New Dental Implant Patient Information – Houston, TX
Ready to Take the First Step?
When your general dentist refers you to Piney Point Dental Implants, it means you’ve taken the first step towards having your smile restored by true experts. We realize that being referred to a new specialty dental office can be overwhelming at first, so we’ve gone out of our way to be as accommodating as possible for new patients. Please review the information on this page before your appointment and reach out to us if there’s anything you want to clarify before your visit.
Your First Visit
Our oral surgery office welcomes referrals from all types of dentists in the Houston area, and we value everyone’s time equally. We will do everything in our power to see you promptly at your arranged time. However, there is always a possibility that an emergency situation may arise. In these cases, we will let you know as quickly as possible and work with you to reschedule the visit. Similarly, if you experience an emergency and need to reschedule your appointment, we also ask for as much advance warning as you can provide.
Before their surgical dental implant placement, patients attend an initial appointment with Dr. Koo. This visit allows you to meet, discuss the upcoming treatment, and what to expect in a way that’s comfortable and pleasant. Past experiences have shown us that trying to have this meeting on the day of the actual surgery makes the process more frustrating, with no real time available for the patient to make decisions regarding their treatment. However, there are emergency situations where patients will need to undergo both the consultation and surgery on the same day. We always welcome any comments or concerns you have about these appointments, and you’re welcome to discuss them with us when scheduling your first visit.
When coming in for your first appointment, we may ask for any of the following items:
- The referral slip from your general dentist
- Any X-rays from your general dentist
- A list of all the medications and dosage amounts that you need to take on a regular basis
- Insurance information that will allow us to file a claim for you and maximize available benefits
- Medical records (if you have some notable conditions)
Additionally, when you’re scheduling your appointment, be sure to let our dental office know about any underlying medical conditions that might affect your care. This could include heart problems, artificial heart valves, hypertension, or diabetes.
If you know you’ll need X-rays from your dentist, it may be a good idea to personally request that those are forwarded to our Houston dental office for a faster process. If Dr. Koo is in need of additional photos, those can be captured at our location.
During your consultation, Dr. Koo thoroughly evaluates your mouth and discusses the specifics of your dental implant procedure. He will also review your dental history, medical history, and any available X-rays that you’ve brought or that our team captures. This will be the time when you need to voice any unique concerns or requests. Our team reviews fees involved, insurance information, and your options for paying for surgical care. Patients who are under 18 will have to be escorted by either their parent or a legal guardian. We very much appreciate the efforts you make to arrive on time and keep us informed of any sudden changes, and we will do the same for you.
New Patient Forms
As with virtually any medical practice, you’ll need to fill out some paperwork before your first appointment at our dental office. To speed up the process, we’ve provided the necessary forms right here on our website so that you can go ahead and start filling them out right away. That means that you won’t lose any valuable time in our waiting room; you can simply hand us the completed forms and wait for us to call you back to our treatment area.
Fees & Payment
Here in Houston, we strive to provide implant work that’s at the highest quality for the benefit of patients, and the costs we’ve set are comparable to other oral surgery offices. The last thing we want to do is berate someone with constant statements or requests for payment. That’s why our dental office generally asks that all fees are paid at the time of the surgery. Our team may be able to arrange an alternate payment plan if needed or a financing option from a separate party like CareCredit that makes the procedure somewhat easier to afford. We accept most major credit cards as well including American Express, MasterCard, Discover, and Visa.
Dental care can be expensive, especially when surgery is involved. Our team understands this. Some research will show that our prices are fairly typical compared with similar dental offices within the geographical area. Additionally, our goal is always to help patients stay as comfortable as possible during the procedure, and this may require the use of IV sedation or general anesthesia. You will receive treatment that’s as safe as what you would receive in a hospital suite –with a dramatic reduction in cost. We know you’ll be amazed by the transformative results we create for your smile, oral health, and quality of life.
Information about Dental Insurance
The truth is, dental implant placement and related procedures may be covered by your dental or medical insurance. However, very few plans offer 100% coverage for charges incurred at our Houston dental office. Deductibles (amounts you must pay before the benefits of your plan kick in) are common, and while the insurance company may provide money for fees, it might not be sufficient to cover the full cost. Dr. Koo participates in many plans that help manage the cost of oral healthcare, including PPO’s, HMO’s, and POS. Our patient coordinator is happy to discuss what you can expect in terms of coverage for these plans before any actual treatment begins.
Our team is happy to help with insurance to ensure that you receive the maximum benefits available under your plan. If needed, we can provide a statement from the attending physician/doctor, as well as our predetermination of what your benefits will cover and the final amount you can expect to pay out of pocket. It’s important to remember that at the end of your treatment, any remaining fees will be charged to you regardless of your insurance plan or coverage.
To make the day of your Houston dental implant surgery go as smoothly as possible for you and your doctor, it is important that you follow some basic instructions:
Leading Up to Your Surgery
In the week or two prior to your surgery, you should:
- Arrange for a trusted friend or family member to accompany you to and from your appointment. If at all possible, we prefer that they’re present in the oral surgery office from the time you arrive to when you’re dismissed following the procedure. Make sure your friend is prepared by letting them know what type of surgery you’re receiving and roughly how long your appointment will last (our staff will provide you with such details prior to your procedure.) Having someone you know drive you to and from your appointment is safer than taking a taxi.
