The phenomenon of residual ridge reduction following the loss of natural teeth, and its impact on successful complete denture therapy, have been reviewed. Anatomic, physiologic, and biomechanical factors associated with the stability and retention of complete dentures impact optimal therapeutic results. The proper use of denture adhesive to supplement, not substitute for, sound complete denture therapy should be carefully and thoroughly presented to patients prior to placement of new prostheses. Denture adhesives can be effectively used to augment denture stability and retention in well-fitting complete dentures leading to improved denture performance, patient comfort, and patient satisfaction. Inappropriate use of denture adhesive, outside the recommendations provided here, may adversely impact denture performance, patient health and overall treatment satisfaction.