Statistics show clearly the greying of our population and the profession must face the inevitable modifications to the delivery of dental care which will follow. We have spent many years fighting the high caries rate of youngsters and teenagers but, quite suddenly, that battle seems to be virtually won. Now we are faced with an ageing population who, with our help, have retained their teeth to an advanced age and they do not want to part with them. In fact, changing a patient to full dentures after the age of forty years is a very traumatic occurrence to both patient and operator. The profession now has two major problems to deal with in the area of restorative dentistry for the ageing patient. Firstly, teeth which have been retained but are heavily restored because of ongoing caries and bulk loss of tooth structure as a result of splitting or the application of careless restorative techniques. Secondly, the onset of root surface caries following migration of the epithelial attachment and exposure of root surfaces combined with a reduction in the efficacy of oral hygiene measures. Both problems are likely to appear after the age of sixty years and the patient may live for another twenty or thirty years in a gentle medical and physical decline. Maintenance of dental health presents a series of unique problems under these circumstances.