We strive at the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group to make sure our patients understand their post-op instructions. A dry socket is no fun. However, if it does occur, we want patients to know we can treat it.
A dry socket occurs when the blood clot which covered the extraction site dissolves or falls away prematurely. This will leave the socket vulnerable to painfully drying out and becoming infected. If you can see the bone at the bottom of the socket, the blood clot failed to form or has fallen away. We’ll need to confirm that a dry socket is the source of your pain by examining it, at which point we can provide a painkiller and clean the socket with a vacuum. We’ll use a medicated wound dressing to cover the extraction site and replace the dressing every few days until it is healed. Patients are also typically provided with antibiotics to fight or prevent infection.
Dry sockets are more likely to form if the extraction was complicated, and we want our patients to be on the lookout for them so they can seek treatment right away. Smoking and taking birth control put patients at higher risk of disrupting their blood clots, and we always recommend patients avoid sucking through straws after getting extractions and that they rinse their mouths gently with saltwater.
Frederick Shaw, DDS, operates the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group at 1500 W 38th Street, Suite 34, Austin, Texas, 78731. To schedule an appointment, call 512-451-7491 or visit FrederickShawDDS.com and fill out a contact form.