Patient Instructions

At Union Oral Surgery, we believe it is vital for patients to understand every step of their treatment plan. That’s why we provide important before and after care instructions to patients in our office. For patients who need reminders, we have provided these instructions below.

Please click or tap the + next to the instructions you would like to review.

Instructions Before Intravenous (IV) Anesthesia Sedation

Intravenous (IV) sedation is performed to make your surgical experience relaxing and pleasant. In order to provide your anesthesia safely, please read and follow these instructions.

  • Do not have anything to eat or drink for 6 hours before your surgery appointment. If told to take a medication before surgery, take it with a few sips of water only.
  • A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office, remain in the office waiting room during the procedure, and drive the patient home. They will need to stay in the recovery area until your post-operative instructions are completed and you are released.
  • In order to monitor your heart and blood pressure, and to start the intravenous sedation, please wear a short sleeve shirt.
  • Please brush your teeth just before coming for your surgery in order to reduce bacteria and prevent infection.
  • If you take routine oral medications, please check with our doctors prior to your surgical date for instructions.
  • Contact lenses, jewelry, and dentures must be removed at the time of surgery.
  • Do not wear lipstick, excessive makeup, or nail polish on the day of surgery.
  • If you have an illness such as a cold, sore throat, stomachache, please notify the office.
  • No smoking (or use of any tobacco products) at least 12 hours before surgery. Ideally, cut down or stop smoking (or using tobacco products) as soon as possible prior to the day of surgery.
  • Do not have anything to eat or drink for 6 hours prior to my surgery appointment. If you have been instructed to take a medication before surgery, this should be done with a few sips of water only. You will not be able to undergo IV sedation if you have anything to eat or drink within 6 hours of your surgery appointment.

(This information and form are signed and dated by the patient at the consultation appointment.)

Dental Implants Aftercare

With proper dental implants aftercare, patients can expect results that are durable and natural-looking. Taking the right steps following surgery can also make for a more comfortable recovery.

Typically, Union Oral Surgery advises patients to take the entire day off after the procedure and to take it easy the next day. If you are working, driving, or participating in other daily activities that require focus, give your body the time it needs to recover.

By the third day following dental implants, you can expect to be back to your regular schedule. Plan to return to our offices two weeks after your procedure. This will allow your doctor a chance to examine the implants, ensure that you are healing properly, and answer any questions you have about the surgery’s outcome or follow-up procedures.

Managing Discomfort

As part of dental implants aftercare, patients receive several medications:

  • The first helps with pain management the day of surgery and the day that follows.
  • The second is a milder pain medication that patients take for five days following surgery. In addition to improving comfort, the medication is an anti-inflammatory that can help reduce swelling.
  • Most patients get a prescription for oral antibiotics to prevent infection.

After surgery, our practice advises you to keep your head elevated and to apply an ice pack to reduce swelling and pain. Use the ice pack for at least two hours following your procedure, applying it to the side of your face for 20-minute intervals with 20-minute breaks in between. Typically, Day 3 after surgery is the worst day for post-operative swelling, with improvement to follow.

Stitches and Bandages for Dental Implants Aftercare

Our patients sometimes receive stitches to improve healing in the surgical sites. Absorbable stitches will soften and dissolve within 3-5 days.

In the first few hours after surgery, you’ll also use gauze sponges to manage bleeding. Change the gauze every 15 minutes for about two hours or until the bleeding has stopped; some people require more time. It is perfectly normal for the dental implant sites to have residual bleeding for a full 24 hours.

Diet

Dental implants aftercare is as much about not doing certain activities as it is about taking specific steps to heal. Eating is a perfect example of this.

Following your surgery, you will likely have some sensitivity and discomfort, so your appetite may be limited. However, it’s important that you eat and drink properly to get the nutrition that your body needs to recover.

In advance of your surgery, plan to stick to a soft foods diet for five days. This includes options such as spaghetti, casseroles, mashed potatoes, yogurt, and others that you can chew easily. Soft foods are less likely to damage stitches, irritate the sites of your dental implants, or cause food particles to stick to areas that are healing.

