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Article: Volume 47 Number 2 Page 135 - February 2020

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  Dental Update 475: 135-143

Oral surgery:  Surgical Wound Healing in the Oral Cavity: a Review

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Abstract: Wound healing is a fundamental survival mechanism, largely taken for granted. It consists of four intricately tuned phases: haemostasis, inflammation, proliferation and remodelling. Successful wound healing only occurs if each phase occurs in the correct sequence and timeframe. Moreover, the oral cavity serves as a unique and remarkable setting whereby wound healing takes place in a saliva-filled environment containing millions of micro-organisms. Many local and systemic factors can impair oral wound healing. This article provides an overview of the wound healing process, with a discussion of these respective local and systemic factors, along with the potential cellular and/or molecular mechanisms involved.

Clinical relevance: On a daily basis, dentists perform procedures such as exodontia and implant placement that rely on adequate wound healing. An improved understanding of the local and systemic factors that can impair oral wound healing can help clinicians to control these factors more accurately, resulting in improved patient outcomes.

Author notes: Raunaq Shah, BDS(Birm), MFDS RCS(Edin), MJDF RCS(Eng), MSc Advanced Prosthodontics (Distinction) (UCLan), Department of Implantology, College of Medicine and Dentistry, 32–34 Colmore Circus, Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6BN­ (email:, Farya Domah, BA, BDentSc(TCD), MFDS RCS(Edin), MSc Oral Surgery (Distinction) (UCLan), Department of Oral Surgery, Birmingham Dental Hospital, 5 Mill Pool Way, Birmingham, B5 7EG, Nirmal Shah, BDS, MFDS RCS(Edin), MSc Aesthetic Medicine (Distinction) (QMUL), PGCE, Department of Orthodontics, Edinburgh Dental Institute, Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9HA and Javed Domah, BSc, School of Medicine, University of Dublin, Trinity College, College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland.

Objective: To understand the factors that can affect oral wound healing of soft and hard tissues following oral surgical procedures.