The current state of dental composites presents the practitioner with many material options having a broad range of physical and optical properties, and handling characteristics. The current materials have evolved based on the needs and requests of dental practitioners desiring materials capable of being used in more extensive applications, and with greater ease of use. While there is not one material that is considered ideal, dentists are able to use existing products, alone or in combination, to produce restorations that are of high quality and with excellent longevity. In the past, the introduction of new formulations was predominantly focused on materials with better esthetics, polishability, handling, and wear resistance. More recently commercial materials have been designed with reduced polymerization shrinkage and shrinkage stress, and enhanced depth of cure for use as bulk-fill restoratives. Looking to the future, the next series of developments will likely be to produce direct composite restoratives with self-adhesive qualities, already present in some flowable and cementing materials, and resin restoratives that are more resistant to the degradatory effects of intraoral hydrolysis and attack from salivary and bacterially derived enzymes. Other developments will likely include materials that are bioactive, interacting with the environment by releasing essential ions for remineralization processes, as well as releasing important molecules capable of recruiting cells to specific sites to aid in the healing and repair of lost tooth structure. Materials capable of repair of internal and external defects can also be envisioned. The development of dental resin-based composites continues to represent one of the most exciting areas of dentistry.