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Are My Black Stitches Dissolvable?

Updated: Jan 31

Black stitches are non-dissolvable because they're either made of an organic/natural material called silk or synthetic nylon. Both of these suture materials silk/nylon are non-dissolving and non-absorbable which means you will need to have them removed.


black stitches across forehead
black stitches across forehead

Table of contents:


Are silk black stitches dissolvable?

Black stitches that are silk, are made of a natural material that does not dissolve. If you have any doubts about it, simply look at the box label of any of the black sutures and see what it has to say about its dissolvability.


Tooth extraction socket with black silk sutures
Tooth extraction socket with black silk sutures

Suture Brand

Dissolvability

non-dissolvable

non-dissolvable

non-dissolvable

non-dissolvable

non-dissolvable


The table above provides a list of the various brands and a reference to what they specifically have to say about whether or not their black sutures are resorbable.


FOSmedic - silk suture specifications
FOSmedic - silk suture specifications

In summary, black dissolvable silk stitches do not exist. They are all non-dissolving and non-absorbable, which means they will need to be removed by your doctor or dentist.


Why silk black sutures don't dissolve

Silk stitches don't dissolve because they're made of an organic material called silk. Yes, the same exact silk as what your clothing are made of.


silk scarfs
Credit: GoodSoftGoods

Items made of silk:

  • Shirts

  • Suits

  • Blouses

  • Scarfs

  • Hats

  • Socks

  • Gloves

  • Tapestry


From your own personal experience as well as ours, we all know that these silk items will NOT break down on their own. That means there is a zero percent chance that your body will be able to dissolve it and absorb it.


It would be terrible if the silk clothing you were wearing started to dissolve throughout the day. That would be a shame but fortunately, they don't do that so you can rest assured.


Are nylon black stitches dissolvable?

Black stitches that are nylon, are made of a synthetic material that does not dissolve. If you have any doubts about it, simply look at the box label of any of the black sutures and see what it has to say about its dissolvability.


black nylon stitches on lip
black nylon stitches on lip

Below is the product specification of black nylon sutures by Ethicon and as you can see, it is listed as non-absorbable.



If you had any doubts, you can simply ask yourself if any of your nylon clothing dissolve.


How it compares to dissolvable stitches

The primary reason why the black ones don't dissolve is due to the material that they're made of. You can compare them to chromic gut sutures which are a commonly used dissolvable stitch for wisdom teeth.


The chromic gut sutures come in a yellow/gold color and they're made of an all natural organic material. The gut sutures are mainly composed of collagen but they're made from the guts of ruminant animals (cows, sheeps, goats). Since they're basically made of food, our body can break it down, dissolve it and absorb it.


Attributes

Black Stitches

Yellow/Gold Stitches

Material

Silk/Nylon

Catgut

Material Type

Natural or Synthetic

Collagen

Dissolvable

No

Yes

The same principles hold for all of the other non-absorbable sutures vs other absorbable ones.


Does the color affect it's dissolvability?

The color of the sutures technically do not affect whether or not they can dissolve. However, Most of the sutures are dyed to be a certain color for ease of identification.


It seems like manufacturers have an agreed upon color scheme for different suture materials and their dye color. We do have a full guide on what the color of dissolvable stitches tend to be as well as the color of non-dissolvable stitches.


But to answer your question, if you see black it most likely will stay there until your doctor removes them.


Takeaway

If you currently have black stitches somewhere on your body, they will not dissolve. They are most likely made of an organic material called silk which is the same as your expensive clothing. As we all know, they don't melt while we wear them.


Ultimately, black dissolvable stitches do not exist so if you have them, you should give your doctor a call and ask them when your suture removal appointment is. You're going to need them to be removed once they've served their purpose of closing up your wound after whatever surgical procedure you had done.


That's everything that our dentists in Long Island City have to say about the dissolvability of black stitches.

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About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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