Patients’ Funniest Excuses

Classic Patient Excuses for Missing Dentist Appointments

We did a survey asking dentists about the funniest excuses they’ve heard from patients for missing appointments. The clear winner was the toothache defense: “My tooth hurts too bad to get out of bed.”

Other highlights include, “My windshield wipers aren’t working and it might rain,” “I had to go shopping for my daughter’s bat mitzvah dress,” and “I went a movie instead.”

Here were a few more classics from dentists:

  • “A model doing a photo shoot said she was bitten by a lion. A cop was involved in a shoot out.” (New York endodontist)
  • “The patient was in jail!” (Virginia dental office worker)
  • “One patient wanted to know if his insurance would cover the broken appointment fee!” (General dentist)
  • “We always document patients’ excuses when missing an appointment. Sometimes the same grandparent passes away unexpectedly two or three times in the same year!!” (Texas dentist)
  • “‘I have a hangnail.’ Also, ‘My dog has diarrhea.'” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “‘The goats got loose!'” (Maryland pediatric dentist)
  • “‘My dog ate my appointment card.'” (Arizona dentist)

Have more excuses to share? Post them here! Plus, check out the full results

Dentist Survey: Do You Treat Patients with Disabilities?

take the TWD dental survey on the cost of veneersDentists: please participate in our patients with disabilities survey.

As part of The Wealthy Dentist dialogue on dental practice management and marketing, we offer weekly surveys and invite your participation.

In order to understand different perspectives on the dental industry, we have developed surveys to canvas a diverse group of dental practices on their view of the dental industry, what constitutes current good practice in dental marketing and quality care.

The information collected will be used to prepare articles for The Wealthy Dentist readership.

The survey should take no more than 90 seconds to complete –

If you’d like to be notified about future dental surveys, please sign up for our weekly newsletter in the right sidebar.

Patients Lie to Dentists All the Time

Trust Their Teeth, Not Their Words

Dentists, you’ll be shocked by this breaking news: your patients might be lying to you!

A poll of 1,000 Americans (commissioned by Philips Sonicare) found that over 40% of adults admit to lying to their dentists, claiming that they always brushed for the recommended time. In addition, 25% said they lie about how frequently they floss.

And if those numbers seem high, keep in mind that they’re actually a lot higher. It’s a reasonable assumption that some liars lie about lying…

So why do patients lie? To avoid the disapproval of authority figures. To avoid embarrassment. To look better. To not get in trouble. To make the dentist like them.

In addition, the poll found that patients frequently lie to receptionists about why they’re cancelling their appointment.

Significantly, it also found that many patients often do not tell their dentists about other serious health problems they may have.

In the end, dental health care practitioners shouldn’t rely too much on the honesty of their patients’ responses. However, by focusing on building healthy relationships with patients, doctors can improve both the oral health of their patients and their dental practice’s bottom line.

Read more

Don’t You Steal My Dental Patients!

Dentists Complain of Dental Patient Stealing

In our most recent survey, nearly half of dentists reported that they had had problems with “patient-stealing” by associate dentists or employees who had left their practice.Dental Survey Results

“Every GP associate I’ve had has attempted to (and probably succeeded at) stealing patients. It’s like inviting someone into your home, then finding your silverware is missing after they leave,” complained a California dentist.

Another dentist described a true horror story. “I had a Financial Coordinator for only 5 weeks, and it was after she left I realized how much damage she did. Every patient she scheduled never showed up. When we called one patient, he said that he had gone to another dental office for treatment. She had been calling my patients from her cell phone and diverting them to her previous employer.

Post your comments or read the complete dental patient stealing survey results

Dentists Dating Patients

Dentists and Dating Dental PatientsIt Happens More Than You Might Think…

In a recent Wealthy Dentist survey, we asked dentists if they have ever been romantically involved with a patient at their dental practice. One in five dentists reports having dated a patient. The remaining 80% do not date their dental patients.

“It crosses the professional barrier and can cause problems down the road,” said one Florida dentist. “It happens,” observed a Connecticut dentist. “I married one 51 years ago and am still married to her,” boasted one happy New York dentist.

Read the full dental dating survey results to learn more about the Secret Lives of Dentists


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