Summary: Oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) is associated with tooth wear and tooth loss. This study investigated the association between OHRQoL and dental status (in terms of natural dentition, partial or complete dentures, or edentulism). Sixteen hundred and twenty-two persons who participated in a large-scale Dutch dental survey were interviewed. Dentate persons (n = 1407) were additionally invited for a clinical examination (response rate: 69%). Dental status was based upon the combined data from this clinical examination and the questionnaire (seven dental status groups were defined). OHRQoL was measured by the Dutch translation of the short version of the Oral Health Impact Profile, the OHIP-NL14. Kruskal-Wallis tests and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to investigate differences in OHRQoL between the dental status groups. For all OHIP-NL14 scales, differences in OHRQoL were found between the dental status groups (all P-values <0·001). The Mann-Whitney U tests revealed no differences between persons with a complete natural dentition and persons with a fixed prosthetic replacement. The latter group, however, did show a significantly better OHRQoL as compared to persons with a removable partial denture. Surprisingly, edentulous persons with an overdenture had a more impaired OHRQoL than edentulous persons with non-supported complete dentures. The results demonstrated that impaired dental status is associated with deteriorations in OHRQoL, especially concerning functional limitations, physical pain and social disability. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.