Densely sintered calcium hydroxyapatite has previously been shown to be biocompatible and stable. Its possible role in jaw surgery was investigated using a clinically analogous animal model. The apatite was implanted into the mandible of twelve dogs for 12 weeks, and the healing assessed radiologically and histologically. The new bone which was deposited directly onto the surface of the implants bonded them firmly to the adjacent tissues. There was no fibrous tissue between implant and bone. This material appears to be a suitable substitute for autogenous bone when used as inert 'space filler' in maxillo-facial surgical procedures.