AimThe aim of this study was to assess the frequency of patients contacting the Oral Surgery Department at Manchester Dental Hospital with post-operative concerns. This will facilitate local improvements within the department for the effective management of patients re-presenting with complications.Materials and methodsBetween August 2013 and October 2013, the records for 31 patients re-attending the Oral Surgery Department at Manchester Dental Hospital after a surgical procedure were analysed retrospectively. All data collected were stored on a secure university hard drive and analysed using Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet.ResultsNinety-three per cent of patients who re-attended the department required only one unplanned episode for treatment. Surgical procedures that resulted in re-attendance included removal of third molars (57%), extraction of non-third molar teeth (25%), implant placement (10%), apical root end surgery (3.5%) and excision of a ranula (3.5%). It was noted 36% of patients included in the audit were diagnosed with post-operative pain or normal healing.Conclusion The management of patients attending with unplanned episodes of treatment places an additional strain on the service delivery of clinics and inconvenience to patients. The study highlights the range of post-operative complications that patients present with. Service delivery research and review enable improvements within the department to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of patient management. This study will allow specific training to facilitate improvements in delivery of care within the dental team.