What to Do Before Dental Sedation

When you have dental anxiety, you don’t have to skip or put off cleanings or other kinds of dental work. If you have a big procedure schedule, you don’t need to dread anything about it. Dental sedation in Phoenix provides a way for you to feel more comfortable during any appointment. Before getting dental sedation, it’s important to prepare for it. Keep the following tips in mind so you can prepare for your next appointment.

Talk to Your Dentist Beforehand

Talk to Your Dentist BeforehandYour dentist can help you prepare for your procedure no matter what kind of sedation you receive. Ask about any special instructions you need to follow prior to your appointment. Will you need to avoid eating or make arrangements for a ride home? Now is a good time to ask what to expect from dental sedation before, during, and after your appointment. If you have any concerns or any questions about it, discuss these with your dentist.

Arrange a Ride Home if Needed

With some types of dental sedation, you won’t be able to drive home from your appointment safely. For example, you might be able to drive home if you only need nitrous oxide, since the effects wear off quickly. However, intravenous (IV) sedation and oral sedation typically have effects that last longer. With these forms of sedatives, your dentist will want you to bring a friend or family member who can drive you home afterwards. Finding out about this beforehand helps ensure that you can go home with no problem.

Wear Loose, Comfortable Clothing

Wear Loose, Comfortable ClothingWith some forms of dental sedation, your dental team might need to monitor your vital signs, such as blood pressure. Wearing loose clothing makes it easier to check blood pressure and provide care during your appointment. Having looser clothing on rather than restrictive clothing might also help you feel more comfortable and relaxed while having dental work or cleanings done.

Fill Prescriptions as Needed

If you choose oral dental sedation, you’ll receive a prescription prior to your dental appointment. Your dentist may instruct you to take your the medication the night before or the morning of your appointment. It’s important to make sure that this prescription is filled ahead of time, so you’ll can take these sedatives as instructed.

Food and Drink Limitations

Food and Drink LimitationsYou might need to watch what you eat and drink before dental sedation. If you receive nitrous oxide, consider eating a small meal rather than a large amount of food before your appointment. Patients sometimes experience nausea with laughing gas, so a smaller meal might prevent that sick feeling. Your dentist may also recommend that you avoid eating right before your appointment if this is your first time having nitrous oxide and you’re not sure if it will make you nauseous.

If you’re having oral sedation, instructions for food and drink limitations can vary. Follow your dentist’s instructions for limiting or avoiding foods and drinks as needed. For example, you might be told to avoid eating anything for a certain number of hours before your appointment. You might also be told to only drink clear liquids prior to your appointment depending on the type of oral sedative you take.

With IV sedation, you’ll most likely have food and drink restrictions, such as avoiding alcohol for 24 hours before you arrive for your appointment. You may also need to stop eating several hours before your appointment to ensure that you have an empty stomach before receiving IV sedation. Clear liquids may be an option up to a couple of hours before your appointment. It’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions for food and drink restrictions to avoid problems or complications if you’re getting IV sedation.

Ask About Medication

Although you probably don’t need to stop taking your regular medications before dental sedation, you should still ask your dentist about this. Your dentist will take a full medical history as part of the discussion on sedation options available to you. It’s important to share all of your conditions and the medications you take so they can choose the sedation option that works best for you. Let your dentist know about any prescription and over-the-counter medications you normally take. They will let you know if you need to skip a dose before your appointment. When in doubt, ask.


If you want to explore dental sedation as an option for your dental needs, contact us at Dental Brothers. Our office provides dental sedation in Mesa to help those who have dental anxiety and to keep you comfortable during long procedures.

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