Stitches - Placing / Removing / Types sutures.
A) Placing stitches.
Here are the steps a dentist will perform when "closing" a gum tissue flap.
1) The dentist will first check to insure that the edges and surface of the bone that will lie underneath the flap are rounded and smooth.
If they need adjusting, the dentist will recontour them using their dental drill or else a hand instrument called a "bone file" (a rasp-type tool). The patient may feel pressure or vibration from these tools but there will be no pain involved.
2) The dentist will then position the tissue flap back into pretty much its original position and begin placing the stitches.
The number of stitches required will vary with each individual case, simply depending how many the dentist feels are necessary to adequately stabilize the flap to its neighboring stable (undisturbed, firm) gum tissue.
3) Placing stitches is similar to sewing with a needle and thread.
a) The dentist will use a prepackaged, pre-assembled needle with attached suture material (silk, nylon, "gut", etc...).
b) They'll grasp the suture needle with a pair of hemostat-like forceps and guide it through the thickness of the flap. The curved nature of the needle allows it to glide into and then back out of the tissue more easily than if a straight needle were used.