Oral Hygiene and Dental Implants Aftercare

Following your surgery, please do not rinse your mouth or spit for 24 hours. This can put stress on the surgical sites and prevent them from healing as they should.

Most patients will receive an antibacterial mouthwash that inhibits the growth of plaque. You should start using this mouthwash 24 hours after surgery on a twice-daily basis.

Union Oral Surgery will provide you with a soft-bristled toothbrush that you should brush with throughout your recovery. Use water instead of toothpaste the first night after surgery.

Have Questions or Concerns about Dental Implants Aftercare?

Most of our patients find recovery from dental implants very manageable and well worth the results they get. That said, your comfort and safety, along with the quality of your outcome, are our priority.

We welcome you to call or email our practice with any questions you may have. Patients occasionally contact us to ask whether the symptoms they are experiencing are normal or what to do if an unforeseen incident injures the surgical site. You can expect our staff to be responsive, informative, and communicative, and if you have a question for the doctor, he will be in contact with you as soon as possible.

Learn more about dental implants and aftercare. Schedule an appointment with Union Oral Surgery online or by phone. Call (704) 291-7333.

Bone Grafting Aftercare

With proper bone grafting aftercare, patients can help grafts bond strongly with the surrounding jawbone. It’s this process that fortifies the bone, creates a more stable platform for tooth restorations, and returns form and function to the smile.

The full bonding process can take 2-4 months, but your recovery from surgery should only be a few days. After bone grafting, you can expect about a 3-5 day recuperation with limited activity on Day 1 and Day 2. You may be able to return to your regular schedule by Day 3, though this depends on how quickly your body heals, your tolerance for discomfort, and how physically demanding your typical day is.

Union Oral Surgery likes to have patients come back for a checkup about two weeks after our doctors have performed the bone grafting treatment to ensure that they are healing well. We can schedule this visit in advance or after the procedure.

Managing Discomfort

Your bone grafting surgery is not just your results. Union Oral Surgery also supports the experience you have along the way: the communication you receive before a procedure, the comfort you have during surgery, and the guidance you receive with pain management afterward.

With bone grafting aftercare, our patients can expect to receive three different kinds of medication:

  • A stronger pain medication to reduce discomfort on the first and second days following the procedure.
  • A second, less powerful pain medication for the first through fifth days. This medication is also an anti-inflammatory to help reduce swelling.
  • Some patients take an oral antibiotic to prevent infection.

After bone grafting, your doctor will encourage you to keep your head elevated and to use an ice pack that we provide for at least two hours. Swelling in the surgical site is common, and icing the area lessens these effects. Apply the ice pack for about 20 minutes at a time with 20-minute breaks in between.

Stitches and Bandages

Your doctor may apply stitches to help you heal more quickly. These stitches are usually absorbable, which means that they will dissolve on their own within 3-5 days. If the stitches are not absorbable, Dr. Patty will remove them at the two-week post-operative visit.

You may notice some loose bone grafting material around the site as it heals. This material has a soft and grainy texture, and it’s perfectly normal if some of the graft works its way out of the stitches.

After your surgery, your doctor will provide you with gauze sponges you can use to manage bleeding. Change the gauze every 15 minutes for about two hours or until the bleeding has stopped. You may continue to have a small amount of bleeding for the first 24 hours after surgery.

Diet and Bone Grafting Aftercare

Patients should stock up on soft foods before their procedure. Expect to eat this type of diet for about five days after the surgery.

If you’re unsure about what is and is not okay to eat, just think about a menu of foods that you can easily chew, and that won’t disturb the surgical site. Most patients do well with spaghetti, casseroles, mashed potatoes, yogurt, and other foods that provide nutrition without requiring a lot of effort to bite.

Oral Hygiene

The way that you rinse and brush is an important part of bone grafting aftercare:

  • Do not rinse or spit for the first 24 hours. This can put a strain on the surgical sites and hinder the healing process.
  • Prevent infection by using the antibiotic mouth rinse we provide for the first few days after surgery.
  • Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush until you’ve healed from the surgery. Skip toothpaste the first night.
  • By the fifth day after your procedure, you should be able to return to a normal hygiene regimen.

