Sedation at the Dentist: I’ll Be Loopy for How Long??

In a previous post, we talked about what to expect from oral sedation at the dentist, but what about after you leave the dentist? In this post we’ll look at what you should plan for after you get out of the dentist chair so you know what to expect.

Immediately after Sedation at the Dentist

Dental procedures are designed to be pain free, effective and to produce results that are long lasting. If your particular dental treatment requires a sedative or anesthetic, you’ll still be loopy after the procedure is complete, and the full force of the anesthesia will take half an hour to wear off. After that, you can expect to be generally light headed for the next few hours, depending on the scope of the dental work and the amount of sedation required. Even conscious sedation can effect your body, attentiveness, and concentration for a period of time.


Because you’ll be loopy after being put to sleep, arrange for a spouse, family member, or friend to pick you up and drop you back at home. It’s best not to drive a vehicle or operate any heavy machinery for up to 24 hours after any sort of dental sedation, just to be on the safe side.


We ask that you be very careful when cooking after your sedation dentistry appointment. Sedative drugs have lasting effects, and we don’t want you to accidentally burn yourself, or your meal, because you were groggy or inattentive.

Friends and family

Make sure you have someone nearby for a few hours in case you need help with anything while you’re still drowsy.

Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs

Don’t do it! Your body is going to be feeling a bit out of it already, so don’t add anything else to the mix. On top of that, your mouth will heal faster if you don’t smoke or drink alcohol until it’s fully healed. If you’re taking any prescription medication, we will go over what you should do well before the procedure.

24 Hours After Sedation at Your Dental Office

After 24 hours you will be fully ready to do everything you could do before you were sedated. Chances are you will feel relaxed, level headed and clear only a few hours after your procedure, but to be on the safe side, don’t plan anything strenuous for a full 24 hours after your appointment.

We recommend sitting on the couch with some easy-to-eat food, plenty of water, and a cozy blanket, a book, and a pile of movies or TV shows. The less stress you put on your body after receiving dental care, the faster your body will heal.