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The risk of Dry Socket (alveolar osteitis) can be reduced by several methods including increasing the amount of irrigation, (I recommend 60cc)  timing extractions with patients who take birth control medications, not extracting the teeth when there are signs of infection, encouraging smokers to not smoke or at least not on the day of surgery, and extracting third molars at an early age. (I recommend 16 years of age), Avoiding increased surgical trauma, having the more difficult extractions done by an experienced surgeon, and using an antiseptic mouth rinse (such as chlorhexidine gluconate (Peridex) or gel also decreases the incidence of  Dry Socket (alveolar osteitis.  Although the use of antibiotics, steroids, early placement of a medicated packing and placement of topical antiseptic into the extraction sites has shown to be successful, there is some controversy with these techniques.