Cardiovascular screenings by dental hygienists: The vital connection

When to refer and when to dismiss

According to the American Dental Association, blood pressure levels <160/100 的患者可以接受無需任何修改的護理。 對於測量值>For patients with 160/100, it is recommended to measure blood pressure three times and then take the average of the measured values. If the readings drop, care can be provided with a medical certificate. If the measurements remain consistent, it is recommended to leave the patient (if the patient is undergoing elective treatment there) and seek consultation from a doctor.7

Also the author… The long-term COVID-19 pandemic and its systemic health impacts

About Emergency Dental Care, Readings。 當患者的血壓讀數>When 160/100, repeat the measurement three times and take the average of the measurement results. If the readings decrease, treatment may be available, or you may undergo medical testing.7 If readings are confirmed to be systolic blood pressure of 160-180 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure of 100-109 mmHg, and the procedure may cause anxiety leading to hypertension, the patient should be monitored closely.7

Implement anxiety-reducing techniques for patients with elevated readings. If systolic blood pressure >180 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure >109 mm Hg is confirmed, patients should consult their physician before treatment.7 Patients with blood pressure >180/100 mm Hg should be referred to a physician as soon as possible or seek urgent care evaluation if symptoms occur.7

Vasoconstrictors must be considered when treating patients with hypertension, although they are rarely contraindicated.Epinephrine use in adults is usually limited to 0.04 mg, which is equivalent to7:

  • One bottle of anesthetic contains 1:50,000 epinephrine
  • Two bottles of anesthetic containing 1:100,000 epinephrine
  • Four tubes of anesthetic containing 1:200,000 epinephrine

As dental hygienists, we can prevent disease in its early stages and provide early detection of indicators of disease. In dentistry, we often think of screening for oral cancer, cavities, and gum disease, but blood pressure screening is one of the most critical assessments we can provide our patients. Remember, we do more than just clean your teeth. We are an important healthcare provider of preventive screening and a critical component in identifying evidence of disease in its early stages. We must never skip the potentially life-saving oral cancer and blood pressure screenings that are considered our standard of care.

Editor’s note: This article appeared in the January/February 2024 print edition RDH Magazine. Dental hygienists in North America are eligible for a free print subscription. Register here.

refer to

  1. Rodriguez S. COVID-19 impacts patient access to preventive cancer screening. High patient engagement. March 4, 2022.
  2. COVID-19 may cause new high blood pressure. American Heart Association. August 21, 2023. -Pressure
  3. Mortality data on CDC Wonder. National Center for Health Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated on September 8, 2023.
  4. Liuzzo G, Volpe M. European Heart Journal. 2022;43(20):1899-1900. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehac168
  5. Hypertension in children. Cleveland Clinic. Updated on May 2, 2023.
  6. Read the new blood pressure guidelines. Harvard Health Publishing. November 16, 2021.
  7. ADA Science & Research Institute, LLC Scientific Information, Evidence Synthesis and Translation Research Division. Hypertension (high blood pressure). American Dental Association. Updated on November 1, 2022.

Amber Diamond, MPH, RDH, is a practicing dental hygienist and the founder of Thrive in the OP. In addition, she is also RDH graduate Newsletter, #AskAmberRDH Presenter, 2019 Sunstar/RDH Distinguished award winner and international speaker. Amber specializes in integrating the latest science into practical protocols implemented by the Chair and can be contacted at: [email protected].

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