Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Dental student calls on dentists to take patients’ blood pressure

14.09.2004


University of Michigan dentistry student Sara Kellogg believes dentists could save lives simply by taking a few minutes to measure the blood pressure of every patient.



This isn’t just the opinion of one dentist-to-be. Kellogg has data to back it up. In an article in the Sept. 10 issue of the Journal of Dental Education, Kellogg reports that after reviewing the records of patients treated at U-M School of Dentistry clinics in 1999, she found about one third had high blood pressure. More significantly, nearly half of those had never been diagnosed as hypertensive.

High blood pressure is called the silent killer because although it contributes to such potential killers as stroke and heart attack, those who suffer from it often have no signs or symptoms. “As dentists, we have the opportunity to screen for this medical condition,” said Kellogg’s faculty advisor, Jack Gobetti, U-M professor of dentistry. “Blood pressure screening is going to be part of the modern dental office protocol. “It is a tremendous public service to do this as a public health screening,” Gobetti said.


U-M student dentists are encouraged to follow the protocol to measure patients’ blood pressure before treatment, Gobetti and Kellogg noted. They told the story of one healthy-looking woman who came in for treatment and the student measuring her blood pressure thought the equipment must be faulty because it showed a reading of 226 over 136. After repeated checks, Gobetti confirmed that, yes, the equipment was working. The woman was referred to the emergency room and immediately put on medications to control her previously undiagnosed hypertension.

High blood pressure is defined as 140 over 90 or higher. Blood pressure of 120 over 80 is generally considered ideal. People between these categories are called pre-hypertensive, a category that also requires medical observation.

Kellogg noted that many people see their dentist more regularly than a physician and could get an early warning about high blood pressure when getting their teeth cleaned or having some other dental treatment done.

Kellogg would like to see every dentist take an initial blood pressure reading for every new patient, then record blood pressure with every follow-up visit.

The benefit is not only for the patient. Gobetti said anesthetic behaves differently in patients with high blood pressure and hypertensive patients typically bleed more during surgery, so dentists should know patients’ blood pressures before beginning treatment. Some patients, he said, should be referred for medical evaluation before receiving dental treatment, and should not be treated until their blood pressure is under control.

Few people relish the thought of a filling or root canal. Gobetti said a typical patient’s blood pressure might rise by 10 or 15 points because of nervousness just walking into a dentist’s office. However if the dentist has a record of blood pressure readings for the last few years of office visits, the dentist can see if a reading is particularly high for that patient.

A Health and Human Services study released in August states that about 31 percent of Americans suffer from hypertension, almost identical to the rates Kellogg found.

Still, Kellogg said that because the dental school tends to see a population that includes many patients without insurance or with minimal insurance, it is possible they are less likely to visit their doctors for check-ups than the general population. If that is the case, she said, it is even more important that dental schools around the country take the lead in making blood pressure determination a standard part of office visit procedure.

Kellogg began this research project while an undergraduate student at Kalamazoo College in western Michigan. She knew she wanted to come to Michigan for dental school, so she sought out a research project at U-M School of Dentistry to initiate her senior project, required by Kalamazoo for graduation.

Now beginning her second year of dental school, Kellogg already has won first place at the American Dental Education Association for her student research presentation. Gobetti applauded her ambition and dedication, and said she’s gotten an ideal educational experience about the demands and rewards of research.

Kellogg will graduate from the School of Dentistry in 2007.

Colleen Newvine | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

nachricht Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain
20.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>