Taking patients’ blood pressure during dental examinations is critical to their overall health. High blood pressure is a proven risk factor for cardiovascular disease, heart failure, stroke, and renal (kidney) disease. Many patients see a dentist more frequently than a physician, giving the dental team the responsibility to inform their patients of their blood pressure reading and how it may affect their overall health. Blood pressure should be taken at each recare dental examination, before any procedure on patients with a history of high blood pressure, and before procedures that cause apprehension, such as oral surgery. The patient should always be told what their blood pressure reading is so that they can keep track of differences themselves. Establishing a baseline reading for your patient in a non-stress producing environment produces a more accurate reading if you need to make a medical referral. Screening for blood pressure by the dental professional has proven to be extremely effective since many patients with hypertension may be unaware of their condition.
Connie Myers Kracher is Associate Professor of Dental Education, Director of the Dental Assisting Program, and the Chair of the Department of Dental Education at Indiana University - Purdue University, Fort Wayne. She holds a PhD from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, a Master of Science in Dentistry from the Indiana University School of Dentistry in Oral Biology, and a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. In addition to her CDA, she holds a Certificate in Expanded Restorative Procedures (EFDA). Dr. Kracher is a frequent contributor to the Dental Assistant Journal and is the author of three additional ADAA educational courses: Sports Related Dental Injuries & Sports Dentistry, Oral Health Maintenance of Dental Implants, and, Current Concepts in Preventive Dentistry.
Upon completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:
• Recognize causes of hypertension.
• Determine how to assess identifiable causes of hypertension.
• Explain the terms systolic, diastolic, and pulse pressures.
• Identify the various blood pressure categories.
• List factors that influence blood pressure.
• Explain the equipment needed to determine blood pressure.
• Demonstrate how to take blood pressure.
• Discuss follow-up recommendations for patient treatment.
• Explain lifestyle modification recommendations.
CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT
The ADAA has an obligation to disseminate knowledge in the field of dentistry. Sponsorship of a continuing education program by the ADAA does not necessarily imply endorsement of a particular philosophy, product or technique.
The ADAA cautions participants taking this course on the hazards of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into their practices.
Credits earned upon completion of the course may be used to meet DANB’s Recertification Requirements.
CONCERNS OR HELP
If the participant has concerns about the presentation, please contact our Education Department at CESupport@adaausa.org. If the participant has questions on how to view the presentation, please contact Tech Support at TechSupport@adaausa.org.
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