Solving The Dry Socket Dilemma

SPOKANE — Anyone who has had their wisdom teeth remove can attest to the uncomfortable recovery, but a new procedure at Oral Surgery Plus is putting that perception to rest.

When Michael Loucks learned he had to get his wisdom teeth removed, he was expecting a lot of pain. As it turned out, he was pleasantly surprised.

“To be honest with you I really didn’t have any pain afterwards and wasn’t tired at all from the anesthesia,” Loucks said.

Doctors at Oral Surgery Plus combine science, psychology and even nutrition to reduce the occurrence of dry socket, the most common and painful side effect of wisdom teeth removal.

Dr. Cary Simonds says that one in eight patients develop dry socket, but using their own technique saw a drop to just one in 160 patients.

“There are a lot of pretty cool, neat little ways that both scientifically and then patient instruction wise that we can implement, and helping them with that will get them through the experience without a dry socket,” said Simonds.

One method the doctors implemented is to always use a sharp bur when cutting bone or filing down a tooth located inside the bone.

This is a crucial step because Simonds says a dull blade can damage bone, which will squeeze out histamine. Doctors believe histamine is a major contributor to dry socket.

“I think my own personal opinion is that [using sharp burs] has contributed a great deal to avoiding dry sockets,” Simonds says.