Could Redheads Have a Tougher Time with Sedation Dentistry?

After hearing interesting rumors and anecdotes from his colleagues, Dr. Daniel Sessler, anesthesiologist and department chair of Outcomes Research, decided to test a theory relating to hair color and response to sedation. The myths suggested redheads had a tougher time with sedation medication than a patient with any other hair color. Our Wilkes-Barre sedation dentist, Dr. DeFinnis will explain the outcomes of Dr. Sessler’s studies and what this means for our red haired patients.

Can Hair Color Have an Impact on Dental Care?

Since 2004, Dr. Sessler gathered information about how patients with different hair colors respond to tooth sensitivity, their anxiety levels about visiting the dentist, and how much anesthesia they needed to feel numb. After taking blood samples, Dr. Sessler found a strong correlation between the gene that contributes to red hair, fair skin, and freckles, with a resistance to pain medication. In fact, patient with this gene, MC1R, were twice as likely to fear the dentist.

Connections between Genes and Response to Sedation Dentistry

The melanocortin 1 receptor gene is the decisive gene for how your body addresses melanin, the pigment that makes your skin, hair, and eye color brown or black. Only 5% of men and women have this gene. Dr. Sessler’s article published in the Journal of American Dental Association in 2009 showed that natural redheads with the MC1R gene were 20% more likely to need more general anesthesia than patients with blonde, brunette, or black hair.

How Our Wilkes-Barre Dentist Can Help

When it comes to sedation dentistry, we know that every patient is different. Our sedation dentist in Wilkes-Barre, Dr. Jamie DeFinnis will work closely with you to determine the right amount of anesthesia to help you feel comfortable during your treatment. Additionally, you can count on individualized attention for your vital signals and comfort levels during your entire treatment, so that even redheads can rest comfortably while we care for their dental health. Continue reading

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When Sedation Dentistry Fails

 Many dentists advertise sedation dentistry because they offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and/or oral sedation (like Valium or Halcyon). However, these common sedation methods do not prove effective for every patient. If you’ve tried nitrous oxide and oral sedation and you were unhappy with the results, you have another option – and not hospital dentistry. This third in-office sedation option will allow you to go into a deeper state of relaxation, yet you won’t be unconscious as you would with general sedation. Continue reading

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A Brief History of Sedation Dentistry

Going to the dentist has been a great source of fear for many people. However, thanks to the invention of sedation dentistry, that is all beginning to change. Apprehensive patients can now relax during their dental procedures rather than worry and feel a constant sense of discomfort. Here at Back Mountain Dental, we offer a unique kind of sedation dentistry called IV sedation. But first, allow Dr. DeFinnis to provide you with a brief history of how this unique form of dentistry began.

The Beginning of Sedation Dentistry

In 1846, a dentist by the name of William T.G. Morton gave a sulfur-ether compound to a patient about to have oral surgery. The surgery was then performed by Dr. John Warren, with the patient experiencing minimal pain because of the pre-administered drug. This event occurred at Harvard University and serves as the origin for anesthetic dentistry. Continue reading

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Mental Health Awareness Month in Wilkes Barre

Did you know that May is Mental Health Month? In honor of raising awareness for mental illness in the United States, our team at Back Mountain Dental and Dr. James DeFinnis discuss the prevalence of anxiety disorders and their symptoms.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are the most common types of psychological illnesses in the United States. Some types of anxiety disorders include post traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and specific phobias. Estimates indicate that up to 40 million Americans have some type of anxiety disorder. Common symptoms of these disorders include panic attacks, heart palpitations, irrational fears and thoughts, and difficulty concentrating. For some patients, anxiety disorders are debilitating and difficult to overcome without professional treatment. Continue reading

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Causes of Dental Phobias Explained by Dr. DeFinnis

Dental phobias should not be taken lightly. For whatever reason you may feel fear about visiting the dentist, it is keeping you from getting the dental care you need and experiencing the quality dentistry services that come with patient trust. Dr. DeFinnis understands dental phobias can be psychologically and physically harmful to your health, so we have identified some of the causes of dentistry fears, and ways to cope with the anxiety.

Fear of Helplessness

A common anxiety among patients with dental phobias is that they are not in control of their situation. Some may feel they will not be able to communicate to the doctor if they feel pain or discomfort since they cannot properly talk during treatment. To relieve this anxiety, speak with your doctor before your procedure about non-verbal signals you can make to signal you are uncomfortable. For example, raising your hand can indicate to your dentist that you need a break. You can also ask your dentist to explain the process every step of the way so that you are aware of the situation even if you cannot see what is happening. Remember that a dentist can stop any time to let you take a break and regroup if you need.

Fear of Embarrassment

Some people avoid going to the dentist because they are embarrassed of the condition of their mouths. Unfortunately, whatever dental issue is plaguing patients with this dental fear will only get worse without treatment. Putting off treatment because of the condition of your teeth can be dangerous to your health. If you are worried about judgment or criticism from your dentist, you have no need to fear. Dr. DeFinnis is a professional who sees dental conditions compassionately yet objectively. You will not be judged or ridiculed for any reason. Remember that dentists treat patients with a wide range of oral health issues. Continue reading

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Tips to Relax Before Your Scranton Dentist Appointment

Back Mountain sedation dentist Dr. James DeFinnis strives to help all of his patients receive the dental care they need to maintain healthy teeth and gums, beautiful smiles, and high quality lives. Because he’s an expert of sedation dentistry, however, Dr. DeFinnis understands that, for some patients, receiving the dental care they need and deserve can be a challenge because they have a fear, phobia, or anxiety about dental care and/or going to the dentist.

Anxiety-Reducing Tips from Your Wilkes Barre Dentist

To soothe your fears and ease your mind before taking a seat in the dental chair, Dr. DeFinnis encourages you to try to the following anxiety-reducing methods. Continue reading

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Dr. James DeFinnis explains who needs Cosmetic Sedation Dentistry

Most of us weren’t born with a naturally perfect smile. There’s always something that isn’t quite right, whether its misshapen teeth, gaps, damage or discoloration. These imperfections can make it very uncomfortable to show your smile, even around friends and loved ones. Even with the stress and self-consciousness that goes with having a lackluster smile, fear of the dentist causes many people to never even try to improve the situation. Sedation cosmetic dentistry can change all that.

Sedation Cosmetic Dentistry Information

Cosmetic dentistry is designed to give people their most beautiful, dazzling smile. Cosmetic dentists are the ones who give Hollywood stars their perfect, bright white teeth. These dentists are qualified to handle all the normal dental health procedures of your regular dentist, but also offer cutting-edge treatments to beautify your pearly whites. Laser whitening, porcelain veneers and invisible orthodontics are among the many treatments offered by cosmetic dentists.

Sedation dentists like Dr. James DeFinnis specialize in treating patients who experience fear and anxiety about visiting the dentist. Also referred to as “sleep dentists,” sedation dentists offer patients anti-anxiety medications or (in some cases) anesthetic options for making their dental visits as stress-free and pain-free as possible.

For many patients, it’s embarrassment over their smile or their tooth condition that makes them nervous about seeing a dentist in the first place. Sedation cosmetic dentistry is specially designed for this sort of patient. Sedation cosmetic dentists understand the frustration and lack of confidence that come with an unsatisfying smile, and provide their patients with a calming and confidence-building dental experience.

Sedation Cosmetic Dentistry Costs

Even for standard checkup and cleaning visits, dental care can be expensive. Most insurance providers offer very limited coverage for special procedures, causing both sedation and cosmetic dentistry patients to pay out of pocket. In cosmetic dentistry, the costs can be equated with cosmetic surgery, which is also rarely covered by insurance providers. Since it’s seen as voluntary, rather than necessary, treatment, insurance companies typically don’t offer any assistance in offsetting cosmetic surgery or dentistry costs.

Sedation dentistry requires the use of sedatives or anesthesia, which is also paid for out of pocket. For most basic visits, sedation dentists will administer anti-anxiety medications such as diazepam (Valium) or triazolam (Halcion). These medications can cost up to $400, depending on your insurance and prescription coverage.

For more extensive procedures, anesthetics ranging from regular nitrous oxide “laughing gas” up to general or intravenous (IV) anesthesia may be recommended. Anesthetics must be administered by a dental anesthesiologist, who are typically not part of your dentist’s practice. Anesthesiologists typically bill in time increments rather than by the procedure, so their rates may escalate by procedure. The cost of anesthetics is rarely covered in cosmetic and sedation dentistry, meaning patients must pay for both the anesthesia itself and the billing from the dental anesthesiologist. 

Despite the out-of-pocket costs, cosmetic dentistry patients generally consider their treatments a small price to pay for confidence and feeling attractive. More and more people are turning to cosmetic sedation dentistry as a way to get the brilliant, beautiful smile they’ve always wanted

 

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Don’t Avoid the Dentist Because You’re Embarassed by Your Oral Health

As a sedation dentist serving the greater Wilkes Barre area, Dr. James DeFinnis understands that dental fear and phobia are very real and can be very difficult to overcome. Often, a person’s fear of the dentist and/or dental care stems from a fear of dental treatment itself, the tools used during dental work, and the sights, smells, and sounds of a dental office. Today, however, Dr. DeFinnis wants to discuss another cause of dental phobia and a few ways to remedy it.

Avoiding the Dentist due to Embarrassment

If you suffer from dental fear and anxiety, it’s safe to assume that you haven’t been to the dentist in many years and you’re not receiving the dental care you need and deserve. If this is true, your teeth and gums are probably not in optimal health. If your teeth and gums are in bad condition, you may be embarrassed to reach out to the dentist to seek out the dental care you need. Continue reading

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Instructions for Your IV Sedation Dental Procedure by Trucksville Dentist Dr. James DeFinnis

At Back Mountain Dental, cosmetic and sedation dentist Dr. James DeFinnis uses intravenous (IV) sedation to keep his Wilkes Barre patients comfortable and relaxed during their dental procedures. This very safe and very effective sedation method has helped countless patients overcome their dental fear and phobia and receive the care they need and deserve, so Dr. DeFinnis urges you to consider IV sedation if the thought of taking a seat in the dental chair leaves you anxious and afraid. To ensure your safety before, during, and after your sedation is administered, follow the tips below.

Before Your Dental Procedure

Before prescribing IV sedation to you, Dr. DeFinnis will first consult with you about your medical history, current medications and/or health problems, and your dental care needs. While specific pre-sedation instructions vary from patient to patient and case to case, the following points are standard: Continue reading

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Does Anxiety Keep You From The Dentist?

Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental health issues in the United States. These disorders manifest in a variety of forms, including persistent, overwhelming feelings of worry, panic attacks, and even specific phobias. Each of us could easily name something that scares us, such as spiders or heights. The level of fear or terror present with anxiety disorders can vary wildly from person to person. Continue reading

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