The Annual Conference of the BSSPD (British Society for the Study of Prosthetic Dentistry) was held in York on 6 and 7 April 2009. At the symposium on mandibular overdentures, presenters offered a synopsis of the research available on the efficacy of implant-supported mandibular overdentures in the edentulous mandible. Emphasis was given to both qualitative and quantitative research based on patient-centred outcomes of treatment. A draft consensus was circulated to all presenters and to the Council members of the BSSPD and to BSSPD members on the Society's website. The statement was modified in the light of their comments, audience feedback following the presentations and members' feedback. We hope that this consensus statement will be a useful guide for patients and clinicians and that it will act to stimulate wider debate. We also hope that it will prove useful to other patient and professional organisations and will inform discussions with providers of national healthcare and with independent funders.