When was the last time you had your blood pressure checked? Here at Kelowna Dental Solutions, we pride ourselves on providing the highest level of care for our patients. To achieve this, we incorporate a blood pressure screening for all our patients during hygiene visits.
In Canada, nearly 8 million people have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, and there are even more that don’t even know they have it.(1) Unfortunately, there are virtually no obvious symptoms of high blood pressure until there is a medical emergency.(1)
As Registered Dental Hygienists in British Columbia, our Practice Standards set out by the College of Dental Hygienists of British Columbia (CDHBC) are created to guide us in providing excellent and safe dental hygiene care for the public. Practice Standard Policy 3.1 states: a dental hygienist “must collect baseline assessment data as appropriate for the client…. and update the data as required. In a clinical setting, this should include: vital signs, if indicated”.(2) This means that blood pressure should be collected as baseline assessment data for every patient to allow us to monitor changes at consecutive appointments and track progress, improvements, or regressions. Practice Standard Policy 4.1 states: “…. In a clinical setting this should include implications of conditions that are abnormal or unhealthy, and conditions that require special care”.(2) Although you may wonder what blood pressure has to do with your dental cleaning, this practice standard policy explains that we must be aware of any condition that may affect our patient’s health and wellbeing so that we can adapt to their individual needs and make referrals to other specialists as required. Furthermore, the CDHBC’s Code of Ethics reiterate that dental hygienists must:
To fulfill these two aspects of our Code of Ethics, screening a patient's blood pressure becomes an apparent role in understanding each patient and their health needs.
Due to the worldwide and extensive changes of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant decline in in-office medical appointments which also means fewer blood pressure checks by your medical practitioner. To support and be collaborative with our fellow healthcare professionals, we strongly believe that blood pressure screenings are an integral part of our care.
Here are some ways you can reduce your risk for high blood pressure:
We believe in oral health as a cornerstone of whole-body health and cannot wait to see you for your next appointment!
Registered Dental Hygienist
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