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

(717) 564-1310
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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Ernest Fontaine, D.D.S.
October 12, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Children's Healthy TeethIf you could reduce your child's risk of tooth decay by 80 percent, would you do it? Of course, you would, and your dentist in Harrisburg, PA, Dr. Ernest Fontaine, has the perfect way to achieve that goal. The preventive service is called plastic sealants, and they are an easy, cost-sparing way to avoid cavities in molars and premolars. Learn all about them here.

Easy and effective

Preventive dental care is just that: easy and effective. Brushing and flossing at home, watching what you eat and drink and seeing your Harrisburg, PA, dentist twice a year for exams and hygienic cleanings help avoid cavties and gum disease and catch dental problems early while still highly treatable.

For many children, and some adults, too, dental sealants prove an effective weapon against tooth decay. And, they're simple to apply. These "painted on" coatings create a protective barrier against corrosive acids which oral bacteria secrete on tooth surfaces, particularly in the deep crevices on the chewing surfaces of back teeth.

In fact, both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) say that clear sealants shield teeth from decay in grooves on the top of teeth. Further, the ADA says sealants reduce the risk of childhood cavities by at least 80 percent.

Applied by your dentist

If Dr. Fontaine advises plastic sealants for your child, expect the process to take about five minutes per tooth. Your dentist applies sealants after a professional cleaning and surface preparation with a mild etching liquid to ensure proper bonding between enamel and plastic coating.

The dentist paints on the sealant, allowing it to fill the small crevices which catch and hold plaque and bacteria. Then, he cures the sealant with a special light to ensure a long-lasting bond. Most sealant applications last up to a year.

Curious about sealants?

Call Dr. Fontaine's office team for an appointment, or when you bring your child in for a routine check-up and cleaning, ask us then about how sealants could benefit his or her teeth. Our number is (717) 564-1310. We love seeing our patients continue with healthy smiles for a lifetime!

If you could reduce your child's risk of tooth decay by 80 percent, would you do it? Of course, you would, and your dentist in Harrisburg, PA, Dr. Ernest Fontaine, has the perfect way to achieve that goal. The preventive service is called plastic sealants, and they are an easy, cost-sparing way to avoid cavities in molars and premolars. Learn all about them here.

Easy and effective

Preventive dental care is just that: easy and effective. Brushing and flossing at home, watching what you eat and drink and seeing your Harrisburg, PA, dentist twice a year for exams and hygienic cleanings help avoid cavties and gum disease and catch dental problems early while still highly treatable.

For many children, and some adults, too, dental sealants prove an effective weapon against tooth decay. And, they're simple to apply. These "painted on" coatings create a protective barrier against corrosive acids which oral bacteria secrete on tooth surfaces, particularly in the deep crevices on the chewing surfaces of back teeth.

In fact, both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) say that clear sealants shield teeth from decay in grooves on the top of teeth. Further, the ADA says sealants reduce the risk of childhood cavities by at least 80 percent.

Applied by your dentist

If Dr. Fontaine advises plastic sealants for your child, expect the process to take about five minutes per tooth. Your dentist applies sealants after a professional cleaning and surface preparation with a mild etching liquid to ensure proper bonding between enamel and plastic coating.

The dentist paints on the sealant, allowing it to fill the small crevices which catch and hold plaque and bacteria. Then, he cures the sealant with a special light to ensure a long-lasting bond. Most sealant applications last up to a year.

Curious about sealants?

Call Dr. Fontaine's office team for an appointment, or when you bring your child in for a routine check-up and cleaning, ask us then about how sealants could benefit his or her teeth. Our number is (717) 564-1310. We love seeing our patients continue with healthy smiles for a lifetime!

By Ernest Fontaine, D.D.S.
August 03, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

VeneersThere’s no need to give up on your smile, no matter how eroded, chipped, and discolored it may be. Your teeth can be completely restored with a cosmetic treatment called veneers. On the list of top cosmetic procedures requested by patients, veneers are in the top three. Consult with Dr. Ernest Fontaine, a dentist serving patients in Harrisburg, PA, to see how much better your smile can look after this restorative treatment.

Veneers Completely Make Over Your Smile
While other cosmetic treatments repair or adjust the existing enamel or positioning of your teeth, veneers give you a whole new makeover. Your dentist can create uniquely shaped and contoured veneers that will cover up every imperfection that you see when you look in the mirror. There’s no need to go through a long period of wearing braces or trying to bleach away tough dental stains.

Should You Choose Veneers?
Veneers are appropriate for patients who have strong and healthy dental roots. If time is a factor and you need to improve the look of your teeth rather quickly, you should ask your dentist about veneers. They can be designed and installed in about three or four weeks. The type of cosmetic issues you have are also a factor in this decision, which your Harrisburg dentist will help you with. Some patients have gaps and deeply set in stains that won’t respond to whitening treatments. Veneers are also useful if your teeth are soft or weak and need some enamel protection. 

Applying Veneers
One benefit of veneers is that your dentist only has to remove a very small amount of enamel so that they can fit—usually about .5 mm. This is why some people prefer veneers over dental crowns, which require the teeth to be changed into smaller abutments before installation. After preparation, each veneer is carefully applied using a secure dental bonding agent. The adhesion process is complete after a powerful curing light is applied to each tooth. Your dentist can then contour each veneer so that each tooth looks very natural.

What Will Your Smile Look Like with Veneers?
Imagine how good your smile can look with veneers, and learn more about this cosmetic treatment by contacting Dr. Fontaine. Call (717) 564-1310 today to make an appointment at his Harrisburg, PA, dentist office.

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.