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When Should I Cancel My Dental Appointment?

Medical resources are in scarce supply right now, due to a number of factors. Post-pandemic, the healthcare industry is being hit by staffing issues, appointment scheduling difficulty, and our primary concern of keeping our patients safe and healthy. Because of these challenges, it’s more important than ever to make sure our patients keep their appointments.

We understand that circumstances can change and emergencies can come up. However, an appointment cancellation has negative consequences that turn it into more than an inconvenience. A cancellation doesn’t just impact the patient – it also impacts another patient who could have taken that limited appointment slot, the office staff that needs to reschedule the appointment, the hygienist who has prepared for the patient, and the dentist who has set aside time for the appointment. Cancelling an appointment for a minor inconvenience is inconsiderate to all the people impacted by the cancellation.

If you must cancel, please give advance notice. Our cancellation policy requires at least 48 hours notice before the appointment time. Cancelling closer to the appointment will incur a $50/hr cancellation fee. Also, be sure to cancel by contacting the office during regular business hours. Cancelling after hours or during the weekend gives the staff less time to prepare for the cancellation and reach out to other patients who might want to take that appointment time. Read our full cancellation policy here.

We’ve become used to cancelling plans at any signs of infection during the pandemic. Now that vaccines are readily available and COVID treatment has become more sophisticated, the disease is a lot less dangerous than it used to be. You should definitely still cancel medical/dental appointments if you have tested positive for COVID or have been exposed to someone who has. However, if you only have slight signs of illness (sniffles, headaches, or cold symptoms), you aren’t running a fever, and you feel alright, then it’s perfectly acceptable to keep your dental appointment. Our office is still practicing advanced hygiene protocols like masking, disinfecting surfaces, and using air filtration. Even if you have a minor cold, it’s unlikely that you will spread it to others in the dental office.

Here are some simple guidelines to follow if you’re wondering whether or not you should cancel your appointment:

You should cancel your appointment if:

  • You have tested positive for COVID-19 or have had recent exposure to someone who has.
  • You have a fever.
  • There is a serious emergency that requires you to cancel your plans.

You should not cancel your appointment if:

  • You’re experiencing a minor cold or illness.
  • You feel slightly ill, but don’t have a fever.
  • You have a headache.
  • You forgot your appointment.
  • You don’t feel like coming to the dentist.
  • You didn’t receive a reminder text.

Delaying your dental care only prolongs health problems, creates scheduling headaches, and puts you at risk of cancellation fees. It’s in your best interest to keep the appointments you set, both for your health and for your wallet.