Many patients express feeling anxious before a surgical procedure. This is a normal feeling, and the surgical staff at Brazos Oral & Facial Surgery strives to ensure that patients feel as comfortable as possible for their procedure. We offer several options for sedation and anesthesia when you undergo an oral surgical procedure at Brazos Oral & Facial Surgery. The type of sedation utilized depends on the patient preference and the type of surgical procedure.
Local Anesthesia – an anesthetic applied directly to the area of removal
Nitrous Oxide – also known as laughing gas, an anesthetic option used in congruence with other anesthetic options to calm anxiety during the procedure
Sedation Anesthesia – administered through an intravenous (IV) line that suppresses your consciousness during the procedure
General Anesthesia – an anesthetic inhaled through the nose that causes you to lose consciousness during the procedure
Exparel® for Your Post-Surgical Pain Relief
Brazos Oral & Facial Surgery’s priority is to keep our patients safe during and after their surgical services at our practice. We also want our patients to have the most pain-free experience possible throughout their procedure and recovery period. These days, there are some incredible cutting-edge options for effective pain control with little to no risk. One of these groundbreaking medications is Exparel, a long-lasting, non-addictive, and opioid-free pain control medication that is administered in a single dose during surgery and continues to control pain for several days.
As part of our dedication to providing top notch patient care with individualized services based on your specific needs, we are proud to offer Exparel as an option to our surgical patients. This type of long-acting, opioid-free pain medication is rapidly gaining momentum in the healthcare realm as a new standard for improving the patient experience during recovery and reducing or even removing the need for post-surgical prescription pain medications. Unlike opioid-based pain control prescriptions, Exparel is nonaddictive and has virtually no negative side-effects.
Why are opioid-based pain medications unsafe?
The medications that are most commonly prescribed for post-surgical pain are opioid-based medications — these are also known as narcotics. Common 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®)
Narcotic medications are very similar to the illegal drug heroin in terms of how they work and their effects on the body. Because opioids are the standard for post-surgical pain relief and have a very high risk of dependence, an opioid addiction crisis has spread throughout our country with 1 out of 15 surgical patients progressing to long-term opioid dependence. Rates of prescription drug misuse are very high in Texas, home to 4 of the top 25 cities in the U.S. for opioid abuse. Dr. Warren is confident that by offering Exparel as an effective and proven alternative to narcotics, he is safeguarding his patients from the dangers of post-surgical opioid dependence as well as other serious side effects that can occur if narcotics are not used as prescribed. Some of the side effects of narcotics include
- Extreme drowsiness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Withdrawal symptoms such as irritability and anxiety
Furthermore, opioids can be very dangerous if taken with alcohol, or with certain antidepressant medications, antibiotics, or sleeping pills.
Are oral surgeons qualified to administer anesthesia?
Absolutely! Oral surgeons must receive and complete extensive training in order to gain valuable experience operating with anesthesia before they go into oral surgery practice. The training and hands-on experience include administering operating room anesthesia in hospitals, as well as in-office anesthesia in specialty facilities. Oral surgeons, like Dr. Scott Warren, receive the highest level of licensure for dental practitioners to administer anesthesia. This allows him to induce deep sleep/administer general anesthesia, unlike the majority of general dentists.
If you have any questions prior to your procedure, please feel free to ask our friendly office staff and skilled surgical team. We are happy to help you in any way possible and answer your questions so you feel comfortable with your procedure. It is our goal to ensure that you are fully informed and at ease prior to receiving treatment and that you completely understand the pre- and post-operative instructions to ensure optimal recovery.
If you are in need of wisdom teeth extraction, dental implants, or another oral surgery, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Scott Warren. At Brazos Oral & Facial Surgery, we strive to do everything in our power to offer a comfortable procedure and rapid recovery following your surgery.