Missed Appointment Excuses (video)

Dentists hear a lot of excuses from patients with missed dental appointments. In this survey, we asked about the funniest ones.

The toothache defense won, hands down. “My tooth hurts too bad to get out of bed,” complained one patient.

  • “A model doing a photo shoot said she was bitten by a lion,” recounted an endodontist.
  • “One patient wanted to know if his dental insurance would cover the broken appointment fee!” said a general dentist.
  • “One patient told me, ‘My windshield wipers aren’t working and it MIGHT rain,’ when there was a 0% chance of rain in the forecast,” shared an orthodontist.
  • “I went to a movie instead,” one patient told his periodontist.
  • “The goats got loose!” explained another to the pediatric dentist.

Read more: Funniest Excuses from Patients for Missing Dental Appointments

Dentist Missed Appointments Fees Average $50

Missed dental appointments: average fee is $50Miss a dentist appointment and it could cost you $50. That’s the average missed dentist appointment fee reported by dentists in this survey.

However, 30% don’t charge a fee for missed dental appointments or late cancellations. In fact, only 10% charge a fee the first time; 41% wait until the second time, and 18% wait until the third offense.

By the third dentist appointment no-show, nearly half (43%) of dentists are ready to stop seeing that patient entirely.

Here are some more comments on missed appointment policies:

  • “We collect $$$ up front when they make appointment (eg. all my sedation dentistry cases) or no appointment is made.” (Florida dentist)
  • “Patients always miss appointments… After the first failure, we make them prepay ahead of time for their next treatment appt.” (Tennessee dentist)
  • “Broken appointment fees are one way, but reserving the appointment with a Visa/Mastercard may be more positive.” (Kentucky dentist)
  • “Patients sign a form stating they will be charged if they miss an appointment.” (New York dentist)
  • “Try to get them to pay when they make and appointment. They will then rarely miss.” (General dentist)
  • “Miss one and they get rescheduled out 6 weeks. Miss 2 and they get a fee. Miss 3 and they go on our short notice appt list.” (Pediatric dentist)
  • “SMS text message to confirm, day, date and time.” (General dentist)
  • “They need to find a dentist with a more convenient dentist office.” (General dentist)
  • “Usually if they pay the fee, they come on time, or they get mad and leave.” (Wisconsin dentist)
  • “We have them secure their appointment with a non-refundable fee if they want to return to our practice.” (General dentist)

Read more: Missed Dental Appointment Fees: Dentist Policies


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