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 Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

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: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified

05.12.2016 | Information Technology

NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica

05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>