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.
April 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canal  

Do you know which changes in a tooth may mean you need a root canal? Our Harrisburg, PA, dentist, Dr. Ernest Fontaine, discusses a root canalsfew signs and symptoms that may occur if your tooth pulp becomes infected or inflamed.

You have pain in a tooth

Tooth pain prompts most people who need root canals to visit the dentist. Although an inflammation or infection in your pulp can cause excruciating pain, that's not always the case. Your pain may be fairly mild, at least in the beginning, and may come and go at first. If you put off scheduling an appointment with our Harrisburg office, pain may eventually worsen and become constant.

Pain that occurs as a result of an inflammation or infection tends to intensify if you eat or drink certain foods and beverages. Sensitivity can occur if you consume foods and drinks that are hot, cold, or contain sugar. You may also notice that your pain intensifies any time you chew or even press on the affected tooth.

You've noticed a few changes to your gum

Swollen, red, painful gums may be a sign of gum disease, but the symptoms may also mean that there is a problem deep inside your tooth. No matter what the cause, changes to your gums should always be investigated.

Your tooth has darkened

Inflammations and infections cause disturbing changes to teeth that can affect their color. If you need a root canal, your tooth may start to look a little brown or gray.

You had a previous dental procedure on a tooth

Your root canal risk rises if you have had a filling or had another procedure performed on your tooth. Pain may indicate that you have a new area of decay in the tooth or require a root canal.

You injured your tooth

Root canals are often needed after trauma to a tooth due to a blow to the mouth. If your tooth is damaged, loose or has been re-implanted after being knocked out, you'll probably need a root canal to protect your tooth and prevent tooth loss.

You have an abscess

Abscesses cause severe pain, swelling in the gums and jaw, pus or a pimple on the gum near the tooth, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. Removing the pulp during root canal therapy and replacing it with a flexible filling will relieve your pain and save your tooth. You'll also need to take antibiotics to stop the bacterial infection from spreading.

Root canal therapy can relieve your pain. Call Harrisburg, PA, dentist, Dr. Fontaine, at (717) 564-1310 to schedule an appointment if you're concerned about a tooth.

By Ernest Fontaine, D.D.S.
February 13, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

What's the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults? if you guessed tooth decay, you're wrong. The Centers for Disease Control periodontal diseasein Atlanta state that it's gum disease. Yes, what people disregard as just a little blood in the bathroom sink can be an infection that degrades gum tissue and bone and also causes harmful systemic effects such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and more. What's to be done? Your Harrisburg, PA, dentist, Dr. Ernest Fontaine, performs non-surgical periodontal therapy to restore gums to vibrant and long-lasting health.

What gum disease looks like

To some people, it looks like nothing, but your Harrisburg dentist takes immediate notice of common signs of gum problems such as:

  • Bleeding
  • Puffiness
  • Redness
  • Bad breath
  • Gum pockets deeper than 3 mm
  • Gums pulling away from tooth surfaces
  • Change in dental bite or in the fit of a denture
  • Tooth mobility
  • Halitosis, or persistent bad breath
  • Pus at the gum line

Varying in intensity from mild gingivitis to advanced periodontitis, gum disease plays no favorites and can strike children through senior adults.

Causes of gum disease

While hereditary factors and age may contribute to the development of gum disease, plaque and tartar build-up in between teeth and at the gum really cause this infectious process. What are plaque and tartar? They are called biofilm, the carbohydrate-based food residues left over after meals and even after the most careful of brushing and flossing. Professional cleanings with Dr. Fontaine and his team remove this biofilm and its associated bacteria. Left to its own devices, however, the bacteria damage the gums and cause body-wide inflammatory changes.

Treating gum disease

Oral surgeons perform very advanced gum grafting techniques when periodontitis has caused substantial damage. However, for the more typical periodontal patient, non-surgical treatment will remove the deleterious plaque and tartar, smooth tooth surfaces and allow gums to re-attach.

This non-surgical service is called tooth scaling and root planing. The simple manual process scrapes away accumulated biofilm with small handheld instruments or ultrasonic tools. At the direction of your Harrisburg dentist, the hygienist also may instill antibiotics to quell infection and speed healing

The American Academy of Periodontology, specialists in gum disease, says that tooth scaling and root planing is very successful in most cases. Typically, after a "deep cleaning," the patient simply requires routine follow-up exams and cleanings every six months or at an interval determined by Dr. Fontaine.

Keep a healthy smile

Both your teeth and gums can thrive if you keep ahead of gum disease. If it's time for your regular check with your Harrisburg, PA dentist, Dr. Fontaine, please contact the office team for an appointment. Phone (717) 564-1310.

By Ernest Fontaine, D.D.S.
December 04, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

A dental crown may be all you need to get your healthy smile back on track.dental  crowns

Has our Harrisburg, PA, dentist Dr. Ernest Fontaine recently told you that you need a dental crown? If so, you may have questions about this restoration and how it could improve your smile. We are here to answer your questions about this popular dental restoration.

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown, sometimes referred to as a dental cap, is a hollow tooth-shaped restoration that is designed to fit over the entire crown of a tooth. This restoration sits above the gums and virtually becomes the new and improved outer layer for your tooth. In order for the dental crown to stay in place, it will be cemented into place on top of the tooth so that it stays put and functions just like a real tooth would.

