When you go to the dentist, you might think your visit is a one-way street. You show up and it’s our job to help you achieve and maintain a healthy white smile. But when you see it from a dentist’s point of view, it-s clear that’s not quite the truth.
For us to do a good job, we need you to work with us. A dental practice can have the most qualified, experienced and motivated staff in the world. But it’s all useless if patients don’t do their part. If you want to be the perfect patient and help your dentist’s practice run smoothly, here’s what dentists want patients to know about their practice.
Running 10 minutes late is a big deal
Everyone is late sometimes. We lose track of the time, errands take longer than expected, life happens. And while you think being 10-15 minutes late isn’t a big deal, it’s a huge problem for dental practices. One patient being late, especially if it’s one of the first patients, throws the day’s schedule completely out of whack.
All other appointments have to be pushed back, it puts unnecessary strain on dental staff and other patients are forced to wait longer for their appointments. This can be really frustrating for some people — especially the ones who made the effort to arrive early for their appointments.
Please try and be on time for your dental appointment. Or if you know you’re not going to make it on time, give us a call and let us know so we can be proactive and prevent as many problems as possible.
And not showing up is worse
Sometimes dental appointments are made months in advance. And there’s a chance when you originally made the appointment you thought you’d be available, but now you’re not. If you absolutely cannot attend an appointment, that’s fine. But please let us know.
We don’t know when a patient isn’t going to come into the practice. If you’re not here at your allotted time, we assume you’re running late. Because we don’t want to spoil your treatment schedule, we wait for you and push all the other patients’ appointments back. So not only are you wasting the dental staff’s time, you’re also wasting patients’ time.
If you need to cancel an appointment, give us a call and let us know as early as you can so we can make the necessary arrangements. If you consistently don’t show up for appointments and don’t let us know, there’s a good chance we’ll refuse to treat you when you next decide to show up.
We have your best interests at heart
When we recommend a course of treatment or a procedure, it’s because you need it. Our job is to keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy and if you’ve got a problem, we need to fix it. We spent years studying to get where we are today and we know the best solutions to dental problems.
It’s perfectly fine to ask us questions so you can gain a better understanding of dental health — in fact we encourage it! But we hate it when patients think they know more than we do or that we’re suggesting unnecessary treatment.
Don’t refuse help from your dentist without knowing the ins and outs. Talk with them to learn about the different treatment options available to you and discover their reasoning for recommending treatment.
We aren’t millionaires
Dental work is expensive. But that’s not because we live in huge mansions, drive expensive cars and wear flashy clothes. It’s because dental practices are expensive to run.
Initial education, ongoing training, practice maintenance, new tools, the latest technology, staff wages…there are so many costs involved in running a dental practice. We set our prices according to the value of the materials and services needed to complete a task.
We don’t set our prices according to how much profit we think we can make. Prices of materials and wages go up following inflation. So don’t be surprised if your bills increase by a small amount each year, too. Among these costs, the most common issue are the high dental staffing costs, this is why we often doubt about hiring more people.
Accept that you’re paying a skilled professional for their time and tools. Although it’s a cliche, you really do get what you pay for. And when it comes to your teeth, you don’t want to skimp!
You might not always see who you were expecting
Just like you want to see the same doctor each time, many people also want to see the same dental hygienist and dentist each time they visit. But that’s not always possible. Whether it’s for a week-long vacation or just for a personal day, dental staff need time off work just like everyone else.
Because we still want to provide you with dental care, we don’t just close up shop when a member of staff isn’t working. Instead, we use a reliable, trustworthy group to source temporary staff that meet our very high requirements. These people have been fully briefed by the person they’re taking over from so they know what they’re doing.
Understand that you might not always be able to see the member of staff you want. But don’t worry — we’ve all been to dental school and we’re all fully qualified to take care of you.