Demographic changes over the coming decades will heighten the challenges to both the dental profession and the nation. The expected growth in the numbers of racial and ethnic minorities and the concomitant growth of immigrant populations are likely to lead to worsening of oral health disparities. Their consequences are becoming increasingly evident, as the profession strives to improve the oral health of all Americans. The increasing diversity of the population, together with the importance of cultural beliefs and behaviors that affect health outcomes, will require ways to enhance provider-patient communications and oral health literacy. One important means by which to promote oral health in diverse populations is to develop a dental workforce that is both culturally and linguistically competent, as well as one that is as culturally diverse as the American population.