva that sticks to your teeth and wears away the enamel. When plaque hardens, it becomes tartar, which can be difficult to remove, and therefore more damaging to your teeth. Plaque and tartar services can remove harmful bacteria so they can’t wear down your teeth. This process can prevent:

  • Tooth decay.
  • Tooth infection.
  • Gum disease.
  • Cavities.
  • Tooth abscess.

You can prevent plaque and tartar buildup by daily brushing and flossing at home, but you’ll still need regular cleaning appointments too.

Cavities and Fillings

Cavities are caused by plaque buildup. If a cavity is left alone for long enough, it can create pathways for bacteria to reach the sensitive nerves and blood vessels inside your teeth, causing a tooth infection.

Symptoms of cavities include:

  • Toothache.
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods.
  • Tiny dark spots on the tooth’s surface.

A dental filling is used to fill in the hole in the enamel. These fillings are tooth-colored and blend in perfectly with your natural teeth. Fillings solve the cavity problem and they prevent further tooth decay.

Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease

Bacteria can get inside your gums if we’re not careful. Gum disease has several stages, and our team at McCullough Dental wants to keep you from getting past the first stage: gingivitis.

To do this, we’ll keep your mouth clear of plaque when you come in for your biannual checkups. Our plaque and tartar removal and cleaning services are some of the most effective ways we can use to prevent gum disease.

Gum disease symptoms include:

  • Bleeding gums.
  • Pain when chewing.
  • Receding gums.
  • Gums that are red or purple.
  • Persistent sores or abscesses on gums.


There are a lot of causes of tooth pain. Issues can come from blunt force trauma, fractures, infection, and more. For the most part, tooth pain will go away on its own, but in the case of injury or infection, you will need treatment.

If you’ve never experienced a tooth infection, you might know someone who has. Tooth infections are fairly common and can require a root canal treatment to get rid of the infection. An infection could attack a tooth that is weakened by plaque and tartar.

Manage tooth pain at home with ice packs and OTC medication.

Chipped or Cracked Tooth

One dental issue that is hard to prevent is injured teeth. You might take a hit to the face or bite into something a little too hard. It happens randomly and the best we can do is be ready to fix it. Breaking or chipping your tooth can be painful. It can cause:

  • Tooth pain.
  • Tooth sensitivity.
  • Tooth infection.
  • Lacerations on the gums.

General dentistry includes services that repair accidental tooth injuries. We can use dental crowns, dental bonding, or dental veneers to repair your teeth. Each treatment treats a different severity of injured tooth.

Tooth Appearance

Is your smile a little crooked? Or maybe it’s straight but could use a little tooth whitening? We have solutions for you! That’s right, cosmetic treatments can have oral health benefits too! For instance:

  • Veneers: Protect the inner part of the tooth from bacteria by covering the front.
  • Crowns: Cover the entire tooth to repair damage and provide protection.
  • Dental bonding: Allows us to shape a tooth in a way that is cosmetically pleasing as well as functional.
  • SureSmile® aligners: Straighten your teeth to be more effective and beautiful.

Mouth Sores

No one likes a canker sore, but most of us won’t avoid them our entire lives. Canker sores can be caused by irritation from dental appliances or a lack of iron in the diet. These types of sores usually go away on their own after a week or two, but you can relieve the pain with over-the-counter products.

If you have a sore that doesn’t go away after two weeks, it could be a sign that there is a bigger problem. One of the symptoms of oral cancer is long-lasting mouth sores. We are sure to check for oral cancer at every dental exam.

Impacted Teeth

Sometimes teeth can’t grow in all the way, so they grow to full size underneath the gums. This is called impaction and it can be painful as well as cause infections and bite problems. Wisdom teeth are commonly impacted because they don’t have room to erupt.

If you have them, wisdom teeth can cause some serious problems. They are very large molars that grow behind your other teeth. They are so large they can shift other teeth out of place or else embed in the gums and cause lots of pain. Wisdom tooth removal can prevent these issues.

Tooth Erosion

We want to help your teeth last you a lifetime, and they can’t do that if they’re getting worn down by daily use!

There are other causes of tooth wear than just chewing a lot. Bruxism (teeth grinding), temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), and tooth alignment are all common issues that could be wearing away your teeth faster than usual.

If there are any signs of wear on your teeth, you should seek treatment to prevent your teeth from wearing down further. Treatment could include:

  • Sealants.
  • Dental bonding.
  • Invisalign® clear braces.

Oral Cancer Screening

During each dental exam, Dr. McCullough also scans for developing oral cancer. The most common type of oral cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. If you are worried about oral cancer or have a family history of it, look out for the following symptoms:

  • Unusual red or white areas.
  • Painful tissue.
  • Recurring or long-lasting mouth sores.

Catching oral cancer early is important. The sooner we can detect cancerous cells, the more successful treatment will be. Only about 3% of cancer diagnoses are oral cancers, but it’s always smart to check and be safe.

