Dissolvable Sutures: The Choice For Dental Surgery
Suturing is one of the most common procedures both in the medical and dental fields. Wounds from an accident or as part of a surgical procedure may continue bleeding and be at risk of infection, so using non-absorbable or dissolvable sutures is of the essence. Its importance in closing a wound marks the start of the healing process.
Let us understand everything about sutures, how to choose the suitable suture, and where we can buy high-quality suturing essentials.
Types Of Sutures
Because not all wounds are the same, sutures also vary to adapt to the situation that needs help in supporting and stitching together body tissues. They may have a difference in how they are absorbed by the body (non-absorbable or dissolvable sutures), its structure, and the components and materials used to make the sutures.
Based on Absorbability
- Absorbable sutures
As the name implies, absorbable or dissolvable sutures are used in wound stitches that do not need removal. More often than not, doctors use dissolvable sutures in wounds or incisions buried inside the body.
Dissolvable sutures include Chromic Catgut, Vicryl, Dyed or Undyed Monocryl, Polyglyconate, or Polydioxanone
- Non-absorbable sutures
Ever had a surgery where the doctor or dentist includes a follow-up check-up for the removal of your sutures? This makes it obvious that the sutures used for your surgery or wound are not absorbable.
Your wounds or stitches may typically be on the skin, a place that needs longer tension to help in securing the wound from the presence of infection. Your doctor may use nylon, silk, polyester, or polypropylene.
Based on Structure
- Monofilament sutures
These sutures use only one thread in stitching up surgical incisions, particularly if the cut was not too deep. Because a single line is thinner than multiple ones, doctors recommend the use of this suture type since it can conveniently pass through body tissues without much effort and tugging.
- Braided sutures
On the other hand, multiple stitches use thin strands of thread that are either braided or twisted together to form a strong single suture fibre. Its width and strength can withstand the pressure that the wounds may encounter, keeping them secure and closed at all times.
Based on Material
- Natural sutures
Sutures made with natural materials use mammal intestines or collagen. Though they may sound organic and can easily adapt to the composition of the body, there are still reports that mention ‘allergic or antigenicity reactions’ to this type of suture leading to inflammation, pain, and redness on the site.
- Synthetic sutures
Using chemical polymers, synthetic non-absorbable or absorbable sutures provide less irritation to the body since the cellular reaction elicited from the natural fibres is expected to be lesser.
How do Dentists select Sutures for their Surgery Procedures?
If we have mentioned doctors using sutures in closing and securing surgical incisions and wounds, but do you also know that dentists get to use sutures in their procedures as well? Anytime a patient requires oral surgery, dentists would require using sutures, typically dissolvable or absorbable ones.
Why? Because letting the dissolvable sutures remain until the body fully absorbs it helps in holding the surgical wound together. If your dentist determines that you require, say, wisdom tooth extraction or a big molar removal, this would require a gum tissue flap to efficiently remove the whole tooth without any breakage. Once the tooth is out, suturing the gum back and covering the hole aids in healing and prevention of infection.
Why do Dentists Prefer Dissolvable Sutures over others?
Choosing between dissolvable sutures and non-absorbable sutures depends on the doctor’s preference and experience, as well as the need for your specific dental condition. He weighs the pros and cons of using each type of suture and opts for the best that he feels would be both convenient and complication-free.
Suppose the dentist determines that using absorbable sutures would be more beneficial than using non-absorbable ones. In that case, he eliminates the requirement of having a follow-up consultation just to remove the stitches and risking your gums of further injury.
How long do Dissolvable Sutures Stay in the Mouth?
Most absorbable sutures fall out after more or less a week after the oral surgery. It may come as a surprise to some, but many patients would report loosening and eventually dissolving of the thread after at least 4 to 7 days post-op.
However, there are sutures that stay in the mouth for more than 2 weeks. Do not feel alarmed or concerned because your dentist would explain and instruct you on what you should do once this happens. He would have foreseen this based on the type of dissolvable suture he used, and he should have a treatment plan enforced when this happens.