In a dentate subject a jaw relation can either be determined in maximum intercuspation and is as such given by the occlusal morphology, or the mandibular position can be allocated according to the centric position of the condyles. For comprehensive restorative treatment or analytic measures of the occlusion it is important to record the centric condylar position. Various registration methods have been described in the literature, but there is no consensus on which is the 'best'. The aim of the present study was therefore to assess the accuracy of various registration methods and evaluate a possible influence of the used materials. Four dentists were involved in the clinical part of the study, another was responsible for the measurements. Impressions were taken from 81 fully dentate volunteers. The casts were mounted by face-bow transfer and central-bearing-point (CBP) registration into Dentatus articulators. Subsequently the centric condylar position was determined with six different methods and materials, respectively. Each method was reproduced twice so that a total of 18 registrations was performed per patient. The mandibular positions which resulted from the individual registrations were then repeatedly compared in the condylar area using a computer supported specially modified measuring articulator. The accuracy was found best for the unrefined wax wafer registration (x=0.33 mm) and with an average of 0.44 mm worst when using acrylic wafers. The CBP and frontal jig methods as well as tin-foil and refined wax wafers showed an accuracy in-between these boundaries. The biggest measured mandibular displacement between any two registrations were considerably 2.0 mm. However, the described differences in accuracy between the various methods and materials proved statistically not significant. All investigated jaw registrations showed an accuracy of about 20 times the tactile fine sensibility of natural teeth which has to be taken into account when inserting fixed prosthetic restorations in centric condylar position. Despite meticulous clinical and technical procedures small occlusal adjustments are therefore almost unavoidable.