What To Expect at a McCullough Dental Visit


Taking x-rays gives us a good idea of what we can expect in the future for your teeth. It can also show us fractures, cavities, and bone structure. Plus, x-rays help us keep detailed records of each patient’s dental history.

We’ll be able to prevent tooth pain by taking action on the information we receive from the x-rays. Issues we can see in an x-ray include:

  • Cavities: X-rays allow us to see cavities more clearly so that we can correctly diagnose the issue.
  • Developing Teeth: We’ll be able to check on the progress and development of young teeth.

Cleaning Process

  • Plaque Removal: During the cleaning process, we’ll gently and carefully scrape off plaque and other residual debris. Bacteria form sticky plaque that can cause cavities.
  • Professional Flossing: You should floss at least once a day at home, but even diligent flossers can’t get everything. Our hygienists are all skilled at flossing and can clear out plaque.
  • Cleaning: We use a special toothbrush that is designed to agitate the bacteria on your teeth. We have a variety of toothpaste flavors to choose from to make your smile shine.


Each exam and cleaning appointment is unique and catered to each patient. What might take 30 minutes for one patient might take an hour with another, but in each case, our team does efficient, patient-centered, and artistic work.

Dr. McCullough performs the exams personally. He loves to use them as a chance to get to know his patients. During the exam, Dr. McCullough will determine whether there are any cavities, infections, or signs of oral cancer. This is also your chance to ask him about any concerns or questions regarding your mouth.


At the end of your appointment, Dr. McCullough, or one of our hygienists, will explain the condition of your mouth in easy-to-understand terms. They’ll also provide suggestions for personal care and recommendations for treatment. If you need treatment to restore you to full health, they’ll also talk about that and give you some treatment options.

We value educating patients about how to properly care for their teeth. If a patient has a good oral hygiene routine, their mouth will have fewer problems and require less treatment later on.

Oral Health Care Steps

We all want our teeth to last a long time. To do that, we need to keep them as healthy as possible. Healthy teeth don’t cause pain or discomfort, don’t have cavities, and don’t bear large amounts of plaque or tartar.

During semiannual appointments, we’ll get your teeth all set for another six months of home care. If changes or treatment need to be made, we’ll be able to catch it early before they become a problem.


The first step to a healthy smile is creating a habit of good brushing. You should brush your teeth twice a day, making sure to clean every surface of your teeth. Be careful not to brush too hard or rub against your gums because it could make them start to recede.


It’s also important for you to floss your teeth once a day. When you floss, be sure to get all the way down to the gums, but be gentle too. You’ll want to avoid cutting open your gums because that creates an entry point for bacteria. Flossing clears away dangerous plaque.


While not as important as brushing and flossing, using mouthwash once a day can make a big difference in your oral health too! Some types of mouthwash are antimicrobial, which can get rid of bacteria in your mouth. Rising after flossing also flushes out leftover bacteria.


If you keep up with regular brushing and flossing, your teeth are probably in good shape, but the only way to be sure is by visiting a dentist like Dr. McCullough for a checkup. These checkups can catch issues early, making them easier to treat and recover from.

Other Dental Concerns We Can Help With

You should be setting time to see us regularly every six months or so, but sometimes questions arise in-between visits that might make you wonder whether you should schedule an emergency appointment.

Painful gums are a concern. Some of the most common symptoms of gum disease are red, swollen, bleeding, or receding gums. You’ll want to get diagnosed before the condition progresses.

A toothache that lasts weeks or months is not a good sign. It’s painful, but it probably means you have a tooth infection or a cracked tooth to boot! Don’t worry! There are treatments for toothaches!

Loose adult teeth are a problem. Once you’ve lost all your baby teeth, you won’t get a third set of teeth. That’s why it’s so important to get treatment if you notice an adult tooth has come loose.

Hot and cold foods do tend to irritate our teeth sometimes. If you notice your teeth are more sensitive than normal, you may have a cracked tooth or a cavity that is sensitive to hot and cold foods.

Jaw pain can be caused by impacted teeth, root canal infection, bruxism (teeth grinding), or temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). TMD means that the jaw joint is injured or distressed.

Mouth sores should go away on their own within a week, maybe two. Any sore that lasts longer than that should be tested for cancer. Persistent mouth sores are a common sign of oral cancer.

Suffering from cottonmouth? Make sure you’re getting enough water. Dry mouth could also be caused by sleeping with one’s mouth open. This usually happens with patients who snore frequently.

After you eat anything, bacteria form in your mouth to help get rid of the leftovers. These bacteria cause that odor you are smelling. Bad breath can come from infected areas with many bacteria.

Oral health becomes even more important during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones make conditions like gum disease more likely. Good oral care can help you and your baby stay healthy.

Start Now To Optimize Your Oral Health

At McCullough Dental, we treat each patient as a person and each smile as a masterpiece in embryo. With our general dentistry services, you can have gorgeous teeth free of infections, pain, and cavities. Contact us today for an appointment!

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