At any point in your recovery, contact Union Oral Surgery with questions you have about bone grafting aftercare. Call or email our offices at (704) 291-7333.

Sinus Lift Aftercare

When a person’s jawbone width or height has been lost, a graft is needed to restore the jawbone enough for a dental implant to be effective. The process of doing so is referred to as a sinus lift. A sinus lift is designed to regain the bone height and width that’s been lost due to various factors, but mostly because of an enlarged sinus.

A sinus lift is generally completed to regain bone height in the first and second molar region, but sometimes the second premolar needs the procedure as well. In most situations, the best results of the bone graft come when the patient’s own bone is used, but a donor’s bone or artificial bone can also be used. In any situation, proper care is required to make the sinus lift procedure effective and provide the best results and overall experience.

Common Activities or Actions to Avoid

There are many things patients do every day that should be avoided immediately following a sinus lift. Some of the actions or activities to avoid include:

  • Blowing the nose for at least four weeks following a sinus lift
  • Holding the nose when sneezing
  • Drinking with a straw
  • Scuba diving
  • Flying in a pressurized aircraft
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Playing a musical instrument requiring a blowing action
  • Blowing up balloons
  • Smoking or using tobacco for at least two weeks
  • Any other action or activity that increases oral or nasal pressure

Focus Closely on Oral Hygiene

A patient’s oral hygiene is critical following a sinus lift. Saliva can be swallowed as normal, but the mouth should not be rinsed out, and the patient should not spit at all immediately following the procedure. However, the day following the procedure should consist of a gentle salt water rinse in the mouth for about five minutes. Repeat the rinse at least four or five times each day during the week following the procedure. It’s especially important to do the salt water rinse after eating.

When brushing teeth after a sinus lift, take extra care not to brush the area where the procedure was performed for at least 48 hours. Be extremely gentle when brushing, so the affected area is not irritated. You may prescribe a certain antibiotic rinse, which should be used as directed. Patients who have full or partial dentures or flippers should be able to use them immediately after the procedure unless otherwise instructed.

Follow Your Doctor’s Post-Care Recommendations

The importance of following your doctor’s post-care recommendations after a sinus lift is critical. While a sinus lift is a fairly standard procedure, the best results happen when the patient takes good care of the area after the procedure is complete. If patients experience any pressure in the sinuses, standard decongestants like Dimetapp™, Sudafed™ or Drixoral™ can be used to provide relief.

While the recovery process should be simple when following the doctor’s recommendations, it’s important for Union Oral Surgery patients to take notice of any unexpected effects. Some of these could include increased sinus pressure or nasal congestion, grafting particles becoming present or any other symptoms in the cheeks, mouth or under the eyes. If patients experience any of these symptoms, contact us immediately.

A sinus lift is a serious procedure performed by medical professionals, but patients are in good hands at Union Oral Surgery. By following their post-care instructions and recommendations, you’ll enjoy a pleasant experience and be able to enjoy the long-term benefits as a result.

If you have any further questions or concerns following your sinus lift, contact us at (704) 291-7333. Our offices have a 24-hour answering service, so we are always available for you.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Aftercare

Union Oral Surgery offers these guidelines for wisdom teeth removal aftercare to our patients. If it’s your child who has had the procedure, please follow these recommendations to help keep him or her more comfortable after surgery.

Usually, recovery after wisdom tooth removal takes 5-7 days. If your child is in school, you may want to plan the procedure around “off days” since discomfort following surgery may make focusing on class activities more difficult.

Immediately after surgery, patients should go home and take the remainder of the day to rest. Plan for light activity over the two days that follow. Most of our patients resume their normal schedules by Day 4 or 5.

Managing Discomfort

Wisdom teeth removal at a young age usually presents fewer complications. The teeth haven’t had a chance to develop when you are in your teens, and even impacted teeth require a less involved approach. If you opt to have the procedure later in life, wisdom teeth removal aftercare can be more intensive, but our practice will take every measure we can to help you manage discomfort.

Patients receive two types of medication:

  • Strong pain medication for use immediately after surgery as well as the next day. Most patients don’t require this stronger medication after the second day.
  • A milder pain medication that also can help with swelling. Patients should take this medication for five days starting right after surgery.

