As a counterpoint to negative interpretations of recent trends, this article presents a positive picture of dentistry in the 1990s and 21st century. Reported trends show large increases in older dentate adults who are retaining more of their natural dentition, new diagnosis and treatment technologies, increased incidence of dental caries in older adults, increased awareness of periodontal diseases, greater interest in esthetic dentistry, and generally higher expectations for health and fitness in our society. All of these factors point to a greater need for adult dental services. Therefore, in the next 30 years, the dental profession should be prepared to provide increased amounts of diagnostic, preventive, adult operative, fixed prosthodontic, and endodontic and orthodontic services. Declines in need should be expected in children's operative dentistry, extractions, and complete dentures.
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