OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to analyze the life-course effects of education, occupation, and income at ages 70, 75, 80, and 85 years, respectively, on dental caries experience of 85-year-olds. METHODS: The present study includes follow-up data from a population-based study, which comprised a sample of 176 individuals aged 85 years. Data on social position were collected at ages 70, 75, 80, and 85 years by means of structured personal interviews. Clinical oral health examinations were conducted to obtain data on dental caries at age 85. Dental caries was recorded at tooth surface level and caries experience was expressed by the DMF Index: the decayed tooth surfaces (D component), missing tooth surfaces (M component), and filled tooth surfaces (F component). RESULTS: The participants in the present study demonstrated a high level of dental caries experience; the prevalence rate for active dental caries (D-S) was 80 percent. Older adults with low education, low occupational status, and poor income tended to have more active dental caries compared to their counterparts. In contrast, individuals with high education (F-S = 35.5) and high occupational status (F-S = 36.0) had significantly more filled surfaces than persons with low education (F-S = 24.0) and low occupational status (F-S = 25.6). Individuals with high income at ages 75, 80, and 85 years had more filled surfaces (F-S = 31.9, 33.2, 34.1) compared to persons with low income (F-S = 25.5, 23.5, 22.8). CONCLUSION: The study identified social inequalities across age among the very old individuals in relation to dental caries experience.