IV Sedation


At Kids World Pediatrics, we want your child to have the best dental experience possible. For this reason, IV sedation may be recommended for certain dental procedures. IV sedation uses intravenous medications to keep your child sleepy and relaxed during the procedure. Depending on the type of procedure, there are two levels of sedation offered with IV sedation. The first is deep sedation, which keeps the child asleep, but able to respond to stimuli. For this reason, deep sedation is paired with local anesthetics to prevent pain. The other type of IV sedation is general anesthesia, which renders the child completely unconscious and unresponsive to stimuli.

Did You Know?

Not only does IV sedation offer the deepest level of sedation, but it is also the fastest-acting and easiest method to control. Since the sedation medications are delivered straight to the vein, the body is able to quickly respond to these medications within seconds or minutes. The fast reaction time allows for more control over the level of sedation. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does my child need IV sedation?

Your child may need IV sedation if they: 

  • Need multiple or invasive procedures
  • Have sensitive teeth or are experiencing pain
  • Cannot sit still
  • Are prone to gagging
  • Have a dental emergency
  • Are afraid
Cartoon of a giant tooth sleeping in the dental chair

Ultimately, the type of dental sedation needed will depend on the child, their medical history, and the procedure being performed.  In some cases, conscious sedation may be a better option. Your Stone Oak Pediatric Dentist Dr. Torres will help you to decide if IV sedation is the right choice for your child. 

Is IV sedation safe for my child?

The American Academy of Pediatrics(AAP) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) deem IV sedation to be safe for children as long as it is performed using specific guidelines. To learn more about these guidelines, see this article in the AAP June issue. Nevertheless, there are always risks associated with any type of sedation, therefore San Antonio Pediatric Dentist Dr. Torres will thoroughly evaluate your child’s health and medical history prior to administering any type of sedation. 

How can I prepare my child for IV sedation at Kids World Pediatrics?

To prepare your child for IV sedation, you will need to prevent them from eating or drinking for 8 hours before their procedure time. For this reason, most procedures requiring IV sedation are performed in the morning. Fasting before the procedure is highly important because it prevents complications from occurring during and after the procedure. 


Another way to prepare your child is to dress them in comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and closed toed shoes. You may also advise them to bring their favorite blanket, toy, or stuffed animal for emotional comfort. If your child is old enough to understand, you can explain to them what will happen so they can prepare themselves. 

How do I care for my child after they receive IV sedation at Kids World Pediatrics?

After your child receives IV sedation, you can expect them to be drowsy and groggy for the rest of the day. Depending on the level of sedation and how fast their body metabolizes it, your child may take some time to “wake up” after their procedure. Once home, it is important to closely monitor your child and ensure they get plenty of fluids and rest. Depending on their procedure, additional post-operative guidelines may be provided. 

Sleepy girl rubbing her eye