Braden and his coauthors give a comprehensive overview of the use of polymers and polymer composites as dental materials. These comprise polyelectrolyte based materials, elastomers, glassy and crystalline polymers and fibres. Such materials are used in dentistry as restorative materials, hard and soft prostheses, and impression materials. The chemistry of materials is reviewed, together with mechanical, thermal, visco-elastic and water solution properties. These properties are related to clinical performance, with emphasis on some of the difficulties inherent in developing materials for oral use. Indications are given of possible future developments.