For years, dental practitioners, educators, and researchers have sought to reduce the incidence of dental caries and periodontal disease. The efforts to prevent dental caries have focused on the promotion of community water fluoridation, school fluoride-rinse-programs, topical fluoride treatments, fluoridated toothpastes, and plaque-and-diet control. It is not until recently that the striking results of these efforts have become evident. Surveys such as this one, showing the diminished severity of caries in the child population, confirm the impression of many private practitioners. The dental profession should not be surprised by the effectiveness of our preventive programs, nor be unprepared for the future needs of our patients. We should accelerate our preventive efforts, while at the same time anticipating the future with appropriate adjustments in dental curricula, manpower, and practice.