Patients also go home with an ice pack, which they should apply for at least two hours to keep down swelling. Use the pack for 20-minute intervals with 20-minute breaks in between. Swelling usually peaks on the third day after surgery and improves in the days that follow.

Stitches and Bandages

With wisdom teeth removal aftercare, patients will not have a scheduled follow-up visit. Your doctor may use stitches to seal the surgical sites, but these are absorbable and will dissolve on their own in 3-5 days. If you or your child is experiencing significant discomfort or other concerning symptoms, please give us a call. We can either resolve these issues by telephone or see you back in our offices.

After surgery, your doctor will send you home with gauze sponges to manage bleeding. Here is some advice for their use:

  • You may want to dampen the gauze before biting it to prevent the gauze from sticking to the inside of your mouth.
  • Bite firmly to put pressure on the surgical sites.
  • Change out the gauze every 15 minutes for about two hours or until most of the bleeding has stopped.
  • If the gauze does not stop the bleeding, you may want to try a damp teabag instead. Tannins in tea can help with clotting.

To promote healing, take special care not to disturb the blood clots once they form.

Diet

For proper wisdom tooth removal aftercare, patients should stick to soft foods for about one week and avoid foods that are very hot. Parents should stress the importance of this diet to their children who have the procedure.

Plan ahead by stocking up on soft foods like spaghetti, casseroles, mashed potatoes, and yogurt. If your child is returning to school, you may want to get permission to send a special lunch so that he or she can get proper nutrition. Meals should not include anything that takes an effort to chew or anything that is crispy or crunchy. Chewing that requires a lot of effort can impede the healing process, and crispy foods can irritate the surgical sites.

Oral Hygiene Aftercare

With wisdom teeth removal, you may have to modify brushing and flossing while you are healing. For example, Union Oral Surgery asks that you do not do not rinse or spit for 24 hours. We will also provide you with the following to support your care:

  • Antibiotic mouth rinse and oral antibiotic. Use these throughout your recovery to prevent infection.
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush. On the night after surgery, brush your teeth with water only. You can use toothpaste on the brush the following morning and from then on.
  • On Day 5 following surgery, you can use this syringe to rinse away food trapped in the sockets where we have taken out the teeth.

These resources, along with the attention and support our staff provides, will help you have a healthier, more comfortable recovery.

Have questions? Contact Union Oral Surgery about your wisdom teeth removal and aftercare. Call (704) 291-7333. 

Tooth Extraction Aftercare


While having teeth removed is a common procedure, it’s important that you follow the guidelines for proper tooth extraction aftercare.

Patients typically need 3-5 days to heal from surgery. Take the time to rest after the procedure as well as the next day; surgery can take a lot out of you, and limiting your activity can greatly improve your comfort.

Expect to be back to your normal schedule by the third day after your procedure. You may require a follow-up visit with Union Oral Surgery if you have a particularly complex case. Even if you aren’t scheduled for a checkup, we encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns you have during your recovery. We’re here to help.

Managing Discomfort

Patients will receive several medications to help them heal more quickly and comfortably following tooth removal. These include:

A strong pain medication. Take this on the day of your procedure as well as the second day.

A mild pain medication. By Day 3, you will likely need only this prescription to manage any discomfort.

Oral antibiotic. This medication can both reduce pain and the risk of infection.

Antibiotic mouth rinse. Use this along with a modified brushing regimen (see below) in the days following your procedure.

Immediately after tooth extraction, your doctor will also provide you with an ice pack. Using it can significantly reduce swelling following your procedure. Apply the ice pack for two hours with 20-minute breaks every 20 minutes.

Stitches and Bandages

Your doctor may place stitches as part of your tooth extraction. Try not to disturb these sites to give your mouth time to heal. The stitches are absorbable and will dissolve on their own within a few days. Sometimes, patients who have never had surgery are uncertain whether the stitches have come apart too soon. If you are concerned, feel free to contact our offices, but know that it is most probably a natural part of the healing process.

