Dentist: The Hypertensive Patient WSL1019

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This basic-level course familiarizes dental professionals with hypertension, its types, and its impact on general wellness. The course reviews the pathophysiology of hypertension and describes nonpharmacologic options for the treatment of hypertension, including lifestyle and dietary modifications, as well as pharmacologic approaches. A firm understanding of this prevalent disease and its implications for treatment in the dental office will help all dental professionals provide the highest quality of care to their dental patients. 

Course Objectives: 

After completing this course, the learner will be able to: 
1. Describe hypertension and its impact on general health. 
2. Identify essential and secondary hypertension and hypertensive crisis. 
3. Describe the pathophysiology of essential hypertension. 
4. Describe lifestyle and dietary modifications as nonpharmacologic treatment options for hypertension. 
5. List the advantages and disadvantages of current drug classes in pharmacologic treatment of hypertension.
6. Describe the dental management of hypertensive patients. 

About the Authors: 
David A. Verhaag, MD, maintained a private practice as a family physician in Roseville, California, for more than 30 years. He received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of California–Santa Barbara, and his medical training at the School of Medicine at the University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Verhaag completed his internship at UCLA Harbor General Hospital and his residency at the UC Davis Medical Center (formerly known as the Sacramento Medical Center) in family practice. He was founder and partner in the Oakridge Medical Group in Roseville, California, where he practiced for 17 years. Dr. Verhaag was an active staff member of the Sutter Roseville Medical Center clinical faculty, member of the UC Davis Department of Family Practice, and member of the Quality Review Committee of the Medical Board of California. Dr. Verhaag co-published the article “Prescribing for Chronic Pain” in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 

Marc Szarejko, DMD, FAGD, received his dental degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dentistry in 1985 and Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry in 1994. He has been an examiner for the State of Florida Dental and Dental Hygiene Licensure Examinations since 1994. He has also served as an expert witness for the State of Florida and for private companies. He has authored and edited many dental continuing education courses and has given presentations on varied dental topics to local, regional, and national audiences. He has served as a dentist in the county correctional system for nearly half of his career, where the incidence of HIV/AIDS is much higher relative to that of the general population. The surgical and nonsurgical dental treatment of HIV/AIDS patients is a common occurrence in this setting, allowing him to have a unique perspective of the oral manifestations of HIV/AIDS patients and in their dental treatment.

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