The regeneration of bone tissue is the main purpose of most therapies in dental medicine. For bone regeneration, calcium phosphate (CaP)-based substitute materials based on natural (allo- and xenografts) and synthetic origins (alloplastic materials) are applied for guiding the regeneration processes. The optimal bone substitute has to act as a substrate for bone ingrowth into a defect, as well as resorb in the time frame needed for complete regeneration up to the condition of restitution ad integrum
. In this context, the modes of action of CaP-based substitute materials have been frequently investigated, where it has been shown that such materials strongly influence regenerative processes such as osteoblast growth or differentiation and also osteoclastic resorption due to different physicochemical properties of the materials. However, the material characteristics needed for the required ratio between new bone tissue formation and material degradation has not been found, until now. The addition of different substances such as collagen or growth factors and also of different cell types has already been tested but did not allow for sufficient or prompt application. Moreover, metals or metal ions are used differently as a basis or as supplement for different materials in the field of bone regeneration. Moreover, it has already been shown that different metal ions are integral components of bone tissue, playing functional roles in the physiological cellular environment as well as in the course of bone healing. The present review focuses on frequently used metals as integral parts of materials designed for bone regeneration, with the aim to provide an overview of currently existing knowledge about the effects of metals in the field of bone regeneration.
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