How Do I Prepare for Dental Sedation?

Here are some handy tips to prepare for your dental appointment if you are having sedation:

  • Avoid eating and drinking before your appointment.

On the day of your dental procedure, you must have an empty stomach to avoid any complications with the sedation. Sedation puts patients in a euphoric mood but could also cause nausea if they are not used to the floating sensation. If you have a morning appointment, you should avoid eating and drinking after midnight the day before. However, it is necessary to stay hydrated as dehydration is a potential risk during sedation, and water or other fluids will not be allowed when undergoing the treatment.

  • Wear comfortable clothes.

If you are about to be sedated, a lengthy and complex dental treatment lies ahead. When this is the case, it is best to come dressed in comfortable clothes as if you were about to embark on a long car ride or flight. Doing so will make you more relaxed before and during the treatment.

  • Bring someone with you.

The effects of dental sedation usually do not last long, but you may still feel too relaxed to drive yourself home. Bring someone with you for any type of sedation, especially oral conscious sedation or IV sedation, to check on you and make sure you get home safely after your appointment.

What Not to Do Before Dental Sedation?

  • Do not drink alcohol.

Mixing alcohol with sedative medications is a no-no. For a smooth and safe sedation experience, avoid consuming any alcoholic beverage 24 hours before the procedure.

  • Do not forget to drink lots of water.

Drink plenty of water the day before your appointment, as you cannot drink before sedation. Staying well hydrated can help avoid discomfort from dehydration and having an uncomfortable dry mouth during your dental treatment.

  • Do not smoke.

If preparing for dental sedation, please do not smoke cigarettes or use an e-cigarette within two days before your appointment. Smoking could affect your respiratory system under sedation.

  • Do not take any medication without informing your dentist.

Do not take any drugs without informing your dentist. As stated before, sedative medications do not mix well with other prescription or over-the-counter medications. You should tell your doctor about any medication you are taking before they sedate you.

What Do I Do After My Sleep Dentistry Appointment?

how do i prepare for dental sedation
You need lots of rest after dental sedation (image from Freepik).

Go home with someone you trust and rest.

Take the day off of work on the day of your sedation. After the procedure, you should go home and relax. After receiving dental sedation, you might feel dizzy and disoriented. Make sure to have someone you trust, such as a friend or relative, accompany you while you travel back home. It is best to avoid taking a taxi or public transportation for your ride home.

Drink some water and have an easy-on-the-stomach meal.

Drink water and eat healthy, easy-to-digest foods. As you will likely be dehydrated after the procedure due to fasting beforehand, drink some water right after the appointment. You may also feel hungry since doctors will sedate you on an empty stomach. Refrain from eating anything spicy or hard to digest, as this can cause you to become nauseous. Ease back into eating by starting with lighter meals that are nutritious.

Keep it moving.

Following your sedation, you should take it easy and be kind to yourself. If you stay in your bed for too long, however, the effects of your sedation will last longer than expected. Find an activity requiring moderate physical effort, as this will help your body return to its normal state faster and make lingering sedation effects disappear.

How Long is Recovery From Sedation Dentistry?

We keep you for 15 minutes post procedure to record vitals to confirm you have returned to the state that you have come in. You may feel a little tired or groggy but will be fully coherent to talk and walk out on your own accord.
Nitrous oxide sedation is the quickest to recover from, with full recovery typically taking 20 minutes. Oral conscious sedation and IV sedation effects may take longer to wear off, sometimes up to several hours, but will be gone by the end of the same day.


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Cambridge Smiles Family Dentistry

410 Hespeler Rd

Cambridge, ON N1R 6J6

(226) 887-6483