Why Do You Take My Blood Pressure Before My Dental Appointment?

Why Do You Take My Blood Pressure Before My Dental Appointment? AquaSprings Dental in San Marcos, TX Dr. Alexandra Aponte, DDS Cardiogram chart with red heart and stethoscope

You come in for your dental appointment and might be surprised to see that we now require blood pressure tests before we can even see you. You know to expect it in a doctor’s office. But, why do you test my blood pressure at my dentist appointment?

Well first, your blood pressure can spike when put in a stressful situation, are nervous, or you could already suffer from hypertension (aka. High blood pressure). The symptoms of hypertension can be subtle and often go unnoticed. A blood pressure screening check is often the first indication 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 (who hopefully sees you at least every six months) is one more opportunity to find out. When your blood pressure has super high spikes, it can cause major health issues like organ damage or even a stroke. That is why we want your blood pressure to come down before we do any procedures on you. 

Secondly, your blood pressure can affect the amount of bleeding that may occur during a procedure. And, if you currently suffer from hypertension or  have undergone any heart-related surgeries, you may be placed on medicine that interferes with your procedure. If you are on any anticoagulant (blood thinner medication), it is important to let Dr. Alexandra Aponte know before any procedure. These types of medications could cause excess bleeding and could be detrimental to your health. 

Third, your blood pressure can interfere with the local anesthesia. Most anesthetics contain epinephrine, which helps prolong the numbing effect. Your body naturally creates and distributes epinephrine as part of your fight or flight response, which in turn, raises your blood pressure to help your body respond to an emergency situation. Epinephrine also constricts blood vessels, which in turn can elevate blood pressure. While in a procedure, we may need to adjust the anesthesia drugs and dosages we use in case if you have high blood pressure. If we don’t check your blood pressure and use a local anesthetic, you may be put at risk for a medical emergency. And, we always want our patients to be safe. 

If you have questions about high blood pressure and your dental exam, please call AquaSprings Dental for information. If it has been a while since your last visit, schedule an appointment. Finding out if you have high blood pressure could save your life.

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