You may experience some bleeding as well. As part of tooth extraction aftercare, patients receive gauze sponges to manage bleeding. Change this gauze every 15 minutes for about 2 hours after surgery. It is normal for the surgical sites to have some light bleeding for a full day after the procedure.

Diet and Oral Hygiene

After your tooth extraction, stick to soft foods that you can chew easily. Some of our patients’ favorites have been spaghetti, casseroles, mashed potatoes, and yogurt, though you can choose any food that doesn’t disturb the surgical sites or cause you discomfort.

Avoid activities that could disturb clotting, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or sucking on straws. Do not exercise during this time. Movement can cause you to bleed and potentially lose the blood clots that form, and this puts you at a higher risk for a dry socket. Also, try not to rinse or spit during the first 24 hours after surgery. Both can cause stress on the extraction sites and stitches.

Union Oral Surgery will provide you with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use this for the first five days after your procedure. Brush with water only on the first night; you can go back to using toothpaste afterward.

Have Questions?

Our practice doesn’t stop providing care after a tooth extraction is over. We prioritize your comfort and safety throughout the recovery, and we are available to address any concerns you may have following your procedure. Contact us to ask:

  • Whether what you are feeling is normal during your recuperation.
  • Whether the medications you are taking are okay to use along with those we have provided.
  • When to schedule a follow-up procedure if you are planning a tooth restoration after your extraction.

We can frequently address concerns over the phone to help you get an answer quickly. If a follow-up at our office is necessary, our doctors can schedule your visit promptly.

Find out more about tooth extraction and aftercare. Contact our offices by phone or online. Call (704) 291-7333. 

Multiple Teeth Removal Aftercare

Union Oral Surgery offers these guidelines for multiple teeth removal aftercare to help patients have the most comfortable experience and successful outcome possible. These recommendations are a useful but not exhaustive overview of what to expect following your procedure. We encourage you to contact us with any questions along the way.

Typically, it takes 3-5 days to heal from surgery. We advise you to go home and rest after your procedure and plan only light activity the day afterward. Expect to be back to your normal schedule by the third day, provided that you aren’t involved in intensely physical activities.

Most patients don’t need a follow-up visit with their doctor. However, your case may differ, and your doctor may prefer to see you back at our offices as part of multiple teeth removal aftercare if:

  • You have a complex medical history or oral health condition.
  • You are having additional oral surgeries with our practice. Patients often have extractions to make room for tooth restorations such as dental implants.

Managing Discomfort

Following your surgery, your doctor will prescribe you an oral antibiotic to prevent infection. You will also receive a mild pain medication and a stronger pain medication. Take the stronger medication on the day of surgery and the day after. By Day 3, you should be able to manage discomfort with the mild pain medication alone. Our office can talk with you about adjusting this regimen if your discomfort is too high.

You’ll also get an ice pack after your procedure. Surgery can create a lot of swelling, which can increase sensitivity and discomfort. Apply this pack after multiple teeth removal, and you can reduce the swelling significantly. Our rule of thumb is to use the ice pack for at least two hours with 20-minute breaks after every 20 minutes of use.

Stitches and Bandages

Your doctor may place stitches to help you heal following the procedure. Union Oral Surgery uses completely absorbable stitches, which dissolve to a jelly-like texture within 3-5 days.

Your doctor will also advise you to apply gauze sponges to the surgical sites after multiple teeth removal. Managing bleeding can help you be more comfortable and heal faster. Change the gauze every 15 minutes for about 2 hours. (Some patients require longer.) Expect the sites to have small amounts of bleeding over the next 24 hours.

Diet and Oral Hygiene

Patients should pay special attention to the way they eat and brush following surgery. After teeth extraction, their surgical sites need special care to ensure that they heal properly:

  • Stick to soft foods. Choose items you can chew easily, but that still offer plenty of nutrition.
  • Do not rinse or spit for 24 hours. Doing so can put unnecessary strain on the surgical sites and stitches.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush for five days. Our practice will provide you with one. Brush with water only the first night after surgery.

Other Concerns

You may experience more extensive swelling with the removal of multiple teeth than with the extraction of a single tooth. You may also notice:

  • Soreness in your throat muscles.
  • Irritation or cracking around the corners of your mouth.
  • A slightly elevated temperature.

