The Florida Dental Care Study is a longitudinal study of changes in oral health that included at baseline 873 subjects (Ss) who had at least 1 tooth, were 45 years or older, and participated for an interview and examination. Forty-five percent of Ss had active coronal caries; 94% of the coronal carious surfaces were primary decay, and only 6% were secondary/recurrent. Ten percent of Ss had 1 or more root fragments, 16% of Ss had 1 or more teeth with restoration fractures, and 14% of Ss had 1 or more teeth with cusp fractures. Blacks, poor persons, and irregular attenders had more caries, root fragments, and cusp fractures, even though they had significantly fewer teeth. Blacks, poor persons, and irregular attenders were not at increased risk for restoration fractures, probably because fractures were associated with dental care use. These findings regarding caries and restorative treatment needs are consistent with a substantial burden in adult high-risk groups, and are relevant for dental primary health care policy. © 1996 S. Karger AG, Basel.