In Singapore, heart disease has the 3rd highest mortality rate followed by hypertensive heart disease and other types of heart diseases at the 6th and 9th position.
Do you know that your heart is one of the most hardworking organs in your entire body? Its primary role is to pump blood throughout the body; it also supplies oxygen and nutrients throughout, and removes carbon dioxide and waste at the same time.
People with heart conditions who wish to undergo dental treatment may require special management. Hence it is best to check with both your medical doctor and dentist on the appropriate treatment options.
Here we summarise HEART DISEASE on the things to take note when going for a dental check-up or a dental procedure:
H igh blood pressure, shortness of breath and chest pain should not be ignored even if one has not been diagnosed with any heart condition. See a doctor (Cardiologist) for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
E nsure that you have all medication with you at all times. In an episode of a heart attack, the medication can be beneficial before the paramedics arrive.
A dvisable to have dental procedure performed in a dental clinic located near or within a hospital. In the event of a medical emergency, medical attention is readily available. Every second counts and it is extremely important, especially for a heart condition patient.
R ecommended to check with the dentist if pre-treatment antibiotics is required, as some heart conditions may require antibiotics cover before any procedure.
T o include next-of-kin(s) in any decision making and to have them accompany you during any dental check-ups. Other than yourself, they should be the one most familiar with your condition.
D o not rush into any dental procedure until your heart condition has been certified fit by your Cardiologist for the recommended procedure.
I dentify yourself as a high risk patient to the dentist and get clearance from your medical doctor before proceeding with any extensive dental treatment.
S tay calm and do not subject yourself to stressful situations. A dental clinic environment may give rise to heart attack due to associated anxiety and stress levels. It is important to find a dentist you are comfortable with. Dental visits should be stress-free and anxiety-free.
E nsure that you have your Cardiologist’s contact details available all the time. This is very useful especially when your dentist needs to obtain clearance from your Cardiologist prior to any dental treatment.
A void any form of dental treatment should there be a recent episode of heart attack. Ensure that full clearance is obtained from your Cardiologist before you proceed with any treatment.
S hare your concerns with your dentist if there is any aspect of the recommended treatment plan that you are not comfortable with or unclear of. Minimise your stress levels as much as possible.
E ffective communication is very important, (such as cardiac activities, types of medication you are taking, medical history, if you are on a pacemaker etc). Such information is important to the dentist to determine if there is an urgency to perform the recommended dental treatment.
With careful planning and communication between the medical doctor and dentist, medically-compromised patients can also have good dental health. Start taking care of your heart by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude. Add on a healthy smile and you are on the right track to lower your risks of heart disease!