In 1981 a national health campaign was launched to increase demand for dental services in Finland. The nationwide campaign was preceded by a separate campaign directed at getting the dentists to accept the responsibility for maintaining a regular treatment pattern for their patients. In the second part the public was informed of the means to keep their teeth throughout life via mass-media communication. The effects of this campaign was evaluated by the data from an interview study of 694 15- to 50-year-old Finns made in 1983 and by comparing these results with data from a nationwide study of 648 of the same age group carried out in 1980. In 1980, 54% of the interviewees had visited a dentist within the last 12 months. The corresponding percentage in 1983 was 65%. The commonest reason for the latest dental visit in both surveys was routine examination. The number of interviewees recalled by the dentist was 4% in 1980 and 8% in 1983. Oral hygiene was most frequently stated as the most important preventive dental measure. The interviewees had no doubts that teeth could be kept throughout life. Although the effect of the campaign can be considered positive, in terms of giving stimulus to visit the dentist, the insufficiency of the mass media communication in changing health behavior was also demonstrated.