When might I need a dental crown?

There are many scenarios in which our Harrisburg, PA, cosmetic dentist may recommend a dental crown. In most cases, this restoration is designed to restore strength and resilience back into a tooth that has become weak or damaged. If there has been extensive decay or if there is a fracture in the tooth that has affected the overall integrity of the crown of the tooth, we will need to remove the decay or buff out the damage and then place a crown to rebuild the tooth and restore its durability and appearance.

A dental crown may also be used to improve the overall color, shape, or size of a tooth. While there are many cosmetic options out there that don’t require as much tooth preparation as crowns, sometimes this restoration is a good option if the tooth requires both a cosmetic makeover and needs restrengthening.

Crowns can also be used to replace missing teeth, whether you are looking to cover a dental implant or you need to support a dental bridge. If you need to replace one or more permanent teeth dental crowns could also help you regain that full smile.

Are you dealing with a damaged tooth? Do you want to find out if dental crowns are the right approach to restoring your smile? Then it’s time you called our Harrisburg, PA, dental office today.

By Ernest Fontaine, D.D.S.
October 03, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Cosmetic Dentistry   veneers  

When you finally make the decision that you want a near-perfect smile, veneers are likely to be the recommended treatment. They are theveneers most reliable way to get an attractive smile that is free from gaps, nicely shaded, and smoothly contoured. Explore some of the most common FAQs about veneers so that you’ll have some answers in advance of your dentist appointment at Ernest Fontaine DDS in Harrisburg, PA.

How Long Do You Have to Wait to Get Veneers?
The process of getting veneers starts with an initial exam. Your dentist must first look at X-rays and examine your teeth to ensure that they can support the veneers. At the initial consultation, your dentist will also decide how many veneers you will need to achieve that perfect smile. After dental impressions are taken, expect your veneers to be created and placed in about a month’s time.

What Are Veneers Made Of?
Modern veneers are usually made with porcelain material. This is the preferred substance because of its similarity to natural tooth enamel and amazing durability. The veneers are translucent, very light, and can be easily shaped with dental tools. A special type of dental cement, custom-colored to fit your smile, is used to bond the veneer to the tooth. 

Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Veneers?
If your teeth are strong and your bone tissue is healthy, but your outer enamel is worn down or damaged, you may be an ideal candidate for veneers. Your teeth should be free of gum disease and tooth decay. If you have a pre-existing dental problem, it should be resolved before you get veneers.

How Long Will Veneers Look Good?
Because porcelain veneers are so resilient and resistant to staining, your veneers will look great for well over a decade. They could last 20 years or more if you work with your dentist every year to keep them healthy. You may become so accustomed to your new smile that you forget you’re even wearing veneers.

Consult a Dentist About Veneers
Now that you have more information about getting veneers, call your Harrisburg, PA dentist to schedule a cosmetic consultation. Call 717-564-1310 to set a convenient date and time to see Dr. Ernest Fontaine.

By Ernest Fontaine, D.D.S.
August 08, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Find out how teeth whitening could finally give you a smile to be proud of.teeth whitening

It’s amazing how quickly the foods and drinks we consume show up on your teeth. Over time, enamel begins to soak up these stain-producing colors and the evidence appears on your smile. If you are ready for a smile that dazzles rather than fizzles then it’s time you called our Harrisburg, PA, dentist Dr. Ernest Fontaine today.

Are you looking to lighten your teeth while also removing dental stains? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. Our professional in-office whitening system is the most effective way to get your smile whiter. If you want to instantly brighten your smile then our Harrisburg, PA, cosmetic dentist can certainly offer these amazing results.

Who is right for professional teeth whitening?

This incredible cosmetic system has the ability to break up external stains and instantly boost the color of your smile. You’ll see results in just one session, but some people may choose to get several whitening sessions in order to achieve even more radiant results.

What should I know about teeth whitening?

Of course, there are some things you’ll need to consider before deciding whether or not professional teeth whitening is right for you. For one, if you have teeth sensitivity you’ll need to let us know before your treatment. Having tooth sensitivity doesn’t mean that you can’t get teeth whitening, but this is something we will want to monitor during your whitening session to make sure that sensitivity doesn’t get worse.

Also, even though this system is very strong it isn’t able to tackle all stains. Sure, it can easily blast away stains from the outer surfaces of the tooth (these stains are often caused by aging or consuming coffee, black tea, red wine and other stain-causing foods and drinks); however, this system won’t be able to remove internal stains (caused by trauma or certain medications).

If you have any dental work like crowns, bridges or fillings that you also think have dulled a bit and could use some refreshing, professional teeth whitening will not work on these structures. While teeth whitening can work wonders on real teeth, it doesn’t have the same effect on artificial structures. This is means that if you do want to lighten these restorations you will need to have them replaced.

Whether you have questions about getting teeth whitening or you want to learn more about the at-home and in-office whitening services we offer here in Harrisburg, PA, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask us questions or schedule your no-risk cosmetic consultation. Your beautiful smile is waiting!





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