The type of anesthesia that is best for your procedure will depend on a number of factors, including the type of procedure, your medical history, and your comfort level with dental procedures. Our surgeons have the highest licensure and training of any dental professional to administer anesthesia. Oral surgeons are trained to administer all forms of outpatient anesthesia. Below are descriptions of the different types of anesthesia we offer at our practice. In many cases, a combination of two or more forms of anesthesia is the best for your procedure.
Types of Anesthesia
Nitrous Oxide. Sometimes called laughing gas, nitrous oxide can be administered through a breathing apparatus to reduce anxiety and relax patients before a procedure. Some patients who are especially nervous about their dental procedures may receive nitrous oxide.
Local Anesthesia. Local anesthesia is used to numb the area of surgery, allowing the patient to feel no pain during the procedure. Local anesthesia alone will allow you to remain conscious throughout the procedure.
IV Sedation (Intravenous Sedation). IV sedation puts the patient into a deep sleep-like state throughout the procedure. Wisdom teeth removals and other procedures are typically performed under IV sedation.
General Anesthesia. General anesthesia is usually performed in hospitals for very serious procedures, such as facial injuries or reconstructive surgeries.
Exparel® for Long-Lasting Post-Surgical Pain Relief
The Amarillo Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery team works hard to ensure that our patients are as comfortable as possible, all the way through the recovery period.To thisend, we are proud to provide Exparel to our surgical patients as a highly effective option for pain control that carries little to no risk. Exparel is long-lasting, non-addictive, and opioid-free pain control that is administered by your oral surgeon in a single dose during surgery and continues to relieve pain for several days into recovery.
Because Exparel is a proven medication offering long-acting, opioid-free pain relief, it is quickly becoming the new standard in the healthcare realm for improving the patient experience during recovery. It has even reduced, and in some cases eliminated, the need for opioid-based prescription pain medications for our patients. Unlike opioid-based medications, Exparel is nonaddictive and carries none of the negative side effects associated with opioids.
Why are opioid-based pain medications risky?
As you know, the medications commonly prescribed for post-surgical pain are opioid-based medications —also known as narcotics. Narcotic prescription medications are very similar to the illegal drug heroin in terms of how they work and their effects on the human body. Because these medications are the standard for pain relief post-surgery and have a very high risk of dependence, the United States is undergoing an opioid addiction crisis. One out of 15 surgical patients progress to long-term opioid dependence, and prescription drug misuse is particularly high in the state of Texas, home of 4 of the top 25 cities in the country for opioid abuse.
Common prescription narcotics include the following:
- Codeine (only available in generic form)
- Fentanyl (Actiq®, Duragesic®, Fentora®, Abstral®, Onsolis®)
- Hydrocodone (Hysingla ER®, Zohydro ER®)
- Hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Lorcet®, Lortab®, Norco®, Vicodin®)
- Hydromorphone (Dilaudid®, Exalgo®)
- Meperidine (Demerol®)
- Morphine (Kadian®, MS Contin®, Morphabond®)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin®, Oxaydo®)
- Oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet®, Roxicet®)
Our trusted oral surgeons, Drs. Graves and Wilkinson, are confident that by offering Exparel as an effective and proven alternative to opioid pain medications, they are safeguarding their patients from post-surgical opioid dependence as well as other side effects that can occur if narcotics are not used as prescribed. Furthermore, opioids can be very dangerous if taken with alcohol, or with certain antidepressant medications, antibiotics, or sleeping pills.Exparel is a powerful pain-relieving medication but carries none of these risks.
How does Exparel work?
Administered by your surgeon during your procedure, Exparel stops pain on site with a slow release of the medication bupivacaine (an opioid-free local anesthetic). This slow release of medication provides ongoing pain relief after your surgery and into your recovery period. No additional dose of the medication is required, and in many cases, patients will not need a pain prescription. Some of the benefits of Exparel include
- Long-lasting pain control. Exparel has been proven to provide effective pain relief for several days after surgery. Often, no additional medication will be required to control post-surgical pain.
- Not addictive. Exparel provides pain control without the risk of opioid dependence. It is not a narcotic and is not addictive.
- No prescription hassles. The single dose of Exparel that is administered during your procedure continues to work during your recovery period, so you are less likely to require expensive and inconvenient prescriptions for your pain.
- Less risk for side effects. Exparel is administered once during your surgery, and that’s it! This limits the amount of medicine you are receiving and therefore limits the risk for side effects.
When our patients opt for Exparel for their oral surgery procedure, we are confident that they will have a comfortable recovery, free of the side effects and risks that come with opioid pain medications. Oral surgeons and patients agree that Exparel is effective, easy, and safe.
Exparel in Amarillo, TX
It is very important to us that you receive safe and effective pain control for every procedure we perform at our practice. Your oral surgeon will review your anesthesia and pain management options with you during your pre-surgery appointment and will be happy to discuss adding Exparel to your treatment plan. To learn more about how Exparel provides long-lasting pain control while reducing the need for opioid medication, we encourage you to call our practice or set up a consultation with one of our skilled oral surgeons at Amarillo Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.
Anesthesia at Amarillo Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Our oral surgeons are all trained and qualified to administer outpatient anesthesia, and our office is fitted with the most reliable monitoring equipment to ensure your safety. Your oral surgeon will review all of your anesthesia options during your pre-surgery appointment, and you will have a chance to discuss all of your pre-operative instructions and any other questions you have with your doctor.
If you have any questions about your anesthesia options at our practice, contact us for more information.