Why was my oral Surgeon evasive regarding a diagnosis of dry socket?

by Frances
(Renton WA. USA)

I returned to my Oral surgeon 5 days post op(next available opportunity from the onset of additional symptoms)with the following symptoms, which began the 3rd day after extraction; increased pain at site that radiated up the back of the jaw into the ear on both sides and down the front of the jaw to the chin. Pain did not respond to 800 mg ibuprofen + percocet 5/325 x 2, increased swelling of jaw/face on both sides, swollen and tender lymph nodes bi-lateral, and I could no longer see the blood clot, there was a deep hole both sides and deep into the hole I could see white. His assistant irrigated the site and put clove oil in each socket, which finally relieved 80-90% of the pain, His words, "Well I don't think it is dry socket, it looks like the clot is still there, it may have lifted a little exposing some of the bone, that would cause the additional pain, but I'm pretty sure the clot is still in there. Besides If it were dry socket, it's not as if there is anyone at blame." Did all my home care as directed prior to and since.

I requested current x-ray of teeth to be extracted because the one they would receive was from 3 years prior and antibiotics prior to extraction due to suspected infection was told no need. Did get a prescription of antibiotics after extraction.

After the visit regarding dry socket, I went home and went internet militant to get the truth. Everything I read and every pic I looked at was in direct line with my condition.

Why did my oral surgeon not make a committed diagnosis either way?


Hi Frances, I know you are frustrated and I'm sorry. I don't know why your surgeon didn't give you an official diagnosis.

But honestly, calling it a full on dry socket vs a partially lifted clot doesn't matter as much as the treatment. I'm happy that you got it treated and you feel better.

A dry socket is a possible side effect after a tooth extraction. I don't minimize the pain....it's just miserable. I know it can be so excruciating.

Hopefully you were informed of all the possible side effects including dry socket prior to the extraction.

Unfortunately even when the extraction goes as planned and post op instructions are followed dry sockets can and do still occur.

I'm so sorry you had a bad experience but I'm glad you are feeling better. That is what matters most.

I hope your recovery is smooth from here on but if you have issues or questions be sure to see a surgeon or dentist.

Thanks for writing,

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