Recommendations on the knowledge and aptitudes to be acquired during the basic training of dental practitioners have been accepted by the EC member states. WHO conferences in Dublin, 1984 and Moscow, 1988 elaborated further the expected future changes in dental care and dental education in Europe. The dentist's main tasks and the changes in dental education that are needed in order to fulfil these tasks have been defined. As an example, changes in dental education in a European country, Sweden, are described. Problems in Sweden relate to the quality of dental applicants and the necessary changes in the curriculum, including the wider use of comprehensive patient care. In response to this, the 'Malmo model' of dental education has been suggested. The Malmo dental school will presumably be a new type of unit with an integrated education of dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and dental technicians. It is intended that this programme will facilitate the better distribution of working tasks between all members of the dental team and will favour the delivery of optimal dental care to the patients.