Background: Recently a greater interest in tissue engineering for the treatment of large bone defect has been reported. The aim of the present systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate the effectiveness of dental pulp stem cells and synthetic block complexes for bone defect treatment in preclinical in vivo articles. Methods: The electronic database and manual search was conducted on Pubmed, Scopus, and EMBASE. The papers identified were submitted for risk-of-bias assessment and classified according to new bone formation, bone graft characteristics, dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) culture passages and amount of experimental data. The meta-analysis assessment was conducted to assess new bone formation in test sites with DPSCs/synthetic blocks vs. synthetic block alone. Results: The database search identified a total of 348 papers. After the initial screening, 30 studies were included, according to the different animal models: 19 papers on rats, 3 articles on rabbits, 2 manuscripts on sheep and 4 papers on swine. The meta-analysis evaluation showed a significantly increase in new bone formation in favor of DPSCs/synthetic scaffold complexes, if compared to the control at 4 weeks (Mean Diff: 17.09%, 95% CI: 15.16–18.91%, p < 0.01) and at 8 weeks (Mean Diff: 14.86%, 95% CI: 1.82–27.91%, p < 0.01) in rats calvaria bone defects. Conclusion: The synthetic scaffolds in association of DPSCs used for the treatment of bone defects showed encouraging results of early new bone formation in preclinical animal studies and could represent a useful resource for regenerative bone augmentation procedures
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