Background: To establish whether telephone follow-up is really able to intercept post-extraction complications and to evaluate the degree of patient satisfaction with this kind of post-surgical monitoring. Material and Methods: six hundred and thirty-eight patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to a test or control group. Test group patients were monitored by telephone follow-up 24 and 72 hours after surgery to investigate the presence of local symptoms that are frequently associated with surgical wound infection and inflammation. Both test and control group patients were examined 7 days at suture removal. Patients with systemic diseases, those in which intra-operative accidents occurred during surgery and those for whom extraction suture was not required, were excluded. Results: At least one complication among alveolar osteitis, alveolar inflammation, alveolar infection and dehiscence involved 15.70% of the patients in the test group and 30.70% of the patients in the control group and telephone follow-up proved to be useful in early identification of anomalies in the post-extraction wound healing process. Comparable results were recorded in all extraction subgroups divided according to the type (surgical and non-surgical) and the number (single and multiple) of extractions performed in the same session. Telephone follow-up showed an 8.60 ± 1.17 (0 to 10 score scale) average acceptance. All cases of alveolar osteitis and infection occurred in patients who underwent antibiotic prophylaxis. Conclusions: Telephone follow-up seems to allow early detection of any possible wound healing complications, it is widely accepted by patients and it could therefore be considered a valid method for wound healing monitoring after tooth extractions, due to its effectiveness, feasibility and low costs.
- follow up
- oral surgery