The aim of this study was to qualitatively review the literature regarding occlusal schemes for complete dentures. An electronic search was executed using PubMed (MEDLINE) with the aid of Boolean operators to combine the following terms: "complete denture," "occlusion," "balanced," "lingualized," "anatomic," "flat," "monoplane," and "canine." The search was limited to English peer-reviewed articles published up to January 2012. The literature search was supplemented by manual searching of relevant journals and the reference lists of selected articles. A total of 565 articles were retrieved; however, only 12 articles met the inclusion criteria. The included studies evaluated the effects of posterior tooth morphology/arrangement and lateral occlusal guidance. In relation to morphology, the posterior teeth were either anatomical or flat. The posterior tooth arrangements showed conventional bilaterally balanced occlusion (CBBO), lingualized bilaterally balanced occlusion (LBBO), or monoplane occlusion (MO). The lateral occlusal guidance involved either balanced occlusion or anterior tooth-guided occlusion (ATGO). Within the limitations of this review, it can be concluded that anatomical teeth arranged in CBBO or LBBO are preferable to flat teeth arranged in MO. This is primarily related to patient acceptance. ATGO can also be considered for complete dentures.