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'Patients are afraid to come into town'

April 17, 2013

By Craig Palmer, ADA News staff

Boston—It's not just that his dental office was still closed by order of authorities two days after the Boston Marathon bombings, some 30 appointments lost the first day of closure and about 24 the next, Dr. Charles Badaoui told the ADA News. “Tomorrow, already, patients are calling and saying they're afraid to come into town.”

“Some are cancelling, some are not,” he said. “I lost two patients who were in pain and I couldn't attend to them (one was referred, medications prescribed for another). “Today's patients all cancelled and tomorrow's are cancelling their appointments. Hopefully we will open tomorrow.” A staff member tried to open the office April 17 and they (authorities) told her it's still closed, Dr. Badaoui said. As for reopening, “I won't know until I hear from the authorities.”

He expects his patients to return. “They will show their support and come back. It's very sad that we are unable to tend to our patients. It's a tragedy what happened.”

The bombing occurred “about half a block away” from his Copley Square dental practice and between his and another practice, said Dr. Badaoui. Was his building damaged? “I don't know and I don't think so.” The area was a cordoned off crime scene April 17 as the investigation continued. A public square in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood, Copley is bounded by Boylston Street, Clarendon Street, St. James Avenue and Dartmouth Street.

Dr. Badaoui's dental office was closed for the April 15 Boston Marathon, which is always held on Patriots Day, a Massachusetts state holiday commemorating opening battles of the American Revolutionary War. “I was not watching the marathon,” he said. “I was held up by my neighbor when my wife called and said, did you hear the news? Should I have not stopped to talk to my neighbor I would probably have been in that area. Things happen for a reason.”