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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2010, Article ID 249073, 10 pages
Review Article

Alveolar Osteitis: A Comprehensive Review of Concepts and Controversies

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, College of Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, 801 South Paulina Street, MC 835, Chicago, IL 60016, USA

Received 11 November 2009; Accepted 16 May 2010

Academic Editor: Jukka H. Meurman

Copyright © 2010 Antonia Kolokythas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Alveolar osteitis, “dry socket”, remains amongst the most commonly encountered complications following extraction of teeth by general dentists and specialists. A great body of literature is devoted to alveolar osteitis addressing the etiology and pathophysiology of this condition. In addition numerous studies are available discussing methods and techniques to prevent this condition. To this date though great controversy still exists regarding the appropriate terminology used for this condition as well as the actual etiology, pathophysiology, and best methods of prevention and treatment. This article is a comprehensive critical review of the available literature addressing the concepts and controversies surrounding alveolar osteitis. We aim to assist the dental health care professional with patient preparation and management of this commonly encountered postoperative condition should be encountered.