Boston Magazine photo of Dentists

How Boston Businesses Stepped Up to Face COVID-19

By Boston Magazine

Business ground to a halt for many industries with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March. However, even while their own businesses were hurting, many local companies and organizations sprung into action to support frontline workers, treat patients safely, and aid the local economy. Here is a story of a Boston-area business that has demonstrated exceptional leadership throughout this crisis.

Dental Cupid

Dental Cupid, a new, free platform founded by Dr. Abe Abdul of Lux Dental, has helped thousands of patients continue to access the emergency dental care they need throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Abdul shares how, with the help of many other dentists, the platform has been such a success.

What inspired you to start Dental Cupid?

I reached out to a local hospital to ask how dentists could support healthcare workers during the pandemic, and heard that some emergency rooms have very outdated dental referral lists. With the shutdown, I had also heard from patients that they were unable to get the treatment for dental emergencies. My CTO Mingxuan Zhu and I put together a beta version of Dental Cupid in three days to help patients and referring hospitals find dentists available to provide care. We now have a cohort of dentists, including Medicaid providers, who we believe are true heroes and have lightened the load on our first responders and hospital emergency departments.

How many patients have you been able to help?

Dental Cupid has helped numerous hospitals, nonprofits, government agencies, and other dentists refer 16,000-plus patients to 12,000-plus dentists globally. The platform expanded its service to Canada and 16-plus countries in a matter of weeks. We are most heavily utilized in Massachusetts, having made thousands of connections in our home region.

Who are some of the providers that have stepped up?

We are grateful to our early adopters, such as Dr. Brian Shaughnessy of Greater Boston Smiles Pediatric Dentistry and Dr. Sathish Gobichettypalayam of Aarohi Dental. Many, including Dr. Jill Tanzi of The Dentists at Hopkinton, say they got involved to keep dental patients out of the emergency room to lighten the load on hospitals during COVID-19.

What safety protocols are put in place to keep everyone safe?

Infection control has always been on our minds. All dentists that sign up on Dental Cupid are required to sign that they have read and understood the new ADA guidelines. Many of our dentists have gone far beyond ADA recommendations. Dr. Alex Moheban of Northborough Family Dental introduced UV filters in the ductwork, Medify air purifiers throughout the building, and hypochlorous acid foggers to reduce any potentially infectious aerosols. All patients rinse with molecular iodine to eliminate COVID-19 particles from the oral cavity. Like many of our dentists, he has all patients check in over the phone for a pre-screening before their appointment.