Magnetic retention is a popular method of attaching removable prostheses to either retained roots or osseointegrated implants. This review chronicles the development of magnets in dentistry and summarizes future research in their use. The literature was researched by using the Science Citation Index and Compendex Web from 1981 to 2000. Articles published before 1981 were hand researched from citations in other publications. Articles that discussed the use of magnets in relation to prosthetic dentistry were selected.