Blood Pressure Readings: Good For Your Patients, Good For Your Practice

April 2012

High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the most prevalent, yet often undiagnosed conditions in the U.S. today, affecting one in three people.* When you take blood pressure readings during patient appointments, you’re helping to make more people aware of a potentially dangerous condition. In addition, you’ll have baseline readings recorded in patients’ charts. If a patient’s future reading is different, you’ll be better able to determine if a visit to the physician should be recommended.

Additional important reasons to take and record blood pressure for all your patients include the following:

  • You could save a life. Many people have high blood pressure and don’t know it — there are often no symptoms until a stroke or heart attack occurs.
  • In 2008, 20 million Americans saw their dentists, but not their physicians**, making the dental appointment an important (and maybe the only) opportunity to check blood pressure.
  • High blood pressure can affect bleeding during surgery or other dental procedures. By taking readings, you’ll know whether the patient will need to work with his or her physician to control the blood pressure before you provide certain procedures.
  • Patients will appreciate your concern and effort to monitor their health.

* More information about hypertension, heart disease and making patients aware of the risks is at and from the American Heart Association at

** According to a study in the American Journal of Public Health, published December, 2011 (

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