Ten million people in the UK today are aged over 65. The latest projections estimate that there will be 5 1/2 million more people aged 65 and older in the next 20 years. This projected pattern of population ageing will have profound consequences for dentistry. Minimal intervention dentistry (MID) is a modern evidence-based approach to caries management in dentate patients that uses the 'medical model' whereby disease is controlled by the 'oral physician'. This approach offers considerable benefits over conventional dentistry for older patients. It encourages patients to be responsible for their oral health through the provision of both knowledge and motivation. MID encompasses risk assessment for dental disease, early detection and control of disease processes, and minimally invasive treatment.