Dental Appointment Cancellations

How this can affect both dentist and patient alike

Dentist surgeryMost dental appointments are made well in advance for a check up. This means that patients commit to a date far enough in the future that anything could crop up in the meantime.

Having to change the date is not unusual and doesn’t cause a problem if sufficient notice is given. Where a patient doesn’t give us notice though, it causes inconvenience for both our Clapham dentists and their patients.

There are a number of reasons why patients may need or wish to rearrange an appointment at the Confidental Clinic and we take a look at some of these below.

Other engagements

We understand that many things can happen in the time following making your appointment. You may have another important appointment, such as an interview the same day, or perhaps you want to book a holiday at that time. This isn’t a problem if you let us know in advance so that we can free your spot up for another patient.

The problem has resolved itself

This is one that patients often get wrong. The truth is that most dental problems that you have made an appointment for will not get better on their own. A small cavity that was causing you toothache may suddenly cause less discomfort, but please believe us when we say that it will very likely return with a vengeance. Even if it doesn’t, it will still continue to damage your tooth leaving you needing a bigger filling than if you had received treatment at your set appointment. So please make sure to have any dental problem treated as soon as possible – typically they will get worse if left.

Dental phobia

This is a relatively common cause of cancelled appointments. The fear of an upcoming dental procedure can cause significant anxiety in some people, to the degree that they prefer to simply cancel their appointment. As in the previous example, this is a mistake and especially if you are a nervous patient, you will almost certainly have to face an even more extensive procedure a little later if you don’t have the problem treated. We do offer a comprehensive range of services to help nervous patients so please do talk to us to see how we can help, rather than cancel your appointment.

The knock on effect

When a dental appointment is cancelled well in advance, it causes little or no inconvenience and simply frees up a spot for another patient. When they are cancelled at short notice though, things do become more complicated. Usually, if you can give us at least 48 hours notice, that allows us to offer your spot to a patient who may be looking for an emergency appointment. Where an appointment is cancelled on the same day, especially where it is an early morning appointment, it may not be possible to fill that spot, denying it to another patient.

Having said that, we do appreciate that sometimes important things happen at the last minute, such as having to collect a sick child from school or nursery. However close it is to your appointment, we do appreciate a ‘phone call to let us know. There is always a chance that there might be someone in the waiting room with a bad toothache who would jump at the chance to have their treatment even a little bit earlier.

Ultimately, we request that, where an appointment does genuinely have to be cancelled, you give us as much notice as you possibly can please. If you are tempted to cancel because of dental anxiety, please don’t.  Instead, call the Confidental Clinic in Clapham so that we can find a way to help you receive your necessary treatment.

You can call our local dental clinic on 020 7801 9060 and our team is on hand to help.