Dr. James C. DeFinnis's Dental Blog

Wilkes Barre Family Dentist Dr. James C. DeFinnis

What Is a Dental Bridge?

When it comes to replacing teeth, our Wilkes-Barre dentist gives you options. We offer a variety of dental restorations to address missing teeth because we understand that tooth loss can cause several more problems down the road without adequate treatment. Our Wilkes-Barre dentist, Dr. James Definnis will explain everything you need to know about dental bridges, a popular tooth restoration.

Dental Bridges Prevent Teeth Drifting

Dental bridges prevent teeth from drifting out of place in response to a missing tooth. This is a common problem associated with tooth loss since the remaining teeth will attempt to make up for the missing tooth. Since teeth are placeholders, without a tooth, shifting often occurs as a result of everyday functions like speech patterns and eating habits that push certain teeth out of place.

The Makeup of a Dental Bridge

A dental bridge is obviously modeled after a structural bridge. Two abutment teeth, or the teeth surrounding the void, support the artificial tooth, the restoration which bridges the gap. The entire bridgework is made of two porcelain crowns placed over the abutment teeth, and one or more artificial teeth to replace the missing teeth in an arch.

Advantages of Dental Bridges

The advantages of a dental bridge include aesthetics. Bridgework is comprised of dyed porcelain material that mimics the natural coloration of a tooth. In addition, the porcelain will be shaped to match every detail of the tooth it replaces from size and shape to cuspids, allowing for better chewing function as well as cosmetic appeal.

Maintaining Dental Bridges

Bridges are also beneficial because they are durable. With meticulous oral hygiene and professional dental cleanings, your dental bridge can last for decades to come. Since dental bridges require some extra effort to clean between the gums and dental restoration, our Wilkes-Barre dentist may offer you advice for using special flossing tools or interdental brushing methods. Continue reading


July 26, 2012 Posted by | Missing Teeth, Restorative Dentistry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Road Trip Trivia from Your Favorite Dentist

Dr. Jamie and Jodee, his wife, have a SUV full of beautiful kids. This active family knows the joy of the summer road trip – and the potential boredom of driving hundreds of miles. You can only watch TV and listen to the radio for so long before you need human interaction. Before your family hits the road, air, or sea for summer vacation, print or save these dental trivia questions about the animal kingdom to make your travel time fun and educational.

How many teeth can a snail have?

  1. None
  2. 14
  3. 26
  4. Over 25,000

An elephant’s molars are about 7” across. How many times in life can an elephant naturally replace these giant teeth?

  1. None
  2. 1
  3. 3
  4. 6 Continue reading

June 21, 2012 Posted by | Children's Dental Care | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trucksville Dentist Explains How Acid Reflux Can Cause Cavities

Do you often experience strong chest pains after eating? If so, you might have acid reflux disease. Many people think this condition only affects one’s eating habits, but it does more than that. Your Trucksville dentist, Dr. James DeFinnis, explains how acid reflux can affect your dental health as well.

What is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux disease, also referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease, occurs when stomach acid moves up the esophagus, causing chest pain and nausea. Some common causes include lying down after a big meal, eating spicy or fatty foods, and smoking.

How can it Cause Cavities?

Not only is acid reflux extremely uncomfortable, but it can also have damaging effects to oral health and can actually contribute to cavity formation. After the stomach acid travels up through the esophagus, it often makes its way into the mouth. The acid then erodes the tooth enamel, making those teeth more prone to decay. In addition, dry mouth is a side effect of acid reflux, which some patients attempt to cure by sucking on hard candies or throat lozenges. Many of these candies are high in sugar, though, and can thus contribute to further tooth decay. Continue reading

May 31, 2012 Posted by | General Dentistry, Healthy Living | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Causes Enamel Erosion?

Teeth Need Enamel for Protection

Do your teeth feel sensitive when you eat ice cream or drink coffee? Do you find yourself needing more fillings than usual? You may be suffering from enamel erosion. Your smile depends on your tooth enamel to protect the sensitive pulp from extreme temperatures, bacteria, and decay. With this layer diminished, your teeth are more vulnerable to toothache and cavities. Trucksville dentist, Dr. James DeFinnis would like to help you discover what habits or dental conditions might be deteriorating your tooth enamel and your oral health.

Teeth Grinding Weakens Smile Defenses

One of the most common culprits of excessive tooth wear is bruxism. Known as teeth grinding, bruxism is a condition that involves the sufferer unknowingly clenching and gnashing his or her teeth together. Although bruxism more frequently happens during sleep, teeth grinding can also occur during the waking hours when the person is not paying attention. Bruxism is especially dangerous for tooth enamel because grinding involves scraping tooth against tooth, meaning the enamel is up against something equally as hard. The damage compounds since both upper and lower teeth are experiencing extreme pressure.

Hard-Bristled Toothbrushes Wear Away Enamel

While some people believe the harder you brush, the cleaner your teeth become, unfortunately, harsh brushing means weaker tooth enamel. The American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush because harder bristles can actually scrub away the protective outer layer of your tooth. Additionally, beware of brushing too soon after you eat. Fermentable carbohydrates like white bread, pastries, and bagels can temporarily stick to your teeth and cause your tooth enamel to become soft. In this vulnerable state, vigorous brushing could actually do more harm than good. Instead of brushing immediately after eating, try drinking plenty of water to flush away food particles after meals; then, do not forget to brush before bed. Continue reading

May 3, 2012 Posted by | Bruxism, Tooth Sensitivity | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to the Back Mountain Smile Store!

It is Wilkes Barre dentist Dr. James DeFinnis’ goal to help our patients from across the Trucksville, Scranton, and Back Mountain areas achieve and maintain healthy and beautiful smiles. We believe that this quality of dental care expands beyond regular dental checkups and cleanings at our Wilkes Barre dentist office, so we’ve started a new program at Back Mountain Dental that will help you care for your smile in the best way possible at home.

The Smile Store

Welcome to the Back Mountain Dental Smile Store! Here, you’ll find professional-strength dental hygiene products that Dr. DeFinnis recommends for prices that you’ll love.

It is our hope that you take advantage of the Smile Store and care what we do for your teeth in the dental chair to what you do for your teeth on a daily basis. You can purchase professional breath remedies, dental appliance accessories, denture care products, electric toothbrushes, floss and interdental cleaners, manual toothbrushes, special mouthwash, teeth whitening products, and various formulas of toothpaste from the Smile Store. Not sure where to start? At your next appointment, talk to Dr. DeFinnis about improving your at-home dental hygiene routine. He’ll be happy to suggest products you can use to boost your oral health and help keep your teeth and gums sparkling for life. Continue reading

March 22, 2012 Posted by | Back Mountain Dental | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

National Children’s Dental Health Month

As you can see, it’s been a while since we posted on this blog, but Wilkes Barre dentist Dr. James DeFinnis and the Back Mountain Dental team are happy to announce that it’s back up and running. Today, we’re talking about the same topic that we left off on exactly a year ago: children’s dental health.

Doing Our Part to Help Children Smile Bigger and Better

If you read the last Back Mountain Dental newsletter, you know that, over the past month, our new dental hygienist Daiphin has been traveling to schools across the Trucksville community to educate little ones about the importance of having healthy teeth and gums.

When she visits schools, Daiphin discusses proper brushing and flossing, the importance of going to the dentist, how to eat healthy, and more. Today, Dr. DeFinnis wants to talk about the same topics so that you and your child can finish National Children’s Dental Health Month on a high note. Continue reading

February 23, 2012 Posted by | Children's Dental Care | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment