Dr. James C. DeFinnis's Dental Blog

Wilkes Barre Family Dentist Dr. James C. DeFinnis

For Your Teeth’s Sake: Food Items Worth Avoiding

It is often fun to eat some snack items at certain times of the day. However, doing so without caution and compunction can present a huge threat to your teeth’s integrity. Your preferred dentist can tip you on them and plan your eating accordingly. Continue reading


July 27, 2015 Posted by | Back Mountain Dental, Children's Dental Care, Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Cleaning, General Dentistry, Healthy Living, Oral Hygiene, Sedation Dentistry, Tooth Sensitivity | , , | Leave a comment

Dental Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

People who suffer from dental anxiety often ignore dental warning signs like toothaches because the warning signs indicate a need to see a dentist. These warning signs, however, shouldn’t be ignored since they are often harbingers of more serious dental problems. That in mind, here are a few warning signs you should never ignore:

Sensitivity to Cold/Heat
Do your teeth hurt after eating hot/cold food? If the answer is yes, you may have a tooth infection. In this case, see your dentist immediately to prevent the infection from spreading to the tooth root. Continue reading

May 10, 2014 Posted by | Back Mountain Dental, Dental Cleaning, General Dentistry, Healthy Living, Oral Hygiene, Sedation Dentistry | , , , , | Leave a comment

Facts you should know about IV Sedation Dentistry

BackMountainDentalMany people have always been terrified of undergoing dental procedures, and as a result, they end up neglecting their oral health. Thankfully, there are several means available today that should help curb people’s dental fear. Dental sedation is one of them. Here are some facts about one type in particular: IV Sedation.

What is it?

Intravenous or IV sedation is a procedure where a drug is administered directly into a patient’s bloodstream, allowing him to relax throughout the dental procedure. One misconception is that this puts the patient to sleep (it is called sleep dentistry, after all). As a matter of fact, it only puts you in a state of deep relaxation.

Continue reading

March 10, 2014 Posted by | Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Cleaning, General Dentistry, Healthy Living | , , , , | Leave a comment

Approved Drugs Commonly Used in Dentistry

Like any medical practice, dentistry uses certain drugs. These drugs, for the most part, have approval for the profession. Each of them serve functions such as easing pain, relieving anxiety, and treating infections.

Generally, drugs used in dentistry have classifications as anti-inflammatory, anesthetic, antiseptic, and antibiotic.


Anti-inflammatory drugs relieve discomfort and redness of the mouth and gums. Corticosteroids are one example, which are only available by prescription. Among the brand names of corticosteroids used are Orabase, Oracort, and Oralone.


Anesthetic drugs relieve irritation or pain in the mouth caused by conditions including teething and toothache. These drugs are available through prescription or over the counter as aerosol sprays, lozenges, ointments, and more. Examples of popular brands are Ambesol, Orajel, and Xylocaine.


Antiseptic drugs rinse the mouth of plaque and germs. Generally available over the counter, these drugs can be used to treat gingivitis or inflammation of the gums as well as bad breath caused by germs in the mouth.


Antibiotic drugs are designed to treat infections. These drugs are especially applicable for cases of periodontal disease caused by bacteria. Sample brand names are Atridox (doxycycline) and Irgasan DP300 (triclosan).

The type of drug to apply will depend on the situation. A dentist’s diagnosis will decide which of the drugs mentioned are applicable.

February 24, 2014 Posted by | Cosmetic Dentistry, General Dentistry, Oral Hygiene | , , , | Leave a comment

Things You Should Know About Sedation Dentistry

Dental anxiety is a condition that makes people stressed and panicky whenever they’re getting checkups or treatments from their dentist. It’s even worse for others who couldn’t even find the courage to go to the dentist. Thankfully, there’s sedation dentistry to help them out.

While people with dental phobia do realize the importance of regular dental visits, they have such an intense fear of dentists that they end up skipping the necessary dental appointments, or making up excuses to not go to one. For this reason, they miss out on quality dental care, and instead, choose to relieve their pains and oral health problems with over-the-counter products. Continue reading

January 10, 2014 Posted by | Back Mountain Dental, Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Cleaning, General Dentistry, Sedation Dentistry | , , , , | Leave a comment

Difference between Dental Phobia and Anxiety

BackMountainDentalPeople rarely get excited about going to the dentist, but most of them acknowledge that a dental visit is an absolute necessity to ensure their oral health. However, some patients avoid dental visits at all costs, even when they realize these visits’ importance. The condition that hinders these people from getting the quality oral care they need is commonly referred to as dental fear.

>Dental fear can be further broken down into two categories, namely dental anxiety and dental phobia. Dental anxiety and dental phobia are two different things although some people do use these terms interchangeably. Dental phobia is an intense and irrational fear of dentists, similar to other phobias like claustrophobia or acrophobia, while dental anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness or discomfort toward dental appointments.

While people with dental anxiety dread going to the dentist, they do manage to do so eventually, albeit their anxiety remains even during the treatments. Those with dental phobia put off dental care for as long as they can. Fortunately, sedation dentistry can help make dental treatments less frightening for sufferers of either condition, by making use of sedative drugs that make patients feel relaxed and comfortable during the treatments. Thanks to this dental breakthrough, patients who used to avoid dental sessions at all costs can now be more easily convinced to get the kind of care they need.


December 16, 2013 Posted by | Back Mountain Dental, General Dentistry, Sedation Dentistry | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Look into Dental Phobia

There are things people look forward to such as dropping by at a popular dessert place in Scranton, but a visit to the dentist when necessary or at least once every six months isn’t. However, most people know that these periodic dental check-ups are necessary to maintain their oral health, so they don’t think twice about paying a visit to their family dentist. Unfortunately, there are those who can’t bring themselves to go to the dentist, even when they know they need to.

What stops them is the condition commonly referred to as dental phobia, something more serious than feeling uneasy or uncomfortable in the presence of dentists. People with dental phobia feel incredibly anxious and nervous at the mere mention of the word “dentists.” Some even end up feeling sick when it’s time for their dental appointment, ending up not going anyway.

Dental phobia occurs for various reasons. Some may have had a traumatic experience as a child with their dentist, while some associate dental visits with pain. People with dental phobia end up depriving themselves of quality dental care for years, jeopardizing their overall dental health in the process. Fortunately, sedation dentistry can help in this regard; one of the most effective techniques being Intravenous (IV) sedation.

November 15, 2013 Posted by | Back Mountain Dental, Bruxism, Cavities, Children's Dental Care, Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Cleaning, Emergency Dentistry, Family Dentistry, General Dentistry, Healthy Living, Just for Fun, Missing Teeth, Office Technology, Oral Hygiene, Restorative Dentistry, Sedation Dentistry, Tooth Sensitivity | , , , , | Leave a comment

How Cosmetic Dentistry Improves Smiles

The quest to achieving that perfect smile has become easier than ever with the recent advances in cosmetic dentistry. Thanks to the various procedures and materials that are continuously being developed in this field, many dental defects can now be effectively and conveniently corrected. Gone are the days of imperfect smiles.

Discolored or stained teeth, for example, may be corrected by teeth whitening. There are several whitening procedures to choose from, ranging from bleaching to laser techniques. The bleaching treatments available have varying degrees of whitening, and it is up to the patients to decide how white they want their teeth to be.

Dental veneers can also solve several dental cosmetic problems. Gaps between teeth, uneven teeth shapes and sizes, and even cracked teeth can be corrected by veneers. Dental veneers are thin ceramic materials layered over natural teeth to mask those previously mentioned defects. For optimum results, the use of more than one dental veneer is often necessary, and in fact, those who wish to achieve perfectly even teeth may opt to get veneers for a complete set of teeth.

The traditional way to correct teeth gaps or misaligned teeth is through metal braces, which unfortunately, many adult sufferers find inappropriate for their age. Those who are past adolescent age but wish to correct these teeth defects can consider Invisalign. This works very much like traditional braces but with a clear material, it’s almost invisible to the naked eye and is thus less embarrassing for adults to wear.

November 7, 2013 Posted by | Back Mountain Dental, Bruxism, Children's Dental Care, Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Cleaning, General Dentistry, Healthy Living, Oral Hygiene, Tooth Sensitivity | , , , | Leave a comment

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

BackMountainDentalSedation is a process that is done in order to lessen the stress, anxiety or fear by introducing a drug into one’s system. Sedation dentistry is also done for the very same purpose – to reduce the patient’s fear when seated on a dentist’s chair, and to improve the patient’s recovery and relaxation. There are plenty of various benefits of sedation dentistry, and in fact, there are no reports of adverse effects connected to this procedure.

With sedation dentistry, the patient will not fall asleep during the dental operation, but will instead be relaxed and can still respond to the dentist. Some patients reported to feeling refreshed after the operation, so this is beneficial to those who fear going to a dentist’s office.

A dental sedation can also make a long and complicated dental treatment easier and faster. Some extensive procedures that can be completed after 6 to 8 visits can be done in just 1 visit if sedation dentistry is used. Because of this, you can save more money due to the lesser visits to the dentist’s office. Plus you won’t be giving your dentist that hard of a time doing the procedure on you.

According to a survey by the American Dental Association, more than 10% Americans are highly nervous and anxious when it comes to dental treatments, even avoiding dentists altogether. This is why dental sedation is one of the best solutions for patients who harbor fear of dentists and dental procedures in general. 

October 13, 2013 Posted by | Back Mountain Dental, Bruxism, Children's Dental Care, Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Cleaning, General Dentistry, Healthy Living, Oral Hygiene, Tooth Sensitivity | , , , | Leave a comment