OBJECTIVES: To validate a critical-size mandibular bone defect model in miniature pigs. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Bilateral notch defects were produced in the mandible of dentally mature miniature pigs. The right mandibular defect remained untreated while the left defect received an autograft. Bone healing was evaluated by computed tomography (CT) at 4 and 16 weeks, and by micro-CT and non-decalcified histology at 16 weeks. RESULTS: In both the untreated and autograft treated groups, mineralized tissue volume was reduced significantly at 4 weeks post-surgery, but was comparable to the pre-surgery levels after 16 weeks. After 16 weeks, CT analysis indicated that significantly greater bone was regenerated in the autograft treated defect than in the untreated defect (P=0.013). Regardless of the treatment, the cortical bone was superior to the defect remodeled over 16 weeks to compensate for the notch defect. CONCLUSION: The presence of considerable bone healing in both treated and untreated groups suggests that this model is inadequate as a critical-size defect. Despite healing and adaptation, the original bone geometry and quality of the pre-injured mandible was not obtained. On the other hand, this model is justified for evaluating accelerated healing and mitigating the bone remodeling response, which are both important considerations for dental implant restorations.