View Full Version : Dentist appointment reminder callbacks?



TheTravellers
01-04-2012, 06:24 PM
The dentist I use calls and reminds about an appointment, but every time they do, they call every number I've given them and must speak to me. If I don't answer, they leave a voicemail requesting me to call back and confirm the appointment. I believe this is a bit overzealous and ridiculous, and was wondering if this is now the norm? None of my other doctors do this, and I don't think small dentist offices do, my dentists in Illinois and Washington did not do this, it only seems to be the mega-dentists (My Dentist and Dental Depot) here in OKC. Anybody else notice (or care :-) )? And yes, I know, they are just ensuring a steady flow of cash into their offices and have probably had tons of people cancel without notice, but I'm a responsible adult that has kept 99.99% of my appointments, and it's just stupid and tiresome.

Thunder
01-04-2012, 06:46 PM
Appointments with any offices at OU will call and leave a message. Same for the OKC Clinic (Midwest City location). The OU College of Dentistry called. The Facial & Oral Surgery (Dentist) called. I have one for tomorrow and they called. I also received an email. I need to set up another referral appointment for another specialist. Anyway, I don't see the point in complaining. Just a standard message. No need to call back.

MikeOKC
01-04-2012, 06:59 PM
I think you missed it, Thunder....he didn't seem to have a problem with them just leaving messages, it's the fact they call multiple numbers until they actually speak with him. He also said they ask that he call back and confirm the appointment.

I know dentists have more trouble with this than any other specialty. So many people hate the dentist, fear the whole thing and they cancel or, worse yet, just blow them off. But, I think that kind of thing from the office is carrying it too far. I wouldn't be afraid to ask them (nicely, of course) to please just leave a reminder message but do not continue calling and expect a call back.

Thunder
01-04-2012, 07:13 PM
I think it would be better that rather they require people calling back to confirm is to charge people for missed appointment without advance notice.

rcjunkie
01-04-2012, 07:15 PM
I think it would be better that rather they require people calling back to confirm is to charge people for missed appointment without advance notice.

As long as they pay me if I don't get in to see dentist on the scheduled time, I wouldn't have a problem with this.

BBatesokc
01-04-2012, 07:37 PM
As long as they pay me if I don't get in to see dentist on the scheduled time, I wouldn't have a problem with this.

AGREED. I have cut ties with two doctors in the past for their inability to properly book people. I give any appointment 35 minutes MAX, then I'm out the door.

My dentist will call me if they are running early or late so I can adjust my schedule. They also call 24 hours before an appointment. But they know they are calling my cell phone and simply leave a message if I don't answer.

MikeOKC
01-04-2012, 08:18 PM
AGREED. I have cut ties with two doctors in the past for their inability to properly book people. I give any appointment 35 minutes MAX, then I'm out the door.

My dentist will call me if they are running early or late so I can adjust my schedule. They also call 24 hours before an appointment. But they know they are calling my cell phone and simply leave a message if I don't answer.

My dentist does this as well. Maybe we go to the same one! Dentists do handle emergencies more often than most medical specialties; impactions, infections, emergency root canals, etc. I've always appreciated the calls that tell me they're running behind due to these kinds of emergencies.

Great dentist tip: Never make an appointment for a Monday. They have to squeeze in all the people who developed weekend infections and what not and they are far more likely to run behind, be stressed out, and maybe even have to rush their work.

metro
01-04-2012, 09:26 PM
The dentist I use calls and reminds about an appointment, but every time they do, they call every number I've given them and must speak to me. If I don't answer, they leave a voicemail requesting me to call back and confirm the appointment. I believe this is a bit overzealous and ridiculous, and was wondering if this is now the norm? None of my other doctors do this, and I don't think small dentist offices do, my dentists in Illinois and Washington did not do this, it only seems to be the mega-dentists (My Dentist and Dental Depot) here in OKC. Anybody else notice (or care :-) )? And yes, I know, they are just ensuring a steady flow of cash into their offices and have probably had tons of people cancel without notice, but I'm a responsible adult that has kept 99.99% of my appointments, and it's just stupid and tiresome.

