Alveolar osteitis (AO) is a common complication after third molar surgery. One of the most studied agents in its prevention is chlorhexidine (CHX), which has proved to be effective.
Objectives: The aim of this randomized double-blind clinical trial was to evaluate the efficacy of 0.2% bioadhesive chlorhexidine gel placed intra-alveolar in the prevention of AO after the extraction of mandibular third molars and to analyze the impact of risk factors such as smoking and oral contraceptives in the development of AO. Study Design: The study was a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial performed in the Ambulatory Surgery Unit of Hospital Vall d’Hebron and was approved by the Ethics Committee. A total of 160 patients randomly received 0.2% bioadhesive gel (80 patients) or bioadhesive placebo (80 patients).
Results: 0.2% bioadhesive chlorhexidine gel applied in the alveolus after third molar extraction reduced the incidence of dry socket by 22% compared to placebo with differences that were not statistically significant. Smoking and the use of oral contraceptives were not related to higher incidence of dry socket. Female patients and the difficulty of the surgery were associated with a higher incidence of AO with statistically significant differences. 0.2% bioadhesive chlorhexidine gel did not produce any of the side effects related to chlorhexidine rinses.
Conclusions: A 22% reduction of the incidence of alveolar osteitis with the application of 0.2% bioadhesive chlo-rhexidine gel compared to placebo with differences that were not statistically significant was found in this clinical trial. The lack of adverse reactions and complications related to chlorhexidine gel supports its clinical use spe-cially in simple extractions and adds some advantages compared to the rinses in terms of duration of the treatment and reduction of staining and taste disturbance.