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This article presents a practical approach for safe oral sedation in dentistry. When properly done, oral sedation can provide comfort and a calming treatment environment for patients whose fears inhibit them from securing needed dental care. The authors provide information on medico-legal aspects of sedation, patient treatment recommendations, counseling, evaluation, monitoring, documentation, and proper discharge procedures. The reliable sedatives that have undergone years of clinical trials with a good safety record and predictable results are presented. For each sedative drug, the description, formulation and dosage, onset, duration of sedation, and side effects are discussed in a 2-part presentation.