A clinical evaluation of dry sockets at the Medunsa Oral Health Centre.

A. S. Singh*, A. Mohamed, M. M. Bouckaert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Dry sockets, or alveolar osteitis, is one of the most common postoperative complications following the extraction of teeth. For the patient this is often a very painful and distressing condition. Most dental practitioners will experience this complication at some or other stage of their career. The aetiology of dry socket is multifactorial with several predisposing factors having been identified. The aims of this study were to assess the incidence of dry sockets at the Medunsa Oral Health Centre, to assess the demographic details of these patients and to explore the predisposing factors for the development of dry socket. It is hoped that this will help to minimize or prevent this condition from occurring. This was a prospective study conducted over an eight-month period in the Department of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery, University of Limpopo, Medunsa Campus. The data was collected by means of a structured questionnaire. Of the 4077 patients that presented for dental extractions, 2% (79) developed a dry socket. The ages of the patients ranged from 12-79 years with a mean age of 35 years. There was a slight female preponderance (1.5:1). The mandibular second molar was the most common site to be affected (22%). Pain was the most common presenting symptom. Underlying systemic conditions were found in 19% of the patients, while 25% smoked, consumed alcohol or both. Identifying risk factors, attention to procedural details and patient education were found to be important in the prevention of dry socket.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490, 492-493
JournalSADJ : journal of the South African Dental Association = tydskrif van die Suid-Afrikaanse Tandheelkundige Vereniging
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


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