Stitches might be required as an enclosure method in certain dental procedures. Entire tooth extractions commonly leave gum flaps that need to be sutured, so that it will be able to be put into its original position. Stitches are essential in that it provides cosmetically better enclosure, especially in groins, wherein moist environment presents almost all the time.
Why stitches are used to provide gum enclosure
Wisdom tooth extractions almost always require gum stitches as the enclosure method. This is a suitable method that helps restoring the shape of the gum after tooth extraction and putting any gum flap back into its place. A surgical extraction is commonly involved teeth that cannot be seen easily. Impacted wisdom teeth are the perfect example. These teeth may not be easily seen as they erupt imperfectly and thus, some of these teeth may be left inside the gums, causing gum flaps and in some cases, Pericoronitis. An extracted wisdom tooth thus leaves a hole or space on the bone socket. Sutures are used to provide proper closure to this bone socket in order to promote proper healing.
Tooth extractions that require gum slicing and leaves gum cavity will need sutures. This method is important as it helps closing the cavity and maintain the hygiene of the area. Gum cavity may also cause excess food accumulation, which raises the risk of infection and hence, providing this cavity a proper enclosure is essential. Thus, there are three main functions suture can promote to operated gum:
- Stitches decrease the risk of infection from bacterial infestation in the post-operative gum cavity.
- Stitches are essential in preventing the risk of having wound re-opening after the surgery.
- Stitches can help minimize post-operation bleeding.
How long to leave stitches in gums
Two types of stitches are used in providing enclosures to post-operative gum cavities. Those are dissolvable and non-dissolvable stitches. One main difference between these two types of stitches is that the dissolvable stitches is going to resorbs and disappear from the operated gum automatically, while another one needs to be removed manually after the performed procedures.
- Dissolvable stitches are mainly made from sheep intestines or synthetic materials. The body is going to break these stitches down, so that it does not need to be removed. Types of materials the stitches are made from determine the amount of time it takes to dissolve. Commonly, sheep intestine-made sutures will keep intact for approximately 5 to 7 days, while chromic-treated ones need 9 to 15 days before dissolved. If the dissolvable sutures are made from synthetic materials, longer dissolving period is required. Mostly, this type of dissolvable sutures are going to break down within a couple of weeks.
- Non-dissolvable or non-absorbable sutures, in comparison, cannot break themselves down, so that manual removal is required. These non-absorbable stitches are commonly made from silk, polyester, and nylon. As the body cannot degrade and dispose them, the oral surgeon will tell you the amount of time you require before having these sutures removed manually. Based on how well your operated gum develops after the performed procedures, the decision whether or not the stitches are ready to be pulled out will be made. In most cases, non-dissolvable sutures need to be pulled out within 7 to 10 days after the surgery.
How stitches on gum removed
While tooth extraction, especially an impacted wisdom tooth extraction can be a quite painful, concerning procedure, having the post-operative stitches removed afterwards is a rather easy, quick, and painless method. After the performed procedure, the dentist or oral surgeon will tell you the exact time you are advised to come back to have the sutures removed.
To remove stitches on gum, the dentist will perform a couple of steps, such as:
- He will use small pair of scissors to clip the suture thread. This will loosen the entire sutures, making them easier to remove.
- The end of the suture without the knot on it will be grabbed with dental tweezers and pulled out of the gum tissues.
- When all sutures are removed from the gum, he will ask you to gargle the mouth with saline solution, making sure no debris and food excess are left on the site.