Why Does My Dentist Check My Blood Pressure Before a Routine Appointment?

January 12, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drnewman @ 10:27 pm
Dentist smiles

If you’re not quite sure why your dentist takes your blood pressure before appointments, you’re not alone. After all, dentists treat teeth and gums, so why should they be concerned with how hard your heart is working? The truth is that taking patients’ blood pressure is an important part of a dental checkup or procedure that has helped many patients become healthier or catch cardiovascular problems in their early stages. Here’s why taking your blood pressure is such a crucial stage of your dental appointments.

Why Should My Dentist Take My Blood Pressure?

Your dentist takes your blood pressure at the beginning of your appointments for many reasons. One of them is to establish a baseline to help them tell if you are in distress during your appointment. Knowing your blood pressure is an essential part of understanding the state of your health when you are in their care, and it can be used to measure your anxiety levels or provide necessary data about the state of your cardiovascular system for sedation treatments.

Another reason that your dentist checks your blood pressure is that many people see their dentist much more frequently than their general physician. Checking your blood pressure can alert your dentist to a developing heart issue that requires immediate care so they can direct you to a specialist. This has saved many lives from heart disease.

What Does High Blood Pressure Have to Do with Dental Treatment?

The human body behaves differently when it is in pain or dealing with high levels of anxiety. If your dentist finds that your blood pressure is higher than usual, they may adjust your treatment plan so it can better address your specific needs. For example, if your high blood pressure is a result of dental anxiety, they may offer options for light sedation that can help you sit comfortably through the treatment.

However, in some cases where extreme hypertension is discovered, your dentist may ask that you see your primary care physician to deal with the problem before dental treatment can continue. If you refuse to have your blood pressure taken at the beginning of your dental appointment, your dentist may refuse to treat you.

Checking a patient’s blood pressure is a normal and essential part of your dental appointment. Next time the hygienist puts your arm in a sleeve, take a second to appreciate everything the dental office does to preserve your oral and overall health.

About the Author

Dr. Ira Newman earned his dental degree from Emory University School of Dentistry and completed a one-year residency at NYU College of Dentistry/Bellevue Hospital Center. He has made appearances on CNN, NY 1 News, CBS News, and the Today Show to discuss modern dental technologies. His office in New York, NY offers general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry. To schedule an appointment, contact the office online or dial (212) 924-6890.

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