Dental sutures are often indicated in certain types of surgical procedures. They are used to help control bleeding and to close the wounds created by the procedure. This promotes healing.
Dental sutures usually are packaged in a sterile container with the suture needle attached to the suture. The suture needle generally is curved with a very sharp point.
The suture material is available in a wide variety of diameters and types, and the needle attached to the suture is also available in a variety of sizes.
There are two basic types of sutures used in dentistry: resorbable sutures and nonresorbable sutures.
Resorbable sutures used in oral and maxillofacial surgery can be made of gut, polyglycolic acid, and a copolymer of glycolic and lactic acids. Gut is made from the sub mucosa of sheep or beef intestines.
The resorbable sutures will usually dissolve within 7—14 days and in many cases won’t need to be removed. They all fall out within a one- to two-week time period.
Nonresorbable dental sutures are made from silk, nylon, polyester, and polypropylene. Nonresorbable sutures need to be removed by the dentist.
Approximately one week after surgery, the patient can be seen by the dentist for suture removal. The dental sutures area is evaluated for adequate healing before the sutures can be removed.