A new mass-conserving formulation of the Reynolds equation is developed using the concept of complementarity. This new method overcomes the drawbacks previously associated with the use of such complementarity formulations for the solution of cavitation problems in which reformation of the liquid film occurs. Validation against a number of analytical and semi-analytical formulations, for a variety of problems including textured bearings and squeeze film dampers, is performed. The current formulation is shown to be in very good agreement with existing analytical and numerical mass-conserving solutions.