Friendly General Dentist in Bakersfield, CA

Welcome Bakersfield, CA, to McCullough Dental! 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 a compassionate understanding of the patient’s situation.

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.

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.

If you need anything, don’t hesitate to let us know. We care about our patients and want you to be happy and comfortable at our practice.

When To Take Advantage of General Dentistry

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 certainly 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, so if you visit our Bakersfield, CA, office just twice a year, you can prevent any serious dental conditions.

During these semiannual appointments, we’ll perform an exam to check up on your oral health, and 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 painful problem for you.

You can set an appointment with us today, or if you have any questions, please call! We’re happy to help.

General Dentistry Can Do a Lot for You

To give you beautiful and healthy teeth, Dr. McCoullough and our team focus on preventing oral issues through:

  • Semi-Annual Appointments to check in with you and your teeth and provide a professional cleaning.
  • Educating Patients about how to properly care for their teeth while taking into account their individual circumstances.
  • Anticipating Future Complications by performing exams and taking x-rays that reveal budding issues.

When you choose general dentistry services from McCullough Dental, not only will you have enduring confidence in the beauty and health of your smile, but you’ll be able to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Wear-Resistant Teeth: Our cleanings and fluoride treatments give your teeth the tools they need to resist wear and erosion.
  • Peace of Mind: With all the to-do’s and appointments on your schedule, at least you won’t have to worry about the health of your teeth.
  • Healthy Smile: Each general dentistry service is meant to get your smile to prime health and keep it that way.

General Dentistry at 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.

Do yourself a favor, set an appointment with McCullough Dental in Bakersfield, CA, right now, and avoid painful, interfering dental problems in the future.

How Dental Exams Work

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. We provide several services all in the same visit, including:

  • X-Rays: Taking x-rays gives us a good idea of what we can expect in the future for your teeth, as well as showing fractures, cavities, and bone structure. Plus, x-rays help us keep detailed records of each patient’s dental history.
  • Cleaning: We use a special toothbrush and toothpaste that are designed to agitate the bacteria on your teeth. We have a variety of toothpaste flavors to choose from and the polishing process leaves your teeth cleaner than a standard toothbrush could.
  • Plaque Removal: Part of the cleaning process involves gently and carefully scraping off plaque and other residual debris. Over time, bacteria and saliva form sticky plaque that can cause cavities and infections, so it’s important that we remove it.
  • Professional Flossing: You should floss at least once a day at home, but even diligent flossers can miss plaque hiding in tight spots. Our hygienists are all skilled at flossing and can help you get rid of that unwanted plaque.
  • Fluoride Treatment: Fluoride is a mineral that is extremely beneficial to the growth and integrity of our teeth. We usually emphasize fluoride treatments in children because their little mouths are still developing and need all the help they can get.
  • Dental Exam: Dr. McCullough performs the exams personally. He loves to use them as a chance to get to know his patients as well as determine whether there are any cavities, infections, or signs of oral cancer.
  • Hygiene Tips: 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.

Issues Prevented by General Dentistry

Tooth Infection

If you’ve never experienced a tooth infection, you’ve probably heard of someone who has. Tooth infections are fairly common and can require a root canal treatment to get rid of the infection.

Infection attacks a tooth that is weakened by 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.

Cavities are also 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.

At McCullough Dental, our plaque and tartar removal services as well as cavity fillings can remove harmful bacteria and stop up those holes to prevent tooth infections and save you from pain.

Gum Disease

Just like bacteria can get inside your teeth and cause painful infections, they can also 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 prevent gum disease.

It’s also important for you to brush and floss your teeth regularly. 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.

Worried about gum disease? If you have any combination of the following symptoms, call our office in Bakersfield, CA, so we can properly diagnose and treat the problem.

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

Tooth Pain

There can be a lot of causes of tooth pain. Issues can come from blunt force trauma, fractures, infection, and more.

