Gerald S. Fine, D.D.S.

   Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Brookline Office
Tel: 617-731-6060

Our commitment is to provide you the highest standard of oral and maxillofacial surgery in a professional manner.

What is a dry socket?

A "dry socket" occurs when the blood clot is lost from the extraction site prematurely. Basically, the blood clot in the socket serves the same two functions as a "scab" on the cut skin surface. First, it assists in the cessation of bleeding, and secondly, it protects underlying structures during the healing process.

When the blood clot is lost before the underlying structure has had time to heal, bone is exposed to the environment along with fine nerve endings. This is an exquisitely painful, but otherwise relatively harmless situation. There are packing materials, which the oral surgeon can place to help ease, the discomfort both by physically blocking the wound and by the action of the packing medication on the nerve endings. Generally, patients return to have the packings changed every day or two and most patients do not require more than 2 or 3 dressing changes. Some patients require no dressing changes: some may require 4 or 5 changes.

There are some activities which increase the propensity for a "dry socket" formation.Smoking, drinking carbonated beverages during the first 24 hours, spiting, or rinsing frequently, frequent changing of the gauze, women on birth control pills, and the surgical removal of teeth, especially previously root canalled teeth.

‍Gerald S. Fine, D.D.S.
Practice limited to oral & maxillofacial surgery‍