Open-ended interviews were conducted with 109 individuals. These included: administrators, staff, dental personnel, residents, and family members, associated with 12 long-term-care (LTC) facilities to contrast different human resource and organizational strategies for managing the delivery of oral health care to the elderly residents. A multiple case-study analysis revealed that no particular organizational strategy was ideal, although three important components--oral hygiene, diagnostic assessments, and dental treatment--were common to all. The dental personnel everywhere believed that oral health in the midst of other conflicting priorities received inadequate attention, while the administrators and staff acknowledged that they were weak at recognizing oral disorders and assisting with oral hygiene. In all, the interviews offered a portrait of the conflicting priorities associated with LTC, and they provide practical insights to successful strategies of care in this population.