All offices are doing it.. Going to automated phone calls for appointment confirmations or using text messaging and email to keep in touch with patients. All of this technology is being utilized to ensure that you will be sitting in that dental chair at your appointed time and to minimize
your wait time.
Missed appointments happen, we have all done it whether we just simply forgot, another appointment ran long, or lacked the finances to make it. Things will always arise, but the prevalent reason for missed appointments is forgetting. Fortunately there are resources that we can use as an office to ensure that forgetting doesn't happen. Our confirmation service will try to contact a patient three different ways. First through email, secondly the patient will receive a text message asking to reply "C" to confirm, then the patient will receive a phone call. That is a lot of communication for one appointment and for good reason. Say all these methods of communication still do not get a confirmation from a patient, the next step will be a phone call from one of the ladies in our front office the day before. If at this point we have to leave a voicemail, we will inform the patient that they will have until a set time the day before to confirm or the appointment will be cancelled.
At this point you might be asking yourself, "Why cancel the appointment, just wait and see if they show up". This is why.. When you are making an appointment with any doctor (not just our office), you are setting up time that is specifically reserved for you to get one on one interaction with that doctor. In a dental office, this time will be used to complete any treatment that is beneficial to your oral health. When you don’t confirm your appointment after days of attempts by our office, we cancel it because there are patients on waiting lists that are in pain and we can help them. We do not cancel appointments then leave the space empty, we cancel appointments and get patients in that are desperate for help. So if you are our patient, next time you get communication from our office please do not ignore it. If you can’t make your appointment, call us and let us know so we can help someone else get the care they need.