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This paper describes an exercise in professional reorientation which took place in the late 1970s amongst the dental officers of the then Hampshire Area Health Authority's community dental service. The community dental service was and still is primarily child orientated. The fall in dental caries described elsewhere in this symposium, combined with the rise in dental manpower in general, released time which was traditionally devoted to 'drilling and filling'. This provided the opportunity to reorientate away from secondary to primary prevention.