The ideal length, size, design of the needle and suture are dictated by the flap thickness, incision location, suture technique employed, etc. No single needle shape and radius is ideal for every situation.
Needles must be:
- made in high-quality stainless steel
- as thin as possible without sacrificing strength
- stable when grabbed by the needle holder
- able to slide the suture material when it passes through the tissue causing minimal trauma
- sharp enough to penetrate the tissue with low resistance
- rigid enough to resist twisting, and at the same time flexible enough to bend before breaking
- sterile and corrosion-proof
- of a size compatible with the suture caliber, allowing both to work as an entity.
A needle length of 16 to 20 mm is necessary when suturing a buccal flap with sulcular incision (rectangular, triangular flaps) to the unreleased palatal side. A length of 8 mm or shorter is best when suturing paramarginal incisions (Luebke-Ochsenbein) or PBIT flaps.
The inverted triangular cut is the most used cross-section at the tip and body.