Improving Your Dental Care

What You Need to Know About Sedation Dentistry Preparation

How should you prepare for sedation dentistry? If this is your first experience with this anxiety-reducing in-office option, take a look at the questions to ask before your appointment.

Can Patients Drive After Dental Sedation?

The sedation used during your dental procedure will cause grogginess and possibly some confusion. This makes driving yourself home a serious safety risk. The dental practice's staff will provide post-visit instructions, including when you can drive again. Most patients shouldn't operate a motor vehicle (or machinery) for at least 24 hours after the dental procedure.

Due to post-sedation driving restrictions, you'll need to ask a responsible adult to drive you to and from your appointment. Some dental practices require the designated driver to wait in the office during the procedure. Ask the office staff for their sedation rules and regulations before your visit.

What Should You Wear to the Appointment?

There's no required wardrobe for dental sedation or your procedure. Even though you can wear whatever you want, loose-fitting clothes can keep you comfortable during and after your visit. Avoid anything that restricts movement or poses a trip and fall hazard. Along with clothing choice, wear comfortable flat shoes that are easy to walk in.

Can You Eat or Drink Before Sedation?

In most cases, the answer to this question is no. Most sedation patients will need to go without food or drink for at least eight hours (or possibly more) before their procedure. The dental office staff will provide you with specific instructions about food and beverage restrictions. Follow these directions exactly. Failure to do so may mean you need to reschedule your office visit.

Can You Take Medications Before the Procedure?

Discuss all prescriptions, over the counter medications, and herbs or natural supplements (including vitamins and minerals) you regularly take with your dentist before your procedure day. Some medications or supplements may interfere with the sedation, increase bleeding risks, or cause other issues.

Never skip your medication without talking to your medical provider and dentist first. Even though you can't eat or drink immediately before your procedure, the dentist may allow you to take some types of necessary medications.

Are There Any Other Pre-Appointment Restrictions?

Most patients can continue to work, go to school, exercise, or engage in typical daily activities until the appointment time. Provided the dentist has no special preparation instructions you need to follow, you won't need to change your regular routine for the sedation dentistry appointment.