February 9, 2016
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Dry Socket Overview (cont.)

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What is the average healing time for a dry socket?

Average healing time is seven to 10 days, as this is the amount of time it takes for new tissue to grow to cover the exposed socket.

What is the prognosis for a dry socket?

Prognosis is good as there usually are no long-term consequences. Once the tissue is able to cover the bone, the healing will progress normally.

Is it possible to prevent a dry socket?

The prevention of developing a dry socket may be influenced by the methods used by the dentist or surgeon performing the tooth extraction. Such preventive methods include (1) placement of a packing at surgery with or without antibiotic (for example, tetracycline) and/or (2) placement of sutures to protect the blood clot. These details can be discussed with the dentist or surgeon prior to the procedure to determine if these preventive methods would be recommended.

After extraction, there are a few day-to-day activities that should be avoided: smoking, drinking with a straw, and vigorous spitting or rinsing. It is important to follow any special instructions given by the dentist or surgeon in caring for the extraction site at home.

Lastly, recent studies have shown that the incidence of dry socket with women is significantly decreased when tooth extractions are performed during their menstrual period (menses). When teeth extractions can be electively planned, the recommendation is to perform this procedure during the menstrual period. In this way, the risk of dry socket due to cycle-related hormonal changes can be eliminated.


Congiusta, M. A. and A. Veitz-Keenan. "Study confirms certain risk factors for development of alveolar osteitis." Evidence-Based Dentistry 14.3 (2013): 86.

Daly, B., et al. "Local interventions for the management of alveolar osteitis (dry socket)." The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 12.12 (2012).

Eshghpour, M., et al. "Effect of menstrual cycle on frequency of alveolar osteitis in women undergoing surgical removal of mandibular third molar: a single-blind randomized clinical trial." Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 71.9 (2013): 1484-1489.

Peterson, L., et al. Contemporary Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 2nd ed. St. Louis: Mosby, 1993.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/11/2016

Source: MedicineNet.com

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