The study deals with the frequency of using dental services and continuity of visting the same dentist by adults in Finland during the 5 years up to 1981. A representative sample of 17-65 year old Finnish adults was interviewed by telephone or when this was not possible, personally. The data were collected by the Central Statistical Office of Finland in autumn 1981. Twenty-two per cent of the subjects had not visited a dentist during the past 5 years. One-third had had more than three treatment courses during the same period. The number of treatment periods increased with higher educational and professional status. Half of the subjects who had had more than one treatment period had continued to attend the same dentist during different treatment periods. Young persons had changed dentist more often than older ones. The most common reason for changing dentist was change of residence. Nine percent did not wish to continue treatment with the same dentist. Income, age, profession and region of living accounted for 10% of the number of changes of dentist.