After an oral surgeon performs a surgical tooth extraction, the incision site is stitched back together to allow the area to heal. If you’ve never had oral surgery before, you may not know what to expect from these stitches.
Often, the oral surgeon will use dissolvable stitches and the patient will just wait for the stitches to “fall out” on their own. Your surgeon will give you more specifics about your stitches so that you know what to anticipate.
Patients should be aware of a number of other post-extraction considerations and how to care for their smiles after an extraction…
Stitches that stay in place for the right amount of time are only one aspect of a successful healing process. Patients should be aware of a number of other post-extraction considerations and how to care for their smiles after an extraction, as well.
Stitches: What To Expect
In most cases, stitches will come out on their own within 2-3 weeks. However, in some cases, they may come out earlier. Generally, this is not cause for concern unless you notice bleeding in the area or if they come out within the first few days. In those circumstances, consult with your surgeon ASAP.
After your procedure, your surgeon will give you written instructions that include, among other items, details about the expected dissolving of your stitches. Don’t hesitate to contact our office at any time if you have any questions about this aspect of the healing process.
Other Post-Extraction Considerations
Keeping an eye on your stitches is not the only monitoring you need to do after your tooth extraction. You will also need to keep the site clean by following the instructions provided by your surgeon. This will greatly reduce your risk of infection.
You should also be able to recognize the signs of infection so that you can follow up with your surgeon if it becomes necessary. Significant, persistent pain, noticeable pus or an odor at the site may all indicate infection. Call our office if you notice any of these.
You’ll also want to work to minimize your risk of dry sockets by avoiding drinking straws until cleared by your surgeon. Smoking also increases the likelihood of dry sockets, so abstain from tobacco use for a while (ideally forever!) too.
Knowing what to expect as you heal after a tooth extraction is important. If you need any additional information about this, ask your surgeon or another member of our treatment team.