Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to make my teeth whiter? --- The best and least expensive way to brighten your smile is to do it at home, using a custom-made bleaching tray. Most patients' teeth can be lightened several shades using this technique. Some dental clinics claim that activating the bleach with a special light during an office visit is superior to bleaching at home, but several scientific studies have proven this claim to be false. When teeth are so discolored that bleaching will not deliver a satisfactory result, the patient may want to consider porcelain veneers.

What are porcelain veneers? --- Porcelain veneers are very thin, custom-made laminates that are bonded to the facial surfaces of the anterior teeth. They are used to improve the appearance of discolored, worn, or chipped teeth and give patients a bright, youthful smile. Since porcelain veneers are very thin and only cover the front surfaces of the teeth, their placement is much more conservative than placing crowns on the same teeth.

What are dental implants? --- Dental implants are small, titanium fixtures that, when placed in the jaw bone, act as artificial tooth roots. They come in various lengths and diameters for different applications. They can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch of teeth. Implants can also be used to retain and support dentures. Many denture wearers report life-changing benefits after receiving dental implants.

What is the difference between standard size and mini dental implants? --- Standard diameter dental implants are 3.25mm or larger in diameter and come in various lengths. They can be used for any application that implants are indicated for. Mini implants are 3.0mm in diameter or smaller, also come in various lengths, and are typically used as temporary implants. Usually, costing less than traditional implants, they can also be used for the long term stabilization of lower dentures. Due to the soft, porous nature of the upper jawbone they are not indicated for the long term stabilization of upper dentures.

Can Dr. Pratt perform all my implant treatment without referring me elsewhere? ---Yes. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, Dr. Pratt has extensive training in both the restorative and surgical components of implant dentistry. He has been placing and restoring implants for over twenty years and takes continuing-education courses on a regular basis to stay abreast of this evolving field.

Does Atlanta General & Implant Dentistry offer gas (nitrous oxide) or other types of sedation for anxious patients and surgical procedures? ---Yes, we offer both nitrous oxide conscious sedation and enteral oral conscious sedation or sleep dentisty. Both of these types of sedation can make your dental procedure much more comfortable.

Can you repair my denture or partial quickly? ---Absolutely. Our in-house lab allows us to perform most repairs very quickly since we don't have to send your prosthesis out to a commercial lab.

Do you make dentures? ---Our in-house lab makes both complete dentures and partial dentures.

When should children have their first dental exam? ---The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children be seen by a dentist between one and three years of age. It should be noted that the bacteria responsible for dental decay can easily be transferred from mother to child; therefore, new moms should be diligent about their own dental hygiene.

How often should I get my teeth cleaned? ---The frequency at which professional cleanings should be performed is very patient-specific. The majority of adult and child patients will benefit from having their teeth cleaned every six months. Adults with gum disease may need maintenance visits more often, while those with good oral health and hygiene habits may only need to be seen once a year.

What causes dry mouth? Can it damage my teeth? ---There are several causes, both systemic and local, of dry mouth, but most of the cases we see are the side effects of medications. If you have been placed on a medication that causes dry mouth, or already have the symptoms of dry mouth, you should let your dentist know immediately. Saliva plays a prominent role in the prevention of oral maladies such as tooth decay and burning tongue syndrome. It is not unusual for someone who has previously enjoyed good oral health to develop multiple cavities within a few months of having been placed on a medication that dries the mouth. Luckily, there are products which can help reduce the damage caused by dry mouth.

I feel my breath is bad. What can I do for this? ---Bad breath can be caused by a number of problems. Some are systemic diseases, such as uncontrolled diabetes. Oral causes of bad breath can range from periodontal (gum) disease to poor hygiene of the teeth and soft tissue of the mouth. If you are troubled by bad breath you should see a dentist to rule out oral causes. If no oral causes are found, your dentist should refer you to a physician for an evaluation of possible systemic causes.

I have tried to wear a CPAP device in the past but just couldn't sleep with it. Is there an alternative to CPAP? ---Yes, oral appliances can often be effective in the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea.

Can dental appliances really help with snoring and sleep apnea? ---The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a group of physicians specializing in the treatment of sleep disorders, states: "Oral appliances are indicated for use in patients with primary snoring or mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea who are not candidates for treatment with behavioral measures such as weight loss or sleep position change." These appliances can indeed be very effective. They work by positioning the lower jaw down and forward, thus preventing the tissues at the base of the tongue from collapsing and obstructing the airway during sleep.

Do you offer any type of payment plan? ---Atlanta General & Implant Dentistry accepts most major credit cards. We also work with CareCredit Healthcare Financing.