Previous work has shown that partial replacement of reinforcing fillers with unsilanized silica particles can diminish polymerization shrinkage stress of dental resin composites. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether such an effect can be attained by using unsilanized bioactive glass (BG). Incorporating BG fillers into resin composites is interesting due to their potential for exerting caries-preventive effects. Experimental light-curable composites with a total filler load of 77 wt% were prepared. Reinforcing fillers were partially replaced with 0-60 wt% of BG 45S5 and an experimental low-sodium fluoride-containing BG. The following properties were investigated: linear shrinkage, degree of conversion, shrinkage stress, maximum shrinkage stress rate, and time to achieve maximum shrinkage stress rate. The diminishing effect of BG 45S5 on shrinkage stress was mediated by a decrease in degree of conversion caused by this BG type. In contrast, as the degree of conversion remained unaffected by the experimental BG, the resulting shrinkage behaviour was governed by the effect of varying amounts of silanized and unsilanized fillers on material's viscoelastic properties. The replacement of silanized reinforcing fillers with unsilanized BG did not reduce polymerization shrinkage stress unless the reduction was attained indirectly through a diminished degree of conversion.