This article focuses on ceramics, glasses, glass-ceramics, and their derivatives, that is, inorganic-organic hybrids, in the forms of solid or porous bodies, oxide layers/coatings, and particles with sizes ranging from nanometers to micrometers, or even millimetres. These include inert crystalline ceramics, porous ceramics, calcium phosphate ceramics, and bioactive glasses. The article discusses the compositions of ceramics and carbon-base implant materials, and examines their differences in processing and structure. It describes the chemical and microstructural basis for their differences in physical properties, and relates properties and hard-tissue response to particular clinical applications. The article provides information on glass or glass-ceramic particles for cancer treatments.