In cases where a tooth is lost and the surrounding bone is damaged your doctor may recommend a bone graft to be performed along with the implant, to ensure it has enough structural support to endure the shearing forces placed on it by chewing. The first step in this procedure is to prepare the site for placing the dental implant. Next, the implant body is placed into the bone. Once the implant is placed, synthetic bone is packed around the implant and covered with a special healing membrane, and the healing cap is then seeded onto the implant. The area is then given time to heal. Your doctor will determine when the site will be ready to place the final restoration. During this time, the graft solidifies around the implant and permanently blends into your natural bone and tissue. While healing, your doctor can provide a temporary tooth to fill the empty space. Once fully healed, the damaged bone will have regained its original strength and stability. At a subsequent appointment the final restoration can be placed onto the implant, restoring the area to ideal shape and function.