Document Type : Research Article
Currently, dental patients are expectingthat restorative material should fulfill both aesthetic and functional excellence. Composite resin can meet these requirements but with the major limitation of shrinkage during polymerization. This shrinkage will be manifested as marginal leakage,marginal staining, subsequent secondary caries,cuspal deflection, tooth or restoration fracture, postoperative sensitivity which ultimately ends by a failed restoration.Polymerization shrinkage of composite resin generates high degree of stress at the tooth/restoration interface owing to the failure of resin-based composites. The magnitude of these stressesdepends on the composition of resin composites, its ability to flow before solidification,cavity configuration and curing characteristics of the composites.Since, polymerization shrinkage cannot be completely eliminated, various techniques has been suggested in the manipulation for resin based composites to minimize the shrinkage and associated stresses. The purpose of this article is to review on theorigin of polymerization shrinkage, various factors involved in the process of polymerization shrinkage,the clinical factors affecting polymerization stress and the various material science advances and techniques that are currently available to deal with polymerization shrinkage in a clinical practice.