A dry socket is a term to describe an unpleasant, but not serious, post-operative condition or surgical side effect. It usually occurs 24-36 hours after surgery but can occur 48-72 hours later. An increasing amount of throbbing pain around the affected socket, which may radiate up to the ear or through the entire jaw, is an indication that you may have a dry socket. It is usually not accompanied by swelling or drainage from the extraction site. To alleviate the pain from a dry socket you may use the prescription pain medication. If it alleviates the pain, then the dry socket is minor and will not require any additional treatment. If the pain medication does not affect the pain, you should contact Dr. Starck. He will treat the dry socket at the office with a medicated dressing, which will relieve the pain. Dr. Starck must remove this dressing 24-48 hours after placement.