At McCullough Dental, we hate to see any of our patients in pain so we do everything we can to prevent issues that could cause tooth pain. In every exam, we’ll take x-rays of your teeth. This gives us a behind-the-scenes look at what issues could be coming up.

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. Once we’re sure it’s a cavity, we’ll be able to talk to you about the next step in your care.
  • Developing Teeth: Using x-rays on our younger patients, we’ll be able to check on the progress and development of their teeth. X-rays will be able to tell us if they are missing certain teeth, or if other teeth need to be pulled to make space.
  • Wisdom Teeth: 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.

X-rays give us the advantage of being able to anticipate what your mouth will throw at us next. We’ll be able to prevent tooth pain by taking action on the information we receive from the x-rays.

TMD & Tooth Wear

When you come in for your appointments with us twice a year, Dr. McCullough will give your teeth a thorough exam. During this checkup, one thing he’ll look for is wear on the chewing surface of your teeth.

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!

Many times, 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 they should be.

If Dr. McCullough notices any signs of wear on your teeth, he’ll be able to help you find the treatment that is right for your situation. Sometimes it may be as simple as a sealant or some dental bonding but could also include orthodontics. We offer Invisalign® treatment for patients in need of orthodontic treatment at McCullough Dental.

General Dentistry FAQ

How Do I Know I Need a Dentist?

Life gets busy and though we’d love to see you anytime, we definitely don’t expect you to fit us into your weekly or even monthly schedule. 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.

It’s probably time to schedule an appointment with Dr. McCullough if you are experiencing:

  • Persistent tooth pain.
  • Excessive bleeding.
  • A chipped, broken, or loose tooth.
  • Tooth loss.
  • Pain when chewing.

Emergency Dentistry in Bakersfield, CA

Need help? We are emergency dentists! We’re happy to help even in the most stressful situations. Call us immediately if you need any kind of urgent care.

Are My Teeth Healthy?

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 unreasonable amounts of plaque or tartar.

It can be hard to determine whether your teeth are healthy at home. If you are keeping up with regular brushing and flossing, your teeth are probably in good shape, but the only way to be sure is by visiting McCullough Dental for a checkup.

Are You a Family Dentist?

Yes! We love serving patients of all ages. Our staff is trained to help children feel comfortable at our office and we’ve worked extra hard to make the environment comfortable and exciting for kids.

We also offer sedation dentistry options because we know patients (not just children) can be nervous about dentists. Sedation dentistry can help you defeat dental anxiety by helping you or your child feel relaxed before/during the visit.

Learn more about sedation dentistry at McCullough Dental.

What’s Causing My Bad Breath?

We’ve all had bad breath at some point, especially after eating something with garlic or onions in it, but some people seem to have bad breath constantly.

If you’re one of those people, it might help to understand where bad breath comes from. Onions and garlic aren’t the only foods that make our breath stink. After you eat anything, bacteria form in your mouth to help get rid of the leftovers. These bacteria cause that odor your friends are smelling.

How to get rid of these bacteria? Simple fix! Brush your teeth more often, especially after you eat. Brush your tongue as well! Don’t leave any dirty spaces for bacteria to colonize. If that doesn’t help, give us a call. Bad breath could be a sign of further issues, so it’s important to seek treatment if the symptom persists.

How Do I Know If I Need a Root Canal?

There are a few signs and indicators you can watch out for that could indicate you need a root canal. Root canals are most often recommended when infection has gone beyond other means of repair and requires a more in-depth treatment option. You might be in need of a root canal if you are or have been experiencing any of the following root canal symptoms:

  • Extreme pain when chewing or biting.
  • Chipped or cracked tooth.
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold things placed on or near teeth.
  • Swollen or tender gums.
  • Darkening of gums.

Why Choose McCullough Dental as Your Bakersfield, CA, General Dentist?

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 that are free of infections, pain, and cavities.

Contact us today for an appointment to take advantage of incredible preventative dental care!

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