Anesthesia Options

Oral surgeons receive more anesthesia training than any other dental professional. Our oral surgery team is trained and experienced at administering a variety of different forms of anesthesia to ensure your comfort and safety during every procedure.

Types of Anesthesia

In general, the type of anesthesia used during your procedure will depend on a few different factors, such as the procedure being performed and your overall health history. You will be able to discuss your anesthesia preferences and questions with your oral surgeon during your pre-surgery consultation appointment. Most of the time, two or more different forms of anesthesia are used for optimal results. The types of anesthesia we offer at our practice include

  • Local anesthesia. Local anesthesia numbs the area of surgery so that you feel no pain during your procedure. Most people who have ever had a dental filling or other minor procedure have probably undergone some form of local anesthesia.
  • Nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Nitrous oxide is typically used to relax patients who feel anxiety when they come in for a procedure. Nitrous oxide is often used in conjunction with local anesthesia.
  • IV sedation. IV sedation is administered through an intravenous line, and it allows patients to fall into a deep sleep throughout the procedure.
  • General anesthesia. General anesthesia is administered in a hospital setting for more serious procedures. When patients undergo a severe injury, they may require a procedure that involves general anesthesia. In these cases, a professional anesthesiologist will be on site to assist with the procedure.

Exparel® for Long-Lasting Pain Relief

Drs. Miller, George, and Leet stay on the cutting edge of medical science, and this includes advanced ways to improve their patients’ overall health and well-being before, during, and after oral surgery. One of the greatest concerns that doctors have these days is how to provide effective pain relief with the least amount of risk. To this end, we are proud to offer non-addictive, opioid-free pain control medication for our surgical patients. The medication Exparel is a proven pain-relieving medication that is administered in a single dose during surgery to control pain for several days after surgery. This type of long-acting, non-opioid pain management medication is quickly becoming the standard for improving recovery, reducing cost, and reducing or even eliminating the need for risky, highly addictive medications.

Why are opioid-based pain medications risky?

Opioids, also called narcotics, are a class of drug that includes the illegal drug heroin, as well as some medications that are commonly prescribed by doctors for pain management. These medications can have serious side effects if they are not used properly. Prescription opioid-based drugs include

  • 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®)

For many years, the standard in post-surgical pain relief has been to prescribe opioid-based medication. Sadly, this has led to an opioid addiction crisis in our country:

  • 1 out of 15 surgical patients progresses to long-term opioid use.
  • More than 115 Americans die each day from opioid overdose.
  • Rates of prescription drug misuse are particularly high in Texas, home to 4 of the top 25 cities in the U.S. for opioid abuse.

Opioids have a high risk of dependence for anyone, anywhere, at any age. By offering highly effective non-opioid pain control, Drs. Miller, George, and Leet hope to keep their Siouxland Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery patients safe from the risks that opioid medications carry.

How does Exparel work?

Exparel is administered at the surgical site during surgery and works by numbing the pain on-site with a slow release of the medication bupivacaine (an opioid-free local anesthetic). This slow release of medication gives Exparel the benefit of ongoing pain relief after surgery with just a single dose. Exparel continues to work during the recovery period, often providing pain relief for several days. Some of the incredible benefits of Exparel include

  • Long-lasting pain relief. It has been shown in clinical trials that patients who received Exparel during their procedure experience pain relief for several days after surgery. Many patients who opt for Exparel will not need to use an opioid medication for post-surgical pain. Their pain will be managed with Exparel alone.
  • No risk of dependence. Exparel offers highly effective pain management without the risk of dependence. Exparel is not an opioid/narcotic and is not addictive.
  • No prescriptions to fill. Exparel is administered during your surgical procedure and continues to work throughout recovery, so you are less likely to be bothered with the inconvenience and expense of prescription medications.
  • Less risk of side effects. Exparel is administered in a single dose, limiting the amount of medicine you need and therefore limiting the risk for side effects.

For more information on how opting for Exparel during your surgical procedure can provide long-lasting pain control and reduce the need for opioid medication after your oral surgery, please give us a call at Siouxland Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to schedule a consultation. Drs. Miller, George, and Leet will be happy to talk with you about adding this medication to your surgical treatment plan.

Sedation and Oral Surgery at Siouxland Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Our oral surgeons, Dr. Denis Miller, Dr. Louis George, and Dr. Jason Leet, are trained and certified to administer all forms of outpatient anesthesia, including pediatric cases. If you would like more information about your anesthesia options for treatment, contact one of our offices. Our staff members will be happy to answer your questions or schedule you an appointment with one of our skilled oral surgeons.