A missed dental appointment means lost clinical time to the practice and deprives other patients of the opportunity to benefit from this time. During this period, we have an empty chair, wages and overheads still have to be paid and the business makes a loss. This can only then be covered by increasing charges to patients, something which we don’t want to do.
The demand for appointments at our practice is high and in order to ensure that we keep waiting times as short as possible and maximise our clinical time, we ask that you give 2 working days’ notice if you are unable to attend.
A charge will be made for appointments missed, cancelled or moved at less than 2 working days’ notice. If you booked a plane ticket, seat at the theatre or exclusive use of a room at a venue, then you would probably have had to pay up front and would not expect a refund.
Whilst we charge a deposit for longer or first appointments (which in most cases does not cover our costs if you don’t turn up) we place our trust in patients to turn up and to accept our clinical time is valuable.
Automatic Missed Appointment Fees
If you miss or cancel at short notice a dental appointment at Ashbury Dental Care an automatic charge will be added to your account as outlined in our 1-2-3 missed appointment policy below:
- If it is the first appointment that you have missed with us, we’ll try to contact you to check everything is well and arrange to re-book the appointment for you. In this instance a contribution of 50% of the cost of the appointment will be charged.
- Upon missing a second appointment, a charge of 80% of the cost of the appointment plus an administration fee of £12 will automatically be added to your account. Whilst this charge will not fully cover the cost of the lost clinical time, it will allow us to partially cover our overheads, thus helping to prevent raising our prices unnecessarily.
- On missing any subsequent appointments, we reserve the right to charge the full cost of the appointment plus an administration fee of £12 and to suspend your registration at our practice. Further appointments will then only be bookable after settlement of your account and, full payment made in advance for all future appointments.
- Missed appointment charges must be settled within 14 days of the appointment date and not further appointments will be bookable unless this is paid. Failure to settle these within 14 days will result in further charges and interest being added to your account. Any subsequent appointments you have may be cancelled without notice. We may also ask you to pay in advance for future appointments.
Dental Appointment Reminders
We want to do everything we can to help you remember your appointments to ensure our clinical time is maximised, waiting times for appointments are kept down and our fees kept as low as possible.
Ultimately though we ask our patients to take responsibility for the appointments they book and to put them in their phone, diary or calendar to ensure they do not miss them.
Printed & Email Appointment Cards
Whenever you book a dental appointment at Ashbury Dental Care we can print off an Appointment Card for you which contains the details your appointment(s). This information, including the date and time of printing your appointment card is recorded with the appointment.
Alternatively if you wish our reception team to e-mail you an electronic appointment card we can usually do this straight away, which you can then add to your electronic diary. If you have requested one and it’s not come through, just drop us a line.
In order to remind you of your appointments booked a long time in advance, we offer a free e-mail reminder service to drop you a line, around two weeks before your appointment and then again, a few days before. This is a courtesy service and relies on our old friend technology who can’t always be relied on from both your and our end. We always aim to spot problems with this early and to rectify them and ask our patient to ensure that @ashburydentalcare.co.uk is enabled in their White Lists or Spam Filter.
Help us to help you, by ensuring we have an up to date e-mail address to send your reminders to.
For those who do not have email, we also offer a courtesy telephone reminder service. We will endeavour to give you a call to remind you of your appointment a few days before if this is requested at the time of booking each appointment. Please note that this service is provided as a courtesy only, and we are unable for practical reasons to be able to guarantee this service will be made.