Dental Tips Blog


Is it Safe to Eat Before Having a Dental Sedation Appointment?

You’re expecting to have anesthesia or sedation at your next dental procedure and you want to know what you should expect. Primarily, you want to know is whether it’s safe to eat before your appointment.

That mainly depends on what kind of sedation you’re having.

Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia simply refers to the numbing shot almost everyone gets at the dental office. Because this medication is “local,” it only affects your body at the injection site and won’t alter your nervous system.

You can eat as normal before any procedure involving a shot of anesthesia.

Nitrous Oxide

There’s no special requirement for eating when it comes to laughing gas. Some people feel a little nauseous after having nitrous oxide. If you suspect it could make you queasy, then you might opt to avoid eating an hour or two before treatment. A light meal is the best choice for most.

Keep in mind that nitrous oxide does not affect your consciousness. It only helps you feel very relaxed.

Conscious, IV, and General Sedation

If you’re having a very complex or invasive surgery (like jaw reconstruction) then you’ll need deeper anesthesia. You will be partly or totally unconscious depending on how deeply you’re sedated.

For this kind of anesthesia, you will definitely need to have an empty stomach. This usually means not eating for a minimum of six hours before treatment. Eating recommendations can vary for oral sedation.

Carefully follow your dentist’s instructions for eating before any sedation dentistry appointment to ensure safe treatment. Your individual needs will determine when it’s okay to eat.

Drink plenty of water as soon as possible after sedation to stay hydrated.

Talk with your dentist about your options to learn more.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336

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