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Is Going to the Dentist During the Pandemic Worth the Risk? A Study From MIT Shows Promising Results

With the ongoing transmission of COVID-19 cases across the country, many individuals in the Bronx and beyond are weighing the risks of leaving the house, whether for obligation or recreation, amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Understandably so, as the virus has been proven to be highly contagious and largely passed on through person-to-person transmission of respiratory droplets. As individuals continue to assess their own risks of infection, one study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences may bode well for those in need of dental care!

According to the study, dental offices were deemed to have one of the best trade-offs in terms of a service’s potential threat of danger in relation to their importance to consumers. Simply put, this means that the dentist was determined to be among the safest places to go when compared to the other locations surveyed, which included retail stores, gyms, places of worship, cafes, and auto repair shops. MIT’s research evaluated 26 categories of locations based on their threat of danger/relative importance to consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the results revealed that a dental office—along with banks and financial institutions—scored the highest out of all the places measured, i.e. they were “worth the risk.” You can read the full results of the study here.

This may be due, in part, to the incredibly thorough and comprehensive safety measures put into place by dental practices like Dr. Victor Oelbaum & Associates, which make it feasible for dentists to continue operating while minimizing excessive physical contact and managing patient crowding. The impressive safety protocols implemented by Dr. Oelbaum and our entire team include guidelines such as:

  • Limiting the number of people in the practice at once
  • Kindly asking that patients wait in their car or outside until their treatment room is ready
  • Mandatory use of facemasks
  • Frequent room and equipment sterilization and sanitization throughout the day
  • Temperature checks and screening questions to assess patient health
  • HEPA® Air Cleaners installed in our waiting room, exam rooms, and operatories

Given the preceding MIT study and the full scope of our safety measures, which can be viewed in the attached infographic, individuals in the Bronx and New York City can feel more confident when scheduling their semi-annual dental cleanings and oral exams. Our team is here to assist you in any way we can, and we encourage you to contact our practice if you have any questions or concerns. We are also offering virtual consultations if you would like to discuss your treatment options from the safety of your own home.

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