You know the drill. You’ve gone to the dentist every six months for basically your whole life. The dental assistant takes X-rays of your teeth, the dental hygienist cleans your teeth, and the dentist examines your mouth. But during this visit, something is different—the dental assistant takes your blood pressure. What does that have to do with your smile? Why are they implementing this new step in your appointment? Read on to learn three good reasons why your dentist wants to know this information.
Understanding Your Anxiety
Many people find going to the dentist to be stressful to say the least. Elevated blood pressure is a common sign of more advanced anxiety. Your dentist, wanting to meet your needs and give you a positive dental experience, may choose to have your blood pressure taken so they can fully understand the extent of your dental fear. With this knowledge, they may be able to offer nitrous oxide sedation, which creates a calm, relaxed feeling and allows you to have a more pleasant appointment in the dentist’s chair.
Frequent Health Screenings
Some medical conditions can be difficult to recognize. Hypertension, for instance, can go unnoticed for a long time from a lack of proper preventive medical care. It is estimated that nearly half of American adults have this condition but only about 25 percent of them have it under control.
Did you know that dentists are often the first professional to see the signs of more serious problems? For example, a dentist may recommend a patient who struggles with gum disease to be checked for diabetes. Your dental appointment, which occurs every six months as opposed to yearly physicals, is another opportunity for this common and potentially deadly condition to be diagnosed and properly addressed early. As a result, you may enjoy better quality of life and even a longer life!
Reactions to Local Anesthetic
If you’re undergoing a dental procedure, you’re most likely going to need local anesthetic to numb your mouth. In most of these local anesthetics, epinephrine helps the medication last longer, but it can also increase your blood pressure. Your dental team may take your blood pressure in order to confirm the dosages of this and other ingredients needed to keep you safe for the procedure.
Ultimately, having your blood pressure taken adds another little step to the dental checkup process. However, this change improves your overall experience and is another way that your dentist is putting your well-being first.
About the Practice
Williamsburg Dental is proud to have six locations throughout the Lincoln area, which means there’s an office close to you! Our experienced dentists come from various backgrounds but have the same goal in mind: helping patients achieve their healthiest smiles and bodies. For anxious patients, we may provide nitrous oxide sedation to help manage stress and to provide a better experience. If you would like to learn more about our dental checkup process, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with us, you can contact one of our Williamsburg Dental locations through our website here.