If any of these symptoms persist for more than a day or two, we encourage you to contact our practice.

Have Other Questions?

One of the reasons that patients refer their friends and family to our practice is our personal approach to care. Typically, we have a relationship of one sort or another with the patients who see us: they are friends of friends, know us through our involvement in the community, or had a chance to meet us over our more-than-two decades.

We offer excellent aftercare for multiple teeth removal and other procedures because these relationships matter as much as providing excellent outcomes. Whether you have a question about your recovery, need additional support, or simply want to speak with your doctor, we invite you to get in touch.

Contact Union Oral Surgery online or by phone. We’re here to help. Call (704) 291-7333.

Oral Surgery with Dentures Aftercare

Following oral surgery with dentures, patients can take certain steps to support their recovery. Here, Union Oral Surgery offers guidelines to help improve comfort, speed healing, and make for healthier outcomes.

While our practice provides a variety of procedures to improve the fit of dentures, the recommendations here are specific to care after surgery for removable dentures that will be supported by implants or All-on-4® / hybrid dentures. Typically:

  1. Patients receive temporary dentures after their dental implant procedure.
  2. Over 2-4 months, the surrounding bone forms a strong bond with the implants.
  3. Once the implants are ready, a restorative doctor replaces the temporary dentures with a permanent set.

After the first step—oral surgery with dentures— patients usually require 5-7 days to recover. Plan to go home and rest the day of the procedure, and expect to participate in only light activity over the two days that follow. By the fourth day, you should be able to return to your regular schedule.

Wearing Your Dentures

Once Union Oral Surgery places your temporary dentures, we ask that you leave them in for three full days. This can help prevent swelling, which could make it difficult to get the dentures back into your mouth.

Patients should not use denture adhesive for at least the first two weeks while the dental implant sites are healing. Adhesive can inhibit the recovery and has caused some implants to fail.

You will return to our practice for a follow-up appointment one week after surgery. We use this visit to evaluate healing and make adjustments to the temporary dentures. This helps ensure that your teeth are fitting and functioning properly.

Managing Discomfort

After your surgery, your doctor will provide you with several medications to prevent infection and reduce discomfort. You will have already participated in a complete medical examination and given a medical history, but if you have questions about drug interactions, we encourage you to contact our office with questions.

The medications you receive will include a strong pain medication, a milder pain medication, an antibiotic mouth rinse, and, potentially, an oral antibiotic. Most patients take the strong pain medication on Day 1 and Day 2 and continue to use the milder medication until their recovery is complete.

One aspect of healing we encourage you not to overlook is swelling. After oral surgery with dentures, we provide patients with an ice pack that they should use for at least two hours afterward. We recommend:

  • Applying the pack for 20 minutes.
  • Taking a 20-minute break.
  • Repeating the process.

Following this approach can significantly decrease pain and swelling.

Stitches and Bandages

You may receive stitches as part of your procedure. Union Oral Surgery uses sutures that dissolve after 3-5 days. This saves you a return visit to the practice and provides additional convenience in your recovery.

You will also get a set of gauze sponges that you can use to manage bleeding after oral surgery with dentures. Change these sponges every 15 minutes for about two hours (or longer if the bleeding has not yet stopped). Try not to disturb the surgical sites as you switch out the gauze.

Diet

Many of our patients are excited to have a restored set of teeth and look forward to the follow-up procedure that will trade the temporary dentures for their permanent set. Between these visits, however, we advise you to follow a careful diet that will allow the dental implants to heal properly in your mouth.

For the first two weeks after your surgery, stick to a soft foods diet only. This includes anything you can chew easily without pulling at stitches or putting undue pressure on the dental implants. Consider eating foods like spaghetti, casseroles, mashed potatoes, and yogurt.

It’s likely that you will have questions about this and other aspects of your recovery along the way. We encourage you to contact our practice with any concerns; we are here to help make your experience as comfortable as possible.

If you have questions following oral surgery with dentures, get in touch with us by phone or online. Call (704) 291-7333.