Influence of suture tension to the tearing characteristics of the soft tissues: an in vitro experiment

Clin Oral Implants Res. 2008 Mar;19(3):314-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0501.2007.01352.x. Epub 2008 Jan 3.


Objectives: To evaluate the influence of flap tension on the tearing characteristics of mucosal tissue samples in relation to various suture and needle characteristics.

Material and methods: Lining and masticatory mucosal tissue samples obtained from pig jaws were prepared for in vitro testing. Tension tearing diagrams of 60 experiments were traced for 3-0, 5-0 and 7-0 sutures with applied forces up to 20 N. In the second part, the same experiments were repeated with 100 diagrams to test the influence of needle characteristics with 5-0 and 6-0 sutures using only gingival tissue samples.

Results: 3-0 sutures mainly lead to tissue breakage at an average of 13.4 N. In contrast, 7-0 sutures only resulted in breakage of the thread at a mean applied force of 3.7 N. With 5-0 sutures, both events occurred at random at a mean force of 14.6 N. Irrespective of the needle characteristics, the mean breaking force for gingival samples with 5-0 and 6-0 sutures was approximately 10 N.

Conclusions: Tissue trauma may be reduced by choosing finer suture diameters, because thinner (6-0, 7-0) sutures lead to thread breakage rather than tissue breakage.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dental Stress Analysis*
  • Elasticity
  • Materials Testing
  • Mouth Mucosa / anatomy & histology
  • Mouth Mucosa / injuries
  • Mouth Mucosa / physiology*
  • Needles
  • Pilot Projects
  • Surgical Wound Dehiscence / prevention & control*
  • Sutures / adverse effects*
  • Swine
  • Tensile Strength