What Can You Eat or Drink Before Dental Sedation

Many people, understandably, have dental anxiety which is the phobia of undergoing any kind of dental procedure. 

For such people, Sedation Dentistry is immensely helpful. It puts them at ease so they can sit still while undergoing lengthy procedures which they normally won’t go through.

Naturally, many people have several questions about the sedatives used during sedation dentistry. The most common ones revolve around what kind of food they should consume before and after the treatment, the entire protocol involved, and what to expect after it.


What to Eat Before/After Sedation Dentistry?

Just like before getting your blood tests done – sometimes you are required to undergo a fasting protocol, in the same way in some kinds of sedation dentistry you may have to refrain from eating a few hours before the procedure. 

However, not all forms of sedatives would require that. It all depends on the kind of medication your dentist will be administering.

The primary reason why eating may cause problems is due to the possibility of food obstructing the airwaves as the person is in a semi-conscious state of mind. 

When you think about the laid-back position in which a person has to be during the treatment, it makes the whole thing even riskier. That’s why with some types of sedation – fasting may be a medical necessity.

Let’s take a look at each type of sedation technique (from the mildest to strongest) and see which ones allow eating before the procedure. 

Note – None of these guidelines is the final word. It’s always good to discuss things with a medical expert and do what they suggest.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide happens to be the mildest form of sedation in dentistry. When under its effect, you will feel completely relaxed and yet fully aware of what’s happening around you. And, as soon as the mask is removed, you will gain full consciousness. Most people can do without any dietary restrictions. 

But, an occasional person may feel nauseous post-treatment. If you have never undergone this treatment before, try to avoid foods unless otherwise suggested by your dentist at Markham Smile Centre.

Local Anesthesia

Although local anesthesia won’t render you completely unconscious; it is used quite frequently in dentistry. Mostly it’s used for treatments such as extracting a tooth, deep teeth cleaning, or other common dentistry work. 

Local anesthesia is mostly painless except for a slight prick of the needle you feel followed by mild pressure caused by the work done by the dentist.

With any dental procedure involving sedation, it’s better if you avoid consuming any heavy meals. In case of local anesthesia try to go for light meals a couple of hours before the time of the procedure. If you’re someone who feels nauseous quickly, it’s better to avoid anything after many hours after the treatment is over.

Oral Sedation

With oral sedation, you have to take the medication in the form of a pill. Therefore, any kind of dietary restriction may vary from person to person. In most cases, the patient has to take medication the night before the treatment followed by another which is taken sometime before the procedure. In most cases, restrictions are minimal.

In an occasional case, the patient may have to avoid eating for up to 6 before the treatment. It might be okay to consume liquids. However, for the exact dietary restrictions, it’s best to talk with your dentist who would take the nature of the procedure and the medication prescribed into consideration.

IV Sedation

IV sedation is mostly used for more invasive dental health procedures. In terms of hierarchy, it’s supposed to be a step above local and general anesthesia. Under this, a dentist would put an IV into your hand. 

The medication, after reaching your brain, would knock you semi-conscious wherein you won’t feel any pain but can still communicate with your dentist during the treatment. Procedure-wise you won’t remember anything. The dietary restrictions tend to be stricter in case of IV sedation.

Depending on the nature and timing of your treatment, you may be advised not to eat anything until midnight post-treatment or 6 hours before treatment. That means you may have to avoid dairy, beverage, solid, and semi-solid foods. 

Most patients are allowed to consume liquids 2 hours before the treatment. However, at the time of treatment, your stomach must be empty. You must also avoid consuming alcohol a day before the appointment.

Bottom Line

When it comes to sedation dentistry, most forms of anesthesia and procedures would ask you for very few dietary restrictions. In case your dentist fails to mention any, it’s always good to ask them; just to be sure. 

There may be different kinds of risks for strong medication. But, since each scenario is different, every patient must work with his/her dentist to come up with the best possible arrangement.

If you’re someone who feels sick after undergoing strong medication it’s better to stick with lighter foods as much as possible. Once again, every person is different. So, it’s better to talk with your dentist to find out what would work best for you as well as what to eat and what to avoid.