Wisdom Teeth Stitches | Are They Dissolvable?

December 15, 2023

The healing process is often one of the few things that people think about as soon as they are due for the extraction of their wisdom teeth. Some frequently asked questions are, “Do wisdom teeth dissolve?” or “How long do they last?” and “How long does it take for stitches to dissolve?” Let’s tackle all these queries one at a time.

Do Wisdom Teeth Stitches Dissolve?

Yes, certain types of stitches dissolve easily. Stitches or sutures are used to close the wound after extraction; dentists usually choose dissolvable so no removal is required.

How Long Does It Take for Stitches to Dissolve?

Stitches that are used to close the wound after wisdom tooth extraction gradually dissolve over 1 to 2 weeks, with minimal discomfort. Also, some degree of looseness before complete dissolution is normal.
Here is a list of factors that contribute to the dissolving time:

  1. Stitch Size: Larger stitches may take longer to dissolve than smaller ones.
  2. Stitch Material: Every stitch or suture is made of a different material and hence has a varying time span of dissolution.
  3. Incision Type and Size: The bigger the incision, the larger the stitches would be used, extending the dissolving process.
  4. Stitch Location: Moisture levels in specific areas, such as the mouth after wisdom tooth extraction, can influence the dissolving speed.

Stitches – Dissolvable and Non-dissolvable

Stitches are of various types to serve a distinct purpose. The primary differentiation lies in dissolvability and tensile strength.

Types of Dissolvable Stitches

  • Gut or Catgut: This is derived from cow or sheep intestines.
  • Chromic Gut: Treated with chromium trioxide for increased resistance to dissolving.
  • Vicryl: A synthetic suture made of polyglycolic acid.

Types of Non-dissolvable Stitches

  • Silk: A natural suture with poor microbial resistance.
  • Nylon: Smooth with excellent tensile strength and infection resistance.
  • PTFE: Biologically inert, ideal for bone grafting and implant procedures.
  • Polypropylene: Synthetic, smooth, and minimally inflammatory, often preferred for facial lacerations.

There are certain deciding factors that help make the call between dissolving and non-dissolving stitches.

  1. Wisdom Teeth Stitches: Dissolvable stitches are usually sufficient, and many wisdom tooth extractions may not require sutures.
  2. Implant Stitches: For this procedure, non-dissolving sutures are the better choice since the recovery period is quite long.
  3. Bone Graft Stitches: Non-dissolving stitches are chosen for their strength, which is crucial for maintaining graft integrity until absorption.

Caring For Wisdom Teeth Stitches

To ensure a smooth recovery, stick to adequate post-procedure instructions. Prepare to be extra gentle with your surgery site post-procedure. Carefully rinse your mouth using a saltwater solution or a prescription mouthwash to ease discomfort. Here are some additional considerations:

  1. Oral Hygiene: Maintaining a regular oral hygiene regime is crucial. Gently brush your teeth, avoiding the surgical site, and rinse your mouth with a prescribed mouthwash.
  2. Dietary Choices: Opt for soft, easy-to-chew foods right after wisdom tooth extraction to prevent any strain on the surgical site. Gradually reintroduce a regular diet as advised by your oral surgeon.
  3. Pain Management: Do not deviate from the care instructions your dentist provides for pain management. If discomfort persists or worsens, you can consult Dr. Paichun (Patrick) Huang DDS, a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD) at Briar Forest Dental Group, for help.
  4. Activity Restrictions: Avoid strenuous activities and exercises during the initial days of recovery. Rest is essential for the healing process.
  5. Follow-up Appointments: Never skip the scheduled follow-up appointments with your oral surgeon. These visits are crucial for monitoring your recovery progress and addressing any concerns.

Closing Note

Your dentist’s choice of choosing the right type of stitches for your wisdom tooth extraction depends on the length of healing, dissolution time, etc. If you want more information, contact Briar Forest Dental Group. Dial (713) 784-4430 to connect with us. Or visit our clinic at 1988 Wilcrest Dr G, Houston, TX 77042, United States.

We are proud to serve patients from all nearby communities, including Briar Forest, The Memorial Villages, Memorial City, Westchase, and Walnut Bend.


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