Patients who miss dental appointments are a major dental management problem.
Dental practices have various missed appointment policies to encourage patients to actually show up.
Jim and Julie talk about how dentists handle patients who miss dental appointments:
Dental hygiene appointments are missed 13% of the time, according to the dentists in this survey.
What about dentist appointments? They’re only missed 9% of the time.
“We call them immediately to find out why they have missed the appointment. We educate them as to why it is crucial to keep their appointments, mentioning that we have other patients waiting to be seen in that time slot if they had called and given enough notice. We’ll fire the patient after three strikes if there is a pattern.” Alabama Dentist
“It’s a big challenge; I wish I had a great answer. We have a written policy, include it in newsletter, call at 10 minutes into the appointment, and send a letter. The first one is a warning and free, then we charge. We hear all the excuses imaginable! People are less respectful than 30 years ago.” Illinois Dentist
“When they miss one appointment, we immediately give them a friendly reminder about our broken appointment policy. We use Smile Reminders (text, e-mail, and phone) to remind our patients about their appointments at two weeks, a few days, and the day before their appointment. This has greatly reduced our no-shows to about 5%, and also gives us time to fill their appointment if they have to move it. We are extremely happy with our low percentage of no-shows!” Ohio Prosthodontist
How does your dental practice handle no-shows?