Objectives: This paper describes the principles of economics and their application to the promotion, protection and restoration of oral health in populations and the planning, management and delivery of oral health care. After illustrating the economic determinants of oral health, the demand for oral health care is discussed with particular reference to asymmetric information between patient and provider. The reasons for the market failure in (oral) health care and their implications for efficiency and equity are explained. We go on to describe how economic evaluation contributes to policies aimed at maximising oral health gains where resources are constrained. The behavioural aspects of patients´ demand for and dental professionals´ provision of oral health services are discussed. Finally, we outline methods for planning the dental workforce in ways that reflect system goals. Keywords (MESH compliant):: Oral Health, Economics, Resources, Health Resources, Human Resources, Efficiency, Insurance, Affordability, Pricing, Reimbursement, Fee-for-Service, Costs and Cost Analysis, Cost allocation, Direct service costs, Employer health costs, Health expenditures, Cost-benefit analysis, Cost sharing, Income, Salaries, Workforce.