Why Does the Dentist Take Your Blood Pressure?

This is a question we get asked more and more. It may seem unnecessary to some of you, but we’d like to share two major reasons why blood pressure should be monitored during your visit to the dentist.

First and foremost, hypertension. Monitoring blood pressure is a harmless precaution that can help detect health concerns early on. With high blood pressure being such a leading cause of health issues in the United States, the American Dental Association (ADA) advises that all dentists aid in the detection and management of hypertension. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a serious condition that can lead to stroke or heart attack. Any reading above 140/90mmHg is considered to be on the higher side at which point we will recommend you be examined by a physician.

Does your dental care require anesthesia?  If so, certain anesthetics contain agents that increase blood pressure, so in these instances it’s crucial we know if your blood pressure is already above average to prevent any further risk. Blood pressure levels will help us decide what anesthetics can and cannot be administered.

As your dental provider, it is our responsibility to provide safe and efficient assessments for you. Your blood pressure can help us identify anything from hypertension to something as simple as your current comfort level. It’s not uncommon to have feelings of anxiety or stress before undergoing dental work, and if that’s the case, we want to know. By knowing, we can talk you through the procedure or suggest some breathing exercises to help reduce your discomfort. We’re here to make your dental experience as pleasant as possible. The way we see it— if checking your blood pressure will help keep you healthy, well of course we’re going to do it.

If you have any additional questions about blood pressure in the dental world, we’re happy to talk further about it during your next visit or you can feel free to call us at 207-781-5900.