This review was first published in 2009 . The American Dental Association Centre for Evidence-based Dentistry has now published a critical summary of this review.
The original review included 12 clinical trials involving 1818 patients and concluded that a twice-daily regimen of Chlorhexidine gel (0.2 percent) applied every 12 hours for seven consecutive days can help reduce incidence of dry socket (DS).
The appraisers found that while there was a good search of three databases and a clear question was being addressed there were a number of limitations in the methodology. There was also heterogeneity in the frequency and duration of use of Chlorhexidine (CHX).
The appraisers concluded:-
This review shows use of CHX following extractions may reduce the incidence of DS. The magnitude of its effect and best regimen for use remains unclear. A gel at 0.2 percent CHX applied every 12 hours for seven days postextraction shows promising results. In the United States there are less products containing chlorhexidine . Chlorhexidine rinse at 0.12% is available and more studies on effect of rinse in reducing incidence of dry socket would have clinical relevance.
Go to the ADA Critical Summary
Go to the PubMed Abstract of the original review
Other relevant reviews
A earlier review of this area was conducted in 2005:-
Caso A, Hung LK, Beirne OR. Prevention of alveolar osteitis with chlorhexidine: a meta-analytic review. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2005 Feb;99(2):155-9. PubMed PMID: 15660084.