A dry socket occurs when there is no blood clot to protect the extraction site. The subsequent drying out is painful and puts the patient at risk of infection. A blood clot could fail to form if the patient is taking certain medication, such as birth control. It could also be knocked loose by suction, as when a patient sips through a straw, which is why we advise them not to do this.
However, dry sockets do sometimes happen. This may not even be the patient’s fault—complicated extractions requiring incisions always have a higher risk. If a patient still suffers severe pain two days after the extraction, they should seek an emergency appointment. We’ll clean the socket with a vacuum, apply medicated wound dressing, and provide the patient with painkillers and antibiotics. We’ll want to monitor the patient more closely after that, but regularly changing the wound dressing should be all that’s needed.
Nick M. Mobilia, DDS, owns and operates Elite Dental Arts, at 9 East 45th St, 6th Floor, New York, New York, 10017. To set up an appointment, call 212-681-0939, or visit EliteDentalArts.com.
Nick M. Mobilia, DDS
ELITE DENTAL ARTS
9 East 45th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10017 (212)681-0939