I used to work for MyDentist corporate. It's all about $$$. Employees and patients are only looked as units of production and $$$ per person. In the dental/doctor biz, cancellation/no show rates are about 50%. That's a lot of money out the window per day. Mom and pops don't care as much or simply don't try, but the big boys are all about maximizing profits. There is tons of money in the dental biz. While I can't blame them for maximizing revenue, they need to respect their employees and patients as human beings.

BBatesokc
01-05-2012, 06:08 AM
I used to work for MyDentist corporate. It's all about $$$. Employees and patients are only looked as units of production and $$$ per person. In the dental/doctor biz, cancellation/no show rates are about 50%. That's a lot of money out the window per day. Mom and pops don't care as much or simply don't try, but the big boys are all about maximizing profits. There is tons of money in the dental biz. While I can't blame them for maximizing revenue, they need to respect their employees and patients as human beings.

That's one reason I go to a well respected but very small dental office in downtown OKC. I used to totally avoid the dentist until I started seeing him. He does the cleanings himself when he can and he will talk with you directly about payment options, costs, etc. Not to mention he's a TV junkie and has one going in every room and does painless shots over gas. I hate going to a dentist just to have some hygienist do the cleaning and someone in their finance office sit you down like you're buying a car, all the while the dentist just pokes in to look at an x-ray and seem too busy to deal with you.

I remember when my son was little (maybe 10-11) he had a long procedure and when it was done he said he had to go to the restroom really bad and didn't know if he could make it down the hall to the bathroom. Without pause the doctor scooped him up and out the door and down the hall they went to the men's room. You probably couldn't find 3 dentists in the whole state that would do that so naturally. He's even taken me to lunch in one of his classic convertible cars before. He's a really down to earth guy.

Roadhawg
01-05-2012, 08:03 AM
As long as they pay me if I don't get in to see dentist on the scheduled time, I wouldn't have a problem with this.

The last time I went to my DR. I arrived 10 minutes early and 90 minutes after my appointment time I still haven't seen the Dr. I made it to an exam room but was in there over 45 minutes staring at the wall. Got up and told the assistant at the desk I had things to do and couldn't wait there all day. It didn't stop them from cashing my $30 copay check. Needless to say I wasn't a happy camper. I may need to find a new Dr. I like the one I have now but they are so busy it seems they don't have time for me. Like I'm on an assembly line.

TheTravellers
01-05-2012, 12:57 PM
Ha, metro totally confirmed what I suspected, sadly... Thanks! And thanks to all who replied. My dad actually did bill a doctor for his time when the doc was very late one time, the doc was never late for him again. I only give them about 15 minutes over the appt. time, then I'm gone. Guess I need to find a new non-mega-dentist office that actually gives a cr@p about their patients since it's not just the front office that I don't like about [m|M]y [d|D]entist, their back-office skills aren't very good either - had to get a filling replaced, then had to go back 3 times to get the profile of it corrected to match the tooth and the tech did it all, the dentist was apparently too busy to fix what she screwed up (it took 3 times because they were being conservative and only taking off very little each time, then seeing if that would work). Never, ever had to have that done before...

boscorama
02-13-2012, 09:24 PM
Gentle Dental phones, emails, texts, etc., every contact number they have. At the office I was told that the electronic ones are from their corporate offices; the locals have no control over this.

grrrr .....

FritterGirl
02-14-2012, 09:49 AM
I've never had a problem with my dentist and this level of "persistance." They call, leave a message, and that's it, and I've been going to the same dentist since I was about 13-14 years old. All told well over half of my life. He's a sole practitioner, and has had much of his staff there for years. They're always very friendly and professional and I've never had problems moving or shifting appointments. I've now even had my husband move to him after my husband's dentist - even with insurance, wanted to charge a ridiculous amount of money for a crown. My dentist was about half that.

metro
02-15-2012, 09:12 AM
To some extent, you get what you pay for as far as quality of service and material used.

Lauri101
02-17-2012, 05:49 PM
I use MyDentist on Air Depot and they were doing the calling/texting every number thing until I told them - nicely but firmly - to cut it out.
Now they are allowed to email me, once, and I will confirm via email. It worked when I told them it was a deal-