- Avoid the use of any tobacco. We strongly urge patients who are going to receive dental implants in Houston to quit smoking at least two weeks before their surgery in order to give their new smile the best chance of success possible.
- Fill any prescriptions we may give you for preventing infection and managing pain. You probably will not need such medications until after your surgery, but it may be inconvenient for you to get your prescriptions filled when you are still groggy from sedation.
- Contact us to make sure we have up to date and accurate records about your medical history and any medications that you regularly take.
- Arrange your affairs so you’ll be able to rest after your surgery. You may want to take a day or two off work so you can recuperate. You may also want to buy some soft foods that are easy to prepare so you won’t have to do a lot of cooking during your recovery period.
On the Day of Your Surgery
Here are some guidelines for the day of your surgery:
- Make sure to clean your mouth and teeth thoroughly before you arrive for your bone grafting procedure or the placement of your dental implants in Houston.
- Eat nothing for at least six hours before your surgery. For those with their procedure in the morning, this may mean that you have to stop eating at midnight or earlier. For those with their procedure in the afternoon, it’s fine to have liquids for breakfast. If you must drink something in order to take any prescribed medication, limit your intake to a small sip of water.
- Wear loose clothes, including a short-sleeved shirt, on the day we place your dental implants. Do not wear neckties or jewelry of any kind. It is also wise not to wear makeup or any type of hair products.
- If we’ve prescribed a pre-op sedative for you, such as Valium or Halcion, take it about one hour prior to your surgery.
- If you’ve undergone sedation for your procedure, the strongest effects should wear off after around 30-45 minutes have passed. At this point, your escort can take you home.
Once the surgery is complete, you’ll need to carefully follow our directions for a successful recovery. Below are some of the steps that you’ll generally need to take.
On the Day of Oral Surgery
- Bleeding – If oral bleeding occurs after the placement of dental implants, it’s recommended that you place a piece of gauze over the surgical site and apply pressure for 45 minutes at a time until it ceases. Patients shouldn’t panic if saliva appears to be mixed with a little blood days after the procedure, as this is relatively common.
- Medication – Following the implant procedure, you will be provided with a prescription for pain medication. Take this medicine with a clear liquid, such as water or Seven-Up, initially. However, after the first dose, it’s not recommended to take further medication on an empty stomach. Instead, take the medication after you’ve had something to eat if you start to feel discomfort.
- Rinsing – Do NOT rinse your mouth for six hours or so after your surgery. After a day has passed, it’s recommended that patients begin rinsing, especially after they’ve eaten.
- Ice Pack – You should use an ice pack for the first 48 hours following your surgery to manage pain and minimizes swelling.
- Diet – After the implants(s) have been placed, it’s important that patients maintain a liquid diet on the day of their surgery and the next day. This includes soups, juices, milkshakes, malts, and similar items. It’s all right to start consuming liquids around three hours after your surgery is complete, and after 48 hours have passed, soft foods can be incorporated. Alcoholic beverages of any kind should be avoided for at least twenty-four hours after the implant placement, or while you’re taking pain medication.
- Smoking – Don’t smoke for at least two days following your teeth implant surgery.
The Day after Oral Surgery
- Medication – Please continue using any prescribed antibiotics and pain medications if needed to relieve discomfort.
- Ice Pack – If you’re experiencing an increase in swelling from the day of your surgery, don’t panic; this is very common. Patients should keep using an icepack to minimize the effects. When it’s time for bed, its use can be discontinued.
- Diet – Continue to follow a liquid diet the day after your dental implant placement.
- Brushing – Patients can begin brushing their teeth again the day after surgery. However, special care should be taken to avoid the specific areas that underwent surgery. At your post-operative check-up, Dr. Koo can provide more instruction on when and how these areas should be cleaned.
The 2nd Day after Surgery
- Medication – Please continue to take prescribed antibiotics and pain medication, if needed.
- Ice Pack – An ice pack should no longer be used after 48 hours have following surgery.
- Diet –At this point in the recovery, the patient can begin reintroducing soft foods into their diets, such as mashed potatoes, eggs, and yogurt.
The 3rd Day after Surgery
- Medication – Continue taking your antibiotic medication until your prescription is finished. The use of pain medication should be discontinued unless the patient is still experiencing significant discomfort from implant placement.
- Heat – If by this point, you’re continuing to experience swelling or bruising, a heating pad should be applied to the affected area until the symptoms have passed. This process could take several days. Use the heating pad three or four times daily, with the application lasting around half an hour each time.
- Diet – The patient can now resume their original diet. However, overly chewy or tough foods should still be avoided, at least for a few more days following your tooth implant surgery.
Emergency Dental Care
As the days pass following your implant surgery, any swelling, tenderness, or general discomfort should steadily improve as long as you’re properly following the steps above. This process should begin by the third or fourth day at the very latest; if your symptoms linger or your pain is too severe for medication to adequately treat, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Koo for emergency assistance. You will also be scheduled for a post-operative visit that takes place anywhere from five to ten days after surgery and allows serious problems or potential complications to be discovered and treated.