Dental management of a hypertensive patient

Written by mark bingaman
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Dental management of a hypertensive patient
Dentists must be vigilant concerning hypertensive complications (dentist cabinet image by Mirek Hejnicki from

Offering dental care to a patient suffering from high blood pressure is a situation that must be closely monitored. Anaesthesia, aspirin and even simple anxiety require proper attention and medical management.

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Dental health professionals exercise caution when ascertaining whether a patient suffers from hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. "Dental management in hypertensive patients can be complicated, since any procedure causing stress can further increase the blood pressure and can precipitate acute complications such as a cardiac arrest or a cerebrovascular accident," say Dr. Jin Y. Kim and Dr. E. Barrie Kenney of the University of California at Los Angeles.


Special care is a necessity for hypertensive patients who suffer from the anxiety sometimes associated with a trip to the dentist. This panic may push the blood pressure higher, possibly resulting in a cardiac situation. The consumption of oral sedatives the evening before any dental procedure may alleviate this stress.


Dental patients with stage one hypertension, which is diagnosed as a systolic pressure of 140 to 159 or diastolic pressure of 90 to 99, may proceed with elective dental treatments, but blood pressure should be monitored during the procedure. Those with stage two hypertension, diagnosed as a systolic pressure of 160 or higher or diastolic 100 or higher, should be referred to a physician for evaluation, and undergo only emergency or non-invasive elective treatments.

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