Throughout its development the practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery has been richly associated with the provision of anesthetic services. Dentists and particularly oral and maxillofacial surgeons have advanced the science associated with anesthesia especially in the outpatient setting. This article will look back on the development of anesthesia as it relates to oral and maxillofacial surgery, discuss the current mode of anesthesia in the oral surgeon's practice and look ahead to what innovations are advancing this field. Copyright © 2018 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.