You won’t believe what happened at my physician’s office!
Last week I had my annual physical, and you won’t believe what happened! They checked me from head to toe, doing lots of poking, prodding, sticking….all of the things you should have done at a regular physical.
Then the physician’s assistant took my blood pressure. I could see from the reading that it was abnormally high. But they never said anything about it. As I was leaving I mentioned it to my doctor.
Here is what happened:
Rich: “Hey Dr. B, I noticed that my blood pressure was really high, but nobody said anything about it.”
Dr. B: “Oh yeah, we just check it real quickly but don’t say anything to the patient, even if it’s high.”
Rich: “But isn’t blood pressure really important? Don’t millions of Americans have uncontrolled hypertension? Can’t that lead to heart disease, stroke, and lots of other bad stuff?”
Dr. B: “Well sure, if you want to get all technical about it. But we found our patients don’t really want to hear about blood pressure, and it just takes too much of our time. We used to pay a lot of attention to it, but we kinda stopped. Maybe you should just lay off the table salt a bit….”
Now of course this never happened. And fortunately, my blood pressure has been a steady 110/70 for decades.
But we all know that over 50% of American adults have some form of periodontal disease. So why do so many dental practices just ignore this, or simply don’t discuss it with patients? We just kinda do a bloody prophy and let it slide. It’s much easier that way!
But really now – who does this help? Not the patient. Not the practice. And isn’t it our job as oral health professionals to meticulously and accurately diagnose and treat periodontal disease?
If you thought my ridiculous and fictional blood pressure story was crazy, please ask yourself: