Why Does a Dentist Measure Blood Pressure? Explained by the Sacramento Dentistry Group

For certain patients, a dental office takes their blood pressure before they receive care. Why might a dentist or hygienist care to do this and what does it have to do with a dental patient's health and wellness?

During a visit with a dentist, an assistant may take the patient’s blood pressure. Measuring blood pressure is common when visiting medical practitioners, but most people do not associate a dental chair with testing for hypertension. Why would a dental practice, like the Sacramento Dentistry Group, take a patient’s blood pressure before starting a procedure? Three very important reasons exist for determining a person’s blood pressure before any treatment or examination in dentistry.

Health Screening is Essential

A dentist or hygienist always screens for oral cancer during an exam or visit, as the patient’s long-term health is a vital consideration throughout the medical profession. Since high blood pressure leads to cardiovascular disease, including strokes and heart attacks, detecting it early can prevent these likewise detrimental outcomes. Dentists can also be part of this life-saving process. Especially for patients with risk factors or a declared problem with hypertension, it is important to ascertain whether or not their blood pressure levels are under control.

Is Stress Reduction Required?

Time in a dental chair is stressful for the vast majority of people. Therefore, when a patient has high blood pressure, stress reduction techniques should be applied before, during and after a dental procedure. This proactive approach limits the chance of complications and improves the patient experience.

Which Anesthetic to Use?

Some dental anesthetics contain a powerful vasoconstrictor called epinephrine. Shrinking the size of blood vessels, usually to limit bleeding, increases the blood pressure. As a result, administering epinephrine could lead to dangerously elevated systolic and diastolic pressures. The right anesthetic and any aftercare prescriptions are determined by the patient’s existing circumstances and medications.

The staff of the Sacramento Dentistry Group enjoys answering questions about dental procedures via its website at sacramentodentistry.com. Patients and interested individuals can contact them there or by calling 916-538-6900.

Source: Sacramento Dentistry Group