You may note that during some of your visits with the Sacramento Dentistry Group, your blood pressure is taken. Measuring the blood pressure is typically associated with visiting a medical practitioner, but few patients associate a dental visit with testing for hypertension. Why would a dental office want to take your blood pressure?
Screening is Important
Much like our screenings for oral cancer, testing our patients’ blood pressure is one more way to ensure their long-term health. High blood pressure leads to cardiovascular disease, including strokes and heart attacks. Detecting hypertension early is one way to prevent these life-threatening problems.
Stress Reduction is Helpful
If a patient has particularly high blood pressure, this is an indication to our staff that stress reduction techniques should be applied before, during and after a dental procedure. This limits the likelihood of patient complications and improves the client’s experience. The patient may even be a candidate for sleep dentistry if their problem is connected to severe “white coat syndrome.”
Blood Pressure Affects Anesthetic Dosages
Some anesthetics for limiting pain during procedures also contain a powerful vasoconstrictor called epinephrine. Constricting the blood vessels increases the blood pressure, so if it is already high, administering epinephrine could make it dangerously elevated. If our staff knows your baseline blood pressure, then our dentists can choose the right anesthetic and safely determine the proper dose.
For more information about why our dentists follow certain procedures, feel free to speak with us during your next visit to the Sacramento Dentistry Group, or check out our many articles about dentistry and oral health.