If you’re like a lot of people, your blood pressure goes up when you visit the dental office. This is often referred to as “white coat syndrome” which is when people get anxious or nervous once they’re in the examination room for a medical or dental procedure. At the dental office it’s no different, but if you are already battling high blood pressure it’s important that you take some precautionary steps to avoid a medical emergency.
Never skip on taking you medication that day. If you normally take blood pressure medication at a certain time each day, then don’t make an exception on the day that you’re going to the dentist.
Every dental office should record each patients blood pressure at the beginning of every appointment. A baseline reading noted in your chart will alert the dental team to changes in your blood pressure reading over the course of your visits. Let your dental office know if there have been any changes in your medications or blood pressure readings that are abnormal.
Depending on how high your blood pressure is, most dental treatment can still be completed. Elective procedures may need to be put off until your blood pressure has stabilized at a lower level. Occasionally, some patients may need a clearance from their doctor. In rare circumstances, extremely high blood pressure may require an immediate referral to emergency medical facility, but this is far from common. The goal of your dentist is to identify any serious risk factors to your health and avoid possible complications with dental anxiety, use of local anesthetics, or surgical dental procedures.
Posted on behalf of David Kurtzman
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