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.