A retrospective study was made of 22 consecutive patients who underwent mandibular reconstruction with a Dacron (Osteo-mesh, Xomed Inc, Jacksonville, FL) tray technique from September 1988 to April 1992. Free autogenous iliac bone, in the form of particulate cancellous chips and marrow, was densely packed into the Dacron tray, that was adapted to bridge the mandibular segmental defect. Sixteen cases underwent uneventful healing with the formation of a continuous bony bridge and union with the remaining mandible. The pattern of bone remodeling and rate of resorption in these cases were assessed by sequential panoramic radiographs taken up to 3 years postoperatively. The mean horizontal dimension of the mandibular defects was 75 mm and the mean vertical reconstructed height was 25 mm. When the grafted bone was radiographically of uniform density, it progressed into a mature trabecular pattern matching that of the normal mandible. However, when there were areas of radiolucency, most likely from inadequate condensation of the graft, such areas were not replaced by bone in the long term. The bony height at both ends and the middle of the reconstructed segment underwent reasonably even resorption and retained about 80% of the bony height over a 3-year period. The rate of resorption was highest in the first 6 months and stabilized at about 2 years. There were six failures, all showing significant irregular bony resorption prior to tray removal.