Harrisburg, PA Dentist
Ernest Fontaine DDS
4221 Derry St
Harrisburg, PA 17111

(717) 564-1310
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By Ernest Fontaine, D.D.S.
August 05, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Periodontal Health  

As time progresses, our teeth may become more and more susceptible to damage when we have poor lifestyle choices. Dr. Ernest Fontaine educates and treats people with an array of dental issues at his Harrisburg, PA, office.

What kind of dental problems do people suffer from?

About 50% of adults aged 30 and older suffer from periodontal disease and the likelihood of getting periodontal disease increases as a person gets older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is the infection and inflammation of gums and bone that support teeth. The first stage is called gingivitis, gums can become swollen and red, and may bleed. The other more advanced stage is called periodontitis, the gums pull away from the tooth.

To prevent advanced stages, you need to visit your dentist on a regular basis for dental examinations and deep cleanings that remove plaque build-up.

What is the problem with periodontal disease?

People lose bone and can lose teeth. Periodontal disease is one of the main threats to dental health and is associated with several other diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, according to the American Academy of Periodontology, because of inflammation.

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

You need to speak with your Harrisburg dentist if you find these symptoms:

  • Bad breath
  • A bad taste that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose and sensitive teeth
  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
  • Changes in the way teeth fit together while you're biting down on them

What are the preventative measures?

Maintaining a healthy oral regimen, like daily brushing and flossing, is the best preventative care. Make sure you also avoid unhealthy habits -- like smoking, drinking alcohol and eating sugary foods -- and drink plenty of water.

Do you need to visit your dentist?

If you have more questions about periodontal disease, you should contact your dentist, Dr. Ernest Fontaine, at (717) 564-1310 today.

By Ernest Fontaine, D.D.S.
May 12, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Oral Care Routine  

Caring for your teeth daily is a great method to preserve your smile. Harrisburg, PA dentist Dr. Ernest Fontaine can show you the importance of a good oral care routine and how to get the best results.

A thorough, simple dental care routine is an effective strategy to preserve oral health. Patients can protect their smile by doing the following:

Reduce your consumption of sugar

Keep your consumption of sugars to a minimum. Opt for clear-colored, low sugar beverages. Excess sugar leads to cavities within the tooth enamel. When sugar consumption is left unchecked, decay develops. This will cause a range of dental ailments in the future.

Start with brushing

Brush your teeth twice daily. Clean at an angle along the insides and on top of the surfaces that chew food. Make sure to brush your teeth along the gum line.

Brushing for two minutes each time you brush removes the stubborn bacteria that adhere to the teeth after food consumption. If you have gums that are prone to bleeding and pain, use toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

Improve your lifestyle

Avoid painful tooth decay and oral cancer by not smoking. Smoking and other tobacco products leave residue in your lungs and along with your teeth. These residues can cause staining and tooth loss. Quitting tobacco also improves breath.

Interdental tooth care

Floss between the teeth with a waterpik or with manual floss daily. Food particles get stuck in between teeth. This debris contributes to the formation of decay and unpleasant breath. Flossing prevents gingivitis and periodontitis that ruin tooth and gum health.

Call our office in Harrisburg today

Oral care at home is an affordable, effective way to manage your dental health. A great dentist is your ally to a healthy smile. To get more information, visit Dr. Ernest Fontaine in Harrisburg, PA. Contact us at (717) 564-1310 for a consultation.

By Ernest Fontaine, D.D.S.
March 26, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  

Don’t give gum disease a fighting chance.

Gum disease is one of the most common dental diseases to affect American adults. In fact, as many as half of the adults in the US have some degree of gum disease, and some don’t even know they have it. Since gum disease is a progressive condition that can lead to gum and tooth loss, it’s important that you turn to our Harrisburg, PA, dentist Dr. Ernest Fontaine every six months for checkups to catch those less obvious early signs of gum disease.

Preventing Gum Disease

The best way to protect yourself against gum disease in the first place is to practice good oral hygiene. This includes,

  • Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing daily (crucial to keeping gums healthy and free of plaque and bacteria)
  • Using mouthwash after brushing and flossing
  • Eating a healthy diet that is low in sugar and starches
  • Quitting or avoiding smoking
  • Visiting your Harrisburg, PA, family dentist every six months for checkups

Gum disease is preventable, and by maintaining good oral hygiene you can keep gums healthy and free from infection.

Signs of Gum Disease

Unfortunately, gum disease doesn’t often cause symptoms. That’s why many people with gum disease don’t even know they have it. Usually, gum disease won’t cause visible changes or symptoms until the more advanced and serious stages.

The goal of our dental team to be able to catch gum disease much sooner than that. This is why visiting your dentist twice a year is so important. We know exactly what to look for and how to measure the gums to check for early signs of gum disease.

Of course, it’s important to see your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms of advanced periodontitis,

  • Receding gums
  • Gums that bleed when you brush and floss
  • Swollen, inflamed and tender gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Changes in your bite
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Loose teeth
  • An abscess on the gums, a pimple-like bump that is also a sign of infection

Treating Gum Disease

If your dentist has told you that you have gum disease the type of treatment you undergo will depend on the severity of the disease. Most patients can benefit greatly from improving their oral care routine and with non-surgical gum disease therapy. The most common way to treat gum disease is through a procedure known as scaling and root planing. Simply, it’s a very deep cleaning that removes plaque and tartar from under the gums and around the roots of the teeth to get rid of bacteria and reduce gum inflammation.

Whether you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease or it’s time to get a dental cleaning, turn to our dentist in Harrisburg, PA, for the care and treatment you need when you need it most. Call us at (717) 564-1310 to book your next dental visit.

By Ernest Fontaine, D.D.S.
February 21, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

Aesthetic dental procedures repair defects such as a malformed bite, crooked teeth, injury, and overall appearance. Dr. Ernest Fontaine of Harrisburg, PA, restores your beautiful smile. There are common aesthetic dental procedures like veneers that can correct misshaped, stained, chipped, or missing teeth. Veneers change the shape of teeth, fix small gaps, or simply reshape teeth.

Veneers are wafer-thing porcelain or plastic dental appliances cemented to the surface of natural teeth. The procedure requires little or no anesthesia and have longer life expectancy and color stability than dental bonds. Veneers are highly resistant to permanent staining from coffee, tea, or cigarettes.

The procedure usually requires about three appointments for the diagnosis, and treatment plan and preparation, and finally bonding. Your Harrisburg dentist first performs a dental exam to assess the health of your teeth and how best to treat any issues. Because veneers are a cosmetic procedure, any underlying problems like tooth decay must first be resolved. Your dentist then takes impressions of your teeth and sends them to a lab for custom veneers to be made.

Note, veneers are irreversible because small amounts of enamel are removed from the surface of teeth to accommodate the shell. So, make sure you discuss this part of the procedure with your dentist to make sure you're comfortable with it.

During the final bonding visit, veneers are cemented to the surface and over the course of two weeks any necessary adjustments are made. This will give you time to get accustomed to your new oral appliance. You can discuss if the shade of your teeth isn't to your liking, or if it needs to be adjusted because it isn't sitting right (slightly crooked).

So, why choose veneers? Veneers are a great cosmetic solution for people who want to fix minor dental imperfections. For more information on veneers in Harrisburg, PA, call your dentist, Dr. Ernest Fontaine at (717) 564-1310 today!

By Ernest Fontaine, D.D.S.
November 15, 2019
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: Dental Crowns  

There are many reasons that our Harrisburg, PA, dentist, Dr. Ernest Fontaine, may recommend that a patient get a dental crown. After all, this simple restoration offers a host of both restorative/cosmetic benefits and is a common fix for teeth that are cracked, fractured, or have to undergo root canal treatment.

Here are just some of the benefits of getting a dental crown from our Harrisburg, PA, dentist:

  • Strengthens weak or damaged teeth
  • Preserves what’s left of a natural tooth
  • Improves the overall shape, color, and appearance of a tooth
  • Supports a severely cracked or broken tooth
  • Prevents further damage to a tooth
  • Covers a dental implant
  • Protects a tooth after getting root canal treatment
  • Holds a dental bridge in place to replace missing teeth
  • Improves appearance
  • Boosts confidence

With the proper care, these durable restorations can last up to 15 years, making it a great option for anyone who is dealing with a damaged, weak, or malformed tooth. Since crowns are custom-made to fit your tooth, you won’t have to worry about them being bulky or unnatural. Plus, a crown is often made from a tooth-colored material such as composite resin or porcelain, ensuring that it will bear the look of a real tooth!

Each crown is created just for you, meaning that every contour and curve is designed to ensure that your crown looks just like the rest of your smile. No one will even be able to tell which tooth has a crown!

Crowns also offer both restorative and cosmetic benefits. Therefore, if you have a tooth that is malformed, misshapen, or severely discolored, placing a crown over the tooth could completely alter its shape, color, and size. While there are less invasive options such as veneers that can also hide imperfections, if your tooth is also damaged, then a crown may be the best way to restore and improve it.

Need dental work? Give us a call!

Do you have a damaged or misshapen tooth? If so, then it’s possible that you could benefit from a dental crown. Call our Harrisburg, PA, practice today at (717) 564-1310 to schedule a consultation with your dentist, Dr. Fontaine.

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