The National Opioid Crisis And Our Practice’s Approach To Reducing Post Surgical Use Following Wisdom Teeth Surgery

 

You should have a say in how your pain is treated after surgery. The majority of patients receive an opioid medication after surgery.  While opioids have been a mainstay in post-surgical pain control, they are also at the center of an ongoing national crisis. 1 out of 15 surgical patients goes on to long-term opioid use. In addition, 4 out of 5 new Heroin users started out by misusing opioids. Even when opioids are used responsibly, they are associated with side effects (nausea, vomiting, constipation) which can complicate recovery after surgery. As a result, most patients prefer non-opioid options following surgery.

The doctors at East Georgia Center for Oral and Facial Surgery have recently introduced Exparel into our practice. Exparel is a non-opioid medication that provides longer-lasting pain relief so patients can reduce or avoid opioid medications after surgery. Exparel is injected adjacent to the incision sites during your surgery. The medication utilizes extended-release technology to deliver pain relief to the surgical sites over the next 72 hours. The most common procedure that Exparel is being administered for is Wisdom Teeth Surgery. However, we have also utilized the medication for dental implant surgery, TMJ surgery, and multiple tooth extraction procedures. We have received very favorable feedback from our patients, parents, and medical/dental colleagues, and we are very excited to continue to offer Exparel to our patients.

During your initial consultation appointment, we will determine whether you are a candidate for Exparel, and we will offer strategies for pain management to help ease your concerns. You will have the opportunity to discuss your options with your surgeon to select a strategy that works for you. Our practice strives to remain at the cutting edge of medical and dental technology to improve the lifestyle and health of our patients. Our goal is to utilize Exparel to reduce opioid use, decrease post-surgical discomfort, and allow our patients to experience an easier surgical recovery.

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