Anesthesia Options for Oral Surgery

A Variety of Anesthesia Options

Dentistry has advanced to the point where pain is almost a thing of the past. Powerful, pain-relieving medications known as anesthetics not only help a patient avoid discomfort during a procedure but postoperatively as well.

We understand many patients feel anxiety prior to their oral surgery procedure—and this is completely normal! The entire surgical staff at our office wants to ensure that you feel as comfortable as possible for your procedure, which is why we offer many options for sedation when you undergo any oral surgical procedure at Greater Modesto Dental Implant & Oral Surgery Center. Often, the methods used depend on the preference of the patient and the nature of the surgical procedure.

Types of medications include

Analgesics – Analgesics are also called pain relievers and include common non-narcotic medications such as ibuprofen and Tylenol®. Analgesics are usually used for mild cases of discomfort and are typically prescribed following such procedures as a root canal or tooth extraction.

Local anesthesia – Anesthetics can be topically applied, injected, or swallowed. Dentists often apply topical anesthetics with a cotton swab to an area of the mouth where a procedure such as a restoration will be performed. This numbs the affected area. Topical anesthetics are used in many dental procedures such as tooth restoration. Topical anesthetics are also used to prepare an area for injection of an anesthetic. Novocaine® and lidocaine are the most common type of injectable anesthetics. Such medications block the nerves from transmitting signals and are used for more major types of procedures such as fillings and root canals.

Sedation and general anesthesia – Sedatives are medications designed to help a patient relax. This can be a powerful tool in avoiding pain. Sedatives are sometimes used in combination with other types of pain relievers. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a type of sedative. Conscious sedation involves administering a sedative while the patient is alert and awake. Deep sedation or general anesthesia involves administering a medication that places a patient in a state of monitored and controlled unconsciousness. Common sedatives include:

Exparel® for Post-Surgical Pain Management

Over-prescription and misuse of narcotic prescription pain medications (such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and codeine) have led to an opioid abuse crisis in our country—with accidental opioid-related deaths continuing to rise. Oral surgeons are on the forefront of the fight against opioid addiction and overdose with the introduction of Exparel, a clinically proven medication that offers oral surgery patients a powerful, non-opioid choice for controlling their post-operative discomfort. It is used in addition to your chosen method of anesthesia to control pain after your surgery is over and your anesthesia has worn off. We are proud to offer Exparel to our Greater Modesto Dental Implant & Oral Surgery Center patients.

If you choose Exparel as part of your surgical treatment plan, your oral surgeon will administer Exparel locally to your surgical site while you are under anesthesia during your oral surgery. This single dose of sustained-release medication will already be controlling your post-operative discomfort when your anesthesia wears off and will continue to work for several days into your recovery. Exparel often eliminates the need for prescription narcotic pain medications during your recovery time. It’s that effective!

Exparel allows our patients to enjoy the following benefits:

It is our priority to determine how surgery can comfortably and safely be performed for you. When you meet with Dr. Barber or Dr. Springer for your consultation appointment, you can discuss Exparel in detail and decide if adding this medication to your treatment plan is the best choice for you.


We like to keep our patients informed of advancements in medical science that can affect them in positive ways. Exparel is one of those instances. This pain-relief solution is becoming a preferred method of post-operative pain management with oral surgeons and patients alike. For more information about Exparel and its benefits, your oral surgeon will be happy to discuss this medication with you during your consultation appointment.

If you have any questions or concerns prior to your surgical procedure at Greater Modesto Dental Implant & Oral Surgery Center, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 209-527-5050. It is our primary goal to make sure you are comfortable with your procedure and want to ensure you experience optimal results from your treatment.