What Are Dissolvable Stitches for Oral Surgery?

Dissolvable stitches are a type of suture that physicians insert into the mouths of patients after certain types of oral surgeries. They are especially formulated to be decomposed by the body either rapidly or slowly, depending on the oral surgeon's desired treatment plan, according to HowStuffWorks.

HowStuffWorks also states that dissolvable stitches are made from natural materials, such as silk, hair or animal intestines, which are all types of processed collagen. Some types of synthetic materials are also used to create certain types of dissolvable stitches that the body can break down over time. Because of differences in oral surgery lacerations, some dissolvable stitches are thin while others are thicker. Although most dissolvable stitches are made from natural materials, a patient's body sees them as a foreign objects. As a result, the body consumes the stitches over the days or weeks following the surgery. A patient's surgical wound is usually completely healed by the time the dissolvable stitches are fully absorbed by her body.

Sometimes a dissolvable stitch does not totally dissolve within the body. When this happens, the oral surgeon must remove the pieces of the stitch at some point during the patient's recovery process, according to HowStuffWorks.