An opioid-free alternative being offered by Lubbock oral surgery

An opioid-free alternative being offered by Lubbock oral surgery practice

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Exparel, an opioid-free alternative offered by Dr. Robert Ioppolo's oral and maxillofacial surgery practice Exparel, an opioid-free alternative offered by Dr. Robert Ioppolo's oral and maxillofacial surgery practice
LUBBOCK, Texas -

A study from the American Medical Association indicated six percent of 15,000 young adults become addicted to opioids within the first year after getting their wisdom teeth out.

To break down then numbers even more, 19-to-21-year-olds are the most at risk of developing an addiction.

In a group of nearly 4,000 cases, nearly 300 were diagnosed with opioid abuse within the year.

Dr. Robert Ioppolo, a licensed oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Lubbock at Hill & Ioppolo Oral & Dental Implant Surgery of Lubbock, said his practice offers Exparel, similar to an already widely-used local anesthetic, but it lasts longer.

"It lasts about 2 to 3 days and that is generally the time when patients have the most post-operative pain and swelling," Ioppolo said. 

Ioppolo said it is a good alternative for athletes, students, and those who cannot be out for long, but also for anyone who struggles with previous addictions.

"There are those who have definitely had some addictive issues in the past whether it be with alcohol or illicit drugs, that will come in asking for what can I do, I know I need to get my wisdom teeth out, I've been putting it off for years because I went through AA and now I'm afraid not only the surgery but of the narcotic medicines for pain," Ioppolo said.

He said it avoids the problem of narcotics abuse, and you should not be worried about getting addicted to the new feeling either.

"Most people don't care for the numb sensation so it's one of those deals where we educate our patients. We are trading some extended numbness which is kinda going to feel weird you've got to be careful not to bite your lip, but we're trading that for not needing a narcotic pain medicine that could be potentially harmful to you," Ioppolo said.

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