Surgical outcomes for suture-less surgery in 366 impacted third molar patients

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2006 Apr;64(4):669-73. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2005.12.014.


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to identify surgical outcomes in third molar surgery when no sutures are used for primary closure.

Patients and methods: A total of 1,280 third molars were removed from 366 patients in an outpatient setting using intravenous sedation and local anesthesia. A small V-shaped flap was raised in all cases and no sutures were placed over a 2-year period (2001 to 2003). All people were contacted by a registered nurse within 24 hr. All records were reviewed by a medical investigator and IRB approval was obtained.

Results: The mean age was 22.14 years, males 39%, females 61%, white 75%, African American 22%, and Asian 3%. Ninety-three people of 366 experienced at least 1 complaint. Alveolar osteitis was 2.81% for the total teeth extracted and 10.7% for the mandibular Class IV impactions. A total of 652 mandibular third molars were removed (Class III, n= 113; Class IV, n= 522). Forty-eight of 366 patients (13.1%) had postoperative diagnosis of alveolar osteitis.

Conclusions: Small flap third molar surgery without sutures is less invasive and saves time. Delayed healing in oral surgery is not new. The outcome of 1,280 extractions demonstrates good results.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dry Socket / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molar, Third / surgery*
  • Pain, Postoperative
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sutures*
  • Tooth Extraction / adverse effects
  • Tooth Extraction / methods*
  • Tooth, Impacted / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome