Dr. James C. DeFinnis's Dental Blog

Wilkes Barre Family Dentist Dr. James C. DeFinnis

Pain-Free Dentist Visits Are Possible With Some Help

Serious dental procedures can be painful. After all, there are a lot of nerves and pain receptors in your mouth. More often than not, painkillers aren’t enough to block out the pain.

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July 22, 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

Sedation Dentistry: Comfort in the Dentist’s Chair

2If you are one of the millions of people who get anxious about a visit to the dentist’s office, sedation dentistry may be the solution for them to finally be comfortable. It can be used with virtually any procedure, from serious treatments to simple cleanings. Essentially, dentists use medication to relax patients. That being said, there are many different sedation levels and methods that a number of dental practices offer. Continue reading

May 20, 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

Comfort to Your Anxious Child on First Dental Visit

Dental anxiety or fear is prevalent among children, but without proper dental care, your child is at greater risk of developing oral health problems. Skipping appointments, therefore, isn’t a healthy option. Follow these tips to help manage your child’s dental anxiety.

Show them what to expect.

A child’s anxiety can be eased somewhat when he or she is informed about what to expect in advance. Tell your child in reassuring ways what a dentist will do and what the procedure would feel like, e.g. vibration, taste, and pain; the injection, after all (if you remember) does feel like an ant bite.

Use distractions to divert focus away from fear.

You may also bring your child’s favorite toy that he or she could play with in the waiting room. Dental personnel are trained to engage their little patients in a cheerful discussion to distract and create rapport. They may be asked to visualize an amazing day in the amusement park or the first time they received their favorite toy. Distraction for older children may include video tapes, video games, or television.

Apply sedation dentistry.

Dental fear can be deep-rooted that nothing could seem to make a child relax on the dentist’s chair. If this is the case, it would be better to find a dentist qualified to administer Intravenous (IV) sedation. This technique allows your child to sleep throughout the procedure, and wake up to healthier teeth, with hardly a memory of the process.

April 20, 2015 Posted by | Back Mountain Dental, Cosmetic Dentistry, General Dentistry | , , | Leave a comment

Sedation Dentistry: Tips for First Timers

If you suffer from dental anxiety, you may have heard that sedation dentistry is a way to help you face your fears and receive proper dental care. Many first timers are a bit skeptical about the effects of sedation dentistry, but those who have tried it claim that it really does work as advertised, especially if a dentist uses IV sedation.

Of course, sedation dentistry can be a doozy for unprepared people going through the procedure for the very first time. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you prepare for your first sedation dentistry appointment:

Find someone to drive for you

Once the IV is removed, you may still experience the effects of the sedative for a few hours. Obviously, this impairment makes operating a vehicle a dangerous idea. Ask a friend or family member to drive you home after your procedure. You may also want them to stay with you for a few hours in case you need anything else.

Follow fasting guidelines seriously

The sedative your dentist will use is personalized to your situation, which is why your dentist will ask you questions regarding your blood pressure, allergy history, etc. Additionally, you will be asked to fast at least eight hours before your procedure starts to avoid accidental vomiting.

March 30, 2015 Posted by | Sedation Dentistry | , , | Leave a comment

Keeping Relaxed on a Dentist’s Chair

There are many people who avoid dental appointments because of intense anxiety and fear. If you are one of them, you may want to take a closer look at sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentistry is considered a good solution for people suffering from dental fear or anxiety, as it helps patients relax through a dental procedure. People who have low thresholds for pain, have sensitive teeth, and require quite a lot of dental work may benefit the most from this method. Sedation is applied to calm the patient, and may be used in both simple and complicated procedures. Continue reading

March 20, 2015 Posted by | Back Mountain Dental, General Dentistry, Sedation Dentistry | , , | Leave a comment

Wisdom Teeth: Should They Stay or Should They Go?

While they might grow out of your gums during the so-called “Age of Wisdom” (which is between ages 17 and 25), wisdom teeth might not bring you the knowledge about life you deeply wished to have; on the contrary, they might bring you discomfort. Although not everyone develops this third set of teeth, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons says that nine out of ten people who do develop them would have at least one impacted wisdom tooth, meaning there’s no space for it to break through the gums.


When a wisdom tooth gets impacted, the partial eruption it causes in your gums allows bacteria to enter your mouth, causing pain, jaw stiffness, swelling, or even a small bout of illness. Moreover, since the general area where your wisdom teeth grows is usually beyond the reach of your toothbrush or dental floss, these could easily cause decay and even gum disease.

Normally, your dentist would suggest having your wisdom teeth removed in order to avoid the further complications of an impacted tooth. Wisdom teeth extraction is recommended at a young age since the roots are not yet fully developed. As you age, however, extraction becomes more painful, yet not impossible when you opt for an IV sedation during the whole procedure. With this in place, you can lie back and relax knowing that you can have all the benefits of wisdom teeth removal with none of the pain.

February 9, 2015 Posted by | General Dentistry, Healthy Living, Oral Hygiene | , , | Leave a comment

IV Sedation: Facing Your Fear of the Dentist

backmountainFrightened with just the idea of sitting still and opening your mouth while your dentist does his magic on your teeth? Although many people share your fear of the dentist or dental procedures, your fear could get in the way of maintaining your dental and oral health, which could then lead to certain diseases. To help curb your fright while sitting on the dentist chair, dental professionals came up with a solution: intravenous or IV sedation. Continue reading

December 23, 2014 Posted by | Back Mountain Dental, General Dentistry, Sedation Dentistry | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Straight Truth: Learn More about Invisalign

Invisalign is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to treat a wide range of orthodontic problems, mostly because it is comfortable and less embarrassing than braces. For those who want to go this route, here are a few facts on the process. Continue reading

November 10, 2014 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, White Fillings | , , | Leave a comment

Manage Dental Anxiety with Your Dentist’s Help

BackMountainDentalDealing with your anxiety of visiting the dentist can be difficult, but there are several ways to do so. First, you should openly communicate your fears with the dental team, and let them know about any bad experience you might have experienced in the past. This will give the dentist and the dental team an idea on how to make you feel at ease.

Second, for some people, dental fear or anxiety may be too severe that pharmacologic management or sedatives are needed. Among the types of sedation available for dental treatments, experts say intravenous or IV sedation works best in most scenarios. A sedation dentist can fully explain the procedure and its benefits. Continue reading

October 12, 2014 Posted by | Back Mountain Dental, General Dentistry, Sedation Dentistry | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tooth Preparation: What You Can Expect

BackMountainDentalIf you are looking into getting a cosmetic dental procedure or restoration, you might come across the term “tooth preparation”. This refers to procedures the dentist will perform to prepare the affected tooth or teeth for cosmetic enhancement or restoration.

Tooth preparation is usually done on treatments and solutions like fillings, crowns, bridges, and veneers. Any decayed part of the tooth will be removed, and the healthy portion will be kept intact as much as possible. If needed, further contouring of the teeth may be done to accommodate dental resin or prosthetic, and allow a snug fit and stable attachment. Temporary bonding or restorations may be placed after the preparation. Continue reading

September 12, 2014 Posted by | Back Mountain Dental, General Dentistry, Sedation Dentistry | , , , | Leave a comment