Dental sedation is an integral part of many people’s appointments. It can be used for a wide variety of reasons:

  • Severe dental anxiety
  • Strong gag reflex
  • Inability to lie still for a long time
  • Motor disabilities
  • Lengthy dental treatment, etc.

If you find yourself in any of these situations, then your dentist might recommend dental sedation. There are some things you might need to do to prepare for it, both pre and post-appointments.

And yes, this could include not eating any food for certain types of sedation.

The Types of Dental Sedation and Whether You Can Eat Before Them

Dental sedation and food typically don’t mix well. If you eat a heavy meal before them, it could increase the risk of feeling nauseous during your appointment, which could mean your treatment will be delayed. Not all types of dental sedation will require fasting, while for others you shouldn’t even drink water before your appointment. 

Your Denver dentist will recommend a specific type based on your needs, dental treatment, as well as a review of your medical history. Here are the types of sedation you can get:

Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, is the most common type of sedation. It involves inhaling gas through the nose, which helps you become more relaxed. Laughing gas is a mild sedative, and the risks for side effects are low. It’s the preferred choice of sedation for children, because of the low risks of side effects. 

That’s why most people can eat a light meal before getting nitrous oxide. If you’re unsure how you’ll react to it, you can refrain from eating around 2 hours before your appointment. 

Oral Conscious Sedation

With this one, you’ll take some pills that will provide a much more profound sense of relaxation. Most patients will need to stop eating 5-6 hours before their appointment to ensure the sedative takes full effect. But, you can drink water.

IV Sedation

IV sedation is only used for lengthy procedures where you want the patient to remain constantly relaxed. If you need IV sedation, you’ll have to stop eating 6 hours before your appointment, and not even drink water around 1 hour prior. For this sedation, you will need to come in with an empty stomach. 

Eating After Dental Sedation

Unless you’re getting laughing gas, you’ll still be under the effects of sedation when leaving the practice. Most patients don’t have an appetite at this point, so you should wait a few more hours until the effects wear off.

Sedation Options at Poulos & Somers

At Poulos & Somers, we offer all three types of oral sedation to ensure our patients are perfectly relaxed and comfortable when they visit. Learn which type of dental sedation is right for you by scheduling a consultation at Poulos & Somers online. For more information, call us at (303) 832-4867.