Sedation is sometimes used to perform dental treatment on very young children, children who are extremely anxious, uncooperative children with numerous dental needs, and on patients with special needs.  New Leaf Pediatric Dentistry offers the following sedation methods:

  • Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)
  • Oral Conscious Sedation
  • General Anesthesia (Hospital Dentistry)
  • In-Office IV Sedation

Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist, Dr. Cherish Im, will discuss all available methods with the child’s parent(s) and will carefully evaluate each child to help determine the best sedation method.


Dr. Cherish Im may recommend nitrous oxide (more commonly known as “laughing gas”) for children who exhibit particular signs of nervousness or anxiety.  Nitrous oxide is delivered via a mask, which is placed over the child’s nose.  Nitrous oxide is always combined with oxygen – meaning that the child can comfortably breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Laughing gas relaxes children extremely quickly, and can produce happy, euphoric behavior.  It is also quick acting, painless to deliver, and wears off within a matter of minutes.  Before removing the mask completely, the pediatric dentist delivers regular oxygen for several minutes, to ensure the nitrous oxide is eliminated from the child’s body.  On rare occasions, nitrous oxide may cause nausea.  For this reason, New Leaf Pediatric Dentistry suggests minimal food intake prior to the appointment.


Children who are uncooperative, particularly anxious, or unable to control their muscles for prolonged periods, may be offered an oral sedative.  Oral sedatives come in many different forms (usually tablets, pills, and liquids), and may make the child feel drowsy.  If oral sedatives are to be used, Dr. Cherish Im may require parents to prepare the child before the appointment.  Some common preparatory measures may include: limiting food and fluid intake prior to the appointment, having the child wear comfortable clothing to the appointment, and preparing to stay with the child for several hours after the appointment.  Oral sedatives rarely produce serious side effects; nausea is among the most common.


General Anesthesia is a form of sedation administered at a hospital that uses medication to put your child in a deep sleep.  During this time, your child will be completely unaware of their treatment and have no memory of it afterward.  It is not commonly used, but will be recommended to perform dental treatment if a procedure cannot otherwise be performed safely, the child has a condition which limits cooperation or the ability to follow instructions, the child needs a lengthy treatment, the child needs more complex dental treatment or oral surgery.

General anesthetic requires more intensive preparation before the treatment and a longer period of recovery after the treatment

New Leaf Pediatric Dentistry is pleased to announce that Dr. Cherish Im has hospital privileges with Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center where she serves as an Attending Pediatric Dentist and instructor for residents.  Working alongside an anesthesiologist, Dr. Cherish Im will perform dental treatment with care and excellence.


Intravenous (IV) sedation is another form of deep sleep sedation that insulates your child from the fear, stress and discomfort.  At New Leaf Pediatric Dentistry, we work with a Board-Certified Pediatric Anesthesiologist to administer the IV sedation.  During sedation, Dr. Cherish Im will perform dental treatment while the  while the Board-Certified Pediatric Anesthesiologist monitors your child and his/her sedation levels.