Recently, there has been increased interest in the use of natural jaws for better results in bone fixation studies. Thus, the sheep mandible has been chosen for such studies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the length and resistance of the sheep mandible when submitted to a compression test with freedom in the three axes of space. Seventy fresh sheep (Ovis aries) mandibles were used in this study. Initially, the soft tissues were removed, and measurements of the mandible size were performed. Fifty mandibles were selected for mechanical testing based on the mean values from this assessment. The mandibles were joined by fixation in the symphyseal region and were tridimensionally deformed. A metallic support suitable for study of the mandible under efforts with freedom in the three axes in space was used. For this test, three displacement cycles were applied. Based on the mean stiffness, 35 mandibles were selected. The mean value of the sheep mandible mensuration was 13.6 cm ± 0.53 cm. The mean value of the sheep mandible stiffness was 153.5N ± 54.0 N. These data are useful for future studies on fixation systems for fractures and orthognathic surgery.
KEY WORDS: Mandible; In vitro techniques; Biomechanical phenomena.