The utilization of dental services was studied by means of records from dentist's files, a method which permits gathering of detailed information with high reliability and validity. 53% of the adult population of 358 persons living in a coastal community in Northern Norway had visited a dentist during a period of two years. In the group of 13% who were considered to be regular treatment attenders, number of teeth, sex and socio-economical status were the most influential predictors of utilization. Among the 182 persons with 10 or more remaining teeth, 59% had made preventive and restorative dental visits, and in this group there was a dominating proportion of women, young people and people with high income and/or social class. In contrast, only six persons out of 61 with one to nine remaining teeth had made such visits. People in social class 3 were overrepresented among the 26% of the population who visited a dentist because of extractions or complete denture services. The treatment profile according to age showed that younger people used most of their treatment time on consultations, preventive measures and conservative treatments, while fixed and removable prosthetics constituted a major part of the treatment time among elderly people.