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Can I Eat Before Dental Sedation? By Andrew Mortensen, DDS on December 18, 2020

patient with dentist during a dental examMany people suffer from fear and anxiety about going to the dentist. If you are one of these individuals, you’ll be happy to learn that sedation dentistry helps patients feel relaxed. Dr. Andrew Mortensen offers sedation techniques at his Fountain Valley, CA, practice to promote comfort and an atmosphere of calm.

Some dental sedation methods require more preparation and care than others. In fact, sedation dentistry patients could be asked to fast prior to their visit. Let’s look at why patients may be asked to avoid eating and drinking before dental sedation procedures. As you’ll see, the type of sedation technique will determine the guidelines. 

How Food Could Affect Sedation

Stronger methods of sedation dentistry can cause patients to experience nausea. To avoid patients from suffering severe nausea while in the office, we typically recommend that they fast prior to their visit depending on the type of sedation they need.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is inhaled and helps patients feel relaxed during their dental visit. Since nitrous oxide is mild, there are typically few restrictions about eating prior to your visit. We recommend eating light, however, since nitrous oxide can leave some patients feeling a little bit nauseous.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation allows patients to achieve a much deeper state of relaxation. The oral sedative taken prior to the office visit takes effect as soon as the patient arrives at the dentist’s office.

Most patients are asked to avoid eating for up to six hours before their appointment. This ensures the sedative takes full effect and the patient does not suffer from nausea. Drinking clear liquids is fine before the visit. Keep in mind that the sedative used varies, and you may have different restrictions based on what you are prescribed. Check with your dentist as needed.

IV Sedation

IV sedation involves a sedative that is introduced directly into the patient’s bloodstream. This type of sedation allows for deep levels of relaxation to be achieved.

Given the nature of IV sedation, it’s important that patients have an empty stomach going into their dental visit. That means that they should avoid eating for at least six hours before their appointment. Patients can still drink clear liquids to stay hydrated, but they should stop drinking clear liquids two hours before their dental visit.

Our Practice Will Work with You 

For sedation procedures that require longer fasting times, we can work with your schedule to make the process more convenient. Patients who need to fast for long periods of time prior to sedation can schedule their appointment at our Fountain Valley practice first thing in the morning.

During your consultation, we can discuss scheduling, sedation techniques, and how to make the process as hassle-free as possible.

What about Eating and Drinking after Dental Sedation?

With nitrous oxide, patients can eat once their dental appointment is over. For oral conscious sedation and IV sedation, it’s best to follow your dentist’s instructions to avoid nausea and other possible side effects.

Speak with Our Skilled Dentist

If you live in the Fountain Valley area and would like more information about sedation dentistry and your options for treatment, schedule a consultation online or call us at (714) 964-4183.

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Andrew G. Mortensen, DDS

Andrew G. Mortensen, DDS

Dr. Andrew Mortensen is a top-rated dentist with training from the world-famous Las Vegas Institute. His exceptional care and expertise have earned him hundreds of 5-star reviews, and he is an accredited member of the:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • American Dental Association
  • California Dental Association
  • Orange County Dental Society 

Ready to schedule a consultation at our Huntington Beach dental practice? Request an appointment online or call us at (714) 964-4183.

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"I am proud to have served patients in our community. Through continuing education and state-of-the-art equipment, we are able to offer you and your family the high level of care you're looking for." Andrew G. Mortensen, D.D.S.

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