A national survey of members of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry was conducted to provide a 15-year update of information regarding the use of sedative agents by pediatric dentists. All 3,315 active members of the Academy were sent questionnaires regarding the frequency of their use of sedation and 1,778 responded. Practitioners were questioned regarding their use of sedative agents and the nature of their patients receiving sedation. In addition, they were questioned in regard to their use of restraints and reasons for change in their use of sedation during the past two years. In regard to the use of nitrous oxide alone, 47% of practitioners responded that they use nitrous oxide less than 11% of the time. In regard to other types of sedative agents, most practitioners use little, if any, sedation. Eighty-two percent use sedation for less than 11% of their patients. Of the 1,778 respondents, 1,224 used drugs other than nitrous oxide. In a typical three-month period, they performed 77,112 sedations. Of that number, 61,662 (80%) were administered by only 478 practitioners who use sedation on the average of once or greater each day. In comparison with previous surveys in 1985, 1991 and 1995, these results demonstrate an overall increased use of sedation by pediatric dentists. However, the increased use is due primarily to an increase in the numbers of practitioners who are heavier users of sedation (once or greater each day).