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Why does the dentist take my blood pressure?

 

If you are a New Patient at Horizon Dental, one of the first things we do is a blood pressure check.  In addition to completing a comprehensive medical history…asking for a list of your daily medications, and probing into your entire life’s story in an hour, all this health care surrounding your dental appointment may seem a little over-the-top.

Sometimes patients ask us why they need to disclose this health information. After all, it’s just your teeth being taken care of, isn’t it?

Nothing could be further from the truth.  Dental care in the office of Dr. Cindy Nagel is more than superficial care and repair of the teeth.  We understand how your overall health affects your dental health.   We also recognize how hard it can be to connect with other medical professionals in Kamloops – what happens when you can’t find one of those coveted family doctors?

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High blood pressure is the most important factor leading to heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke in adults. No elective dental treatment should be done on a patient with uncontrolled, severely high blood pressure – this includes getting your teeth cleaned!

If your blood pressure is high, it can also lead to problems in the mouth such as increased bleeding or difficulty with freezing (local anesthetic).

In addition, any situation that causes stress can increase blood pressure — even undergoing dental work. If your blood pressure is already high, it could result in a dangerous situation, and in a worst-case scenario, prompt a heart attack or stroke. Even if you are taking medication for hypertension, your blood pressure should be monitored.

Dr. Nagel may consider using nitrous oxide inhalation sedation, possibly with an oral anti-anxiety medication to reduce your stress and anxiety during certain type of dental treatment and prevent complications.

For most healthy patients, undergoing dental work has no effect on their overall health and well-being.  For patients with certain health concerns, appropriate precautions must be taken prior to treatment.  Since your health and safety is our primary concern, we take your medical health very seriously!



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