There are several reasons why your blood pressure is checked at each dental visit; all to make sure you are safe and healthy. The main reason we check your blood pressure during your dental visit is that it may become an issue during dental work. While we do everything possible to make you comfortable, undergoing dental work can create stressful feelings.
Blood pressure normally increases when stress occurs, including before dental procedures. Any circumstance that might increase it could lead to health problems or even a medical emergency like a stroke. If your blood pressure is high, we may forgo any planned procedures and refer you to a physician for further examination.
Local anesthesia can affect blood pressure. Local anesthesia is an important part of dental work—without it we couldn’t provide maximum comfort during procedures. Many anesthetics include epinephrine, which helps to prolong the numbing effect. Epinephrine also constricts blood vessels, which in turn can elevate blood pressure. We may need to adjust the anesthesia drugs and dosages we use in your case if you have high blood pressure.
Checking blood pressure can save your health—and your life. The symptoms for hypertension can be subtle and often go unnoticed. A high blood pressure reading is often the first sign of a problem. That’s why blood pressure screenings in a variety of healthcare settings are so important. A routine blood pressure check at your dentist is one more opportunity to find out. Discovering you may have high blood pressure is the first step to controlling it and hopefully avoiding more serious conditions like diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Thank you for your understanding and your cooperation in keeping you healthy!
Dr. Adriana Zuniga, DDS | Dentist
Rose Clifford | Dental Reception