Dry Socket: Symptom Dynamics
Dry Socket FAQ
Dry socket queries are one of the most popular topic categories reviewed on this website.
Despite a general description of events and things to avoid that can manage the occurrence of the Dry Socket Syndrome (provided by dentists and also on this website) it remains an unrelenting problem for many patients.
The problem is essentially one of the clot that, under very specific conditions, normally occurs and begins the basic process of healing and eventual soft and hard tissue regeneration.
Extraction Situations with NO Dry Socket Events
While the dry socket event seems to affect basic tooth extractions, what many patients don't realize that this event does not occur in many other dental procedures that involve multiple extractions or even the total edentulation (100% tooth removal) of an entire jaw.
Patients who are preparing for dental implants, implant supported bridgework, implant supported denture prosthetics or jawbone augmentation treatments normally experience NONE of the dry socket problems.
Tissue Healing Foresight: Socket Graft Procedure
Extractions in most reconstructive or rehabilitative treatment plans are usually immediately filled with pulverized bone matrix product that is commonly used to regenerate new and healthier quantities of bone. Extraction sites are filled and then sutured up, with or without a GTR (guided tissue regeneration membrane) that essentially jump-starts the healing and tissue regeneration process.
This procedure is commonly referred to as a socket graft. Click here to see a socket grafting procedure used in the extraction and eventual replacement of a front tooth.
An event that has the potential of interfering with a complex treatment program, namely a dry socket, cannot be "allowed" to occur.
Extraction sites are cleaned of all old infectious material, along with any additional tissue that is considered to be superfluous (ligament tissue, fibrous tissue). The site is then sterilized to control contamination events (our own saliva and/or breath pose risk of contamination) and then immediately filled with bone graft products. Final suturing of the extraction site assures the healthiest environment possible for uneventful healing and tissue growth.
Blood clots in an untreated extraction site can become easily dislodged for some patients. Sucking on straws, sucking candy, sucking on lozenges or Tic Tac, drinking carbonated beverages or sparkling coolers, smoking, drinking hot liquids are common things that need to be avoided.
But..... what about lip-smacking, unconscious removal of excess saliva, or sliding the tongue around the interior of the mouth? A single event may not be a problem... but if the behaviors are not within "consciousness".... repetitions of these seemingly minor behaviors will easily dislodge the clot.
For those patients who have been grappling with a long term dry socket problem may want to consider getting a socket graft. With everything filled in and sutured up, there is no need to be vigilant about the common behaviors that cause dry socket to occur.
Patients who are concerned about the "dry socket event" and fear they may have problems are encouraged to discuss socket grafting with their care provider.