Eighteen patients with bony defects of the mandible had the mandible reconstructed using conventional nonvascularized bone grafts from the iliac crest. After surgery they received radiotherapy for cancer in the oropharynx or oral cavity. This study was carried out over a 10-year period. All patients were followed-up both for their tumour growth and the results of their reconstruction. Four to 10 years after surgery 55.5 per cent were alive and well. Full dental rehabilitation was achieved in 33 percent and 12.5 percent were without dental rehabilitation.