Problematic Extraction Socket Healing: Clinical Presentation and Management


  • Ifueko Patience OSAGHAE, BDS, FWACS, MHP&M epartment of Oral/Maxillofacial Surgery, Dental Center, Central Hospital, Benin City.


Extraction socket, Clinical presentation, Management


Objective: Problematic extraction socket healing is a post-operative problem that may result in repeated
hospital visitation. The aetiology is uncertain as healing can be disturbed at any stage. The management of
this condition is structured towards commencement of normal healing of the extraction socket. This study
was undertaken to highlight the different clinical manifestations of problematic extraction socket healing
and the different modalities undertaken to promote the commencement of the normal healing of the
extraction wound.
Methods: All patients who presented in the Oral Surgery Clinic of the Dental Center of Central Hospital,
Benin, between March, 2015 and April, 2016, with any complaint from the extraction socket were included in
this study.
Results: A total of 44 patients that met the inclusion criteria during the study period were recruited.
Presenting complaint varied from pain to bleeding or a hole in the gum, in a period of 3 days to 20years post
extraction. Females accounted for 75%, the 21-30 and 31-40 years age group made up the majority of
patients at 23% each. For 48% of patients it was their first extraction. Extraction socket filled with greyish
necrotic tissue was found in 31% cases and empty socket with jagged bone was found in 5% of cases.
Commencement of normal healing was accelerated by exploration and evacuation of the contents of the
socket; compression of the socket only or with intra-alveolar dressing inserted.
Conclusion: Pain was the major presenting complaint, while a majority of sockets on clinical examination
had greyish necrotic tissue. Outcome of management was satisfactory with or without intra-alveolar
dressing of extraction socket