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4 Reasons Why Dental Patients Cancel Appointments

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Frequent patient cancelations can be a huge problem for some dental practices. Inevitably, patients will cancel appointments, even at the most successful dental offices! But there are some cases where patient cancelations happen too frequently and will eventually impact your bottom line. If your dental practice is experiencing an increase in patient cancelations, it's important to find out why it's occurring and how to fix it.

4 Reasons Why Patients Cancel Appointments

Below are 4 of the most common reasons why your patients may be canceling appointments at your dental practice:

  1. Your system is suffering – If you haven’t adequately conveyed the importance of your schedule to your patients, they may start to take advantage of your time. You need to clearly outline your cancelation policy so your patients are aware of the consequences of canceling any time after the acceptable deadline. If you don’t have a cancelation policy, we recommend that you quickly put one in place! 
  2. Patients don’t value appointments – Your patients know they need to receive regular checkups and dental cleanings, but they may not fully understand the importance of these appointments. Let your patients know what to expect if they neglect their dental health.. feel free to use visual aids! This information may help patients fully understand the damage that skipping checkups can do to their teeth. 
  3. You’re pursing the wrong patients – Some patients are notorious for last-minute cancelations or no-showing. Be sure to note this in the patient’s file so that your staff knows to avoid putting them on the schedule. Keep in mind that you don’t need to accept every patient, especially those who do not respect your schedule!  
  4. You’ve been lenient– If you allow patients to chronically cancel appointments, you’re communicating to them that this is acceptable at your office. Of course, some cancelations here or there are normal and expected, but repeat offenders should have consequences, like a last-minute cancelation fee. Most times, just knowing that a fee is a possibility will make most patients think twice about canceling at the last minute! 

Frequent cancelations will eventually begin to harm your dental practice. Ensure that you have policies in place so that your patients know the value of their dental appointments and your time.

Here at Pro Dental Designs, we can help you successfully market your dental practice, maintain your website, and teach you how to bring more patients into your office and keep the ones you already have! For more information about dental marketing assistance, please contact Pro Dental Designs today. 

Posted on Aug 24, 2020
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