Dentists going the extra mile to make their clients feel safe

ABINGTON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Dr. Jay Freedman, a dentist with an office in Abington, Montgomery County says since the lockdown was lifted, he and his staff have done everything within their power to keep his clients as safe as possible.

"We've added air filtration, my waiting room is now the parking lot," said Freedman. "We screen ourselves when we come in. We do a health check. We do a temperature check."

That's part of the reason why Freedman, in concert with the American Dental Association, is expressing great concern over an advisory from the World Health Organization discouraging people from seeking routine dental care, particularly in COVID-19 hot-spots.

The WHO advisory reads, in part, "Their procedures involve face-to-face communications and frequent exposure to saliva, blood, and other body fluids and handling sharp instruments. Consequently, they are at high risk of being infected with (COVID-19) or passing the infection to patients."

Dr. Mindy Benjamini of Narberth respectfully disagrees saying routine dentistry is a critical component of overall health.

And so, in line with added safety measures, she has gone so far as developing a shield that serves as a see-through barrier between her and her patients.

Benjamini says what she calls the "PatientsShield" gives her and her clients added peace of mind.

"At this point, we feel perfectly safe practicing dentistry all the time," said Benjamini. "There's no procedure we don't do anymore because it actually contains any kind of spray that goes on."

Freedman says that's just one more example of how the dental industry is taking the COVID safety issue very seriously.

"Most of my patients, in their reviews, have said they feel very safe coming to this office. And I'm sure that would be true for many of my colleagues," said Freedman.

The WHO advisory is limited to routine dental care, not emergency dental care. Meanwhile, Benjamini's "PatientsShield" is now commercially available as well.
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