To describe the patterns of dental attendance and attitudes towards tooth loss of general dental practice patients in Galway. 1. To determine the pattern of adult dental attendance in general practices in Galway; and, 2. To examine the oral health attitudes of these patients. Questionnaires were distributed to 311 consecutive adult patients in the waiting rooms of ten general dental practices in Galway, which were randomly selected from the telephone directory. A total of 254 of the 311 questionnaires distributed were fully completed, returned and included in the results, giving a response rate of 81.7%. A total of 59% of dentate participants attended their dentist for annual or biannual examinations compared to 23% of edentate patients. Some 10.5% of medical card holders and 0.5% of non-medical card holders were edentulous. The data from the survey indicated that medical card holders in Galway were more likely to be edentulous than nonmedical card holders. Edentate patients were less likely to be regular dental attenders than dentate patients.