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.
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.

By Ernest Fontaine, D.D.S.
September 26, 2019
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

First impressions are crucial, whether they are in the context of a date, a job interview, or meeting a stranger at the bar, and a dazzling smile can help create a great impression on anyone you meet! Here at Dr. Ernest Fontaine's office in Harrisburg, PA, we understand the importance of a beautiful smile, which is why we provide patients with professional teeth whitening.

The Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening:

Teeth whitening procedures restore smiles by eliminating stains, dull appearance, and/or discolored teeth. Stains and yellowing can be a result of:

  • Age, for the white protective enamel generally wears down overtime to expose the yellow dentin
  • Dietary decisions, for drinking too much coffee/tea and eating darkly pigmented foods such as curry can stain teeth
  • Poor oral hygiene, such as neglecting to brush, floss, use fluoride-containing products, or visit your dentist for professional cleanings can all cause stains to set in

Over-the-Counter Products Vs. Professional Whitening Services

There are whitening toothpastes available at stores, but these toothpastes provide minimal results and consist of harsh substances that can cause damage to enamel.

Fortunately, your Harrisburg dentist also provides professional teeth whitening. This is a safe and effective procedure that may last as long as five years, and, best of all, it's quick. The dentist uses a retractor that prevents soft tissue, gums, and lips from coming into contact with the teeth whitening agents being used. Unlike OTC products, professional whitening is comfortable, and provides dramatic results—even up to eight shades brighter!

Need a consultation?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding teeth whitening, your Harrisburg, PA, dentist, Dr. Ernest Fontaine, is here to help. Just give us a call today at (717) 564-1310. With the help of professional teeth whitening, we can give you the smile that you've always wanted!

By Ernest Fontaine, D.D.S.
July 05, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Implants  

If you wish to replace some missing teeth, dental implants from Dr. Ernest Fontaine, your dentist in Harrisburg, PA, may be the choice for Dental Implantyou. Stable, secure, natural-acting, and functioning, implants and implant-supported dentures are forever prosthetics which are second only to natural teeth.


FAQS about dental implants

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are titanium screws or cylinders placed by your Harrisburg, PA, dentist into the jaw. Serving as replacement tooth roots, dental implants may be restored by metal alloy posts and porcelain crowns. In the case of extensive tooth loss, multiple implants secure full or partial dentures.

Dental implants differ from other tooth replacements because they are made of titanium, a naturally-occurring metal which attracts human bone cells. This bonding process is known as osseointegration. It takes many weeks to accomplish but creates an amazing relationship between the jaw bone and the implant. Osseointegration also improves the quality and quantity of the alveolar ridge (tooth-bearing part of the jaw bone) at the insertion site. Other tooth replacements cannot do this.


Am I a candidate for dental implants?

Older teens (girls over 16 and boys over 18) and adults are candidates for dental implants if their jaws have finished growing and if they have enough bone in the alveolar ridge. Oral examination and special three-dimensional scans show Dr. Fontaine if your bone is dense, wide and high. If it's deficient in some way, he can augment it with donor bone or synthetic materials.


Will the procedure hurt?

No, it will not as Dr. Fontaine uses a local anesthetic to insert the implant(s), or if you choose, he can offer you sedation to relax you during the relatively short procedure. The insertion process only takes about an hour, and people return to their normal routines right away.


How long will my implants last?

The American Academy of Implant Dentistry says that in general, implants last a lifetime. However, good care is important. So, if you smoke, stop as soon as possible. Brush twice a day and floss every day to keep implant sites clean. If you grind your teeth, inquire about a customized bite guard to cushion your teeth. And, of course, see Dr. Fontaine every six months for a professional cleaning and check-up.


A fabulous smile

Feel confident in your oral health and appearance, too. Ask Dr. Ernest Fontaine about dental implants to complete your smile. Call his friendly office team for a personal consultation in Harrisburg, PA, at (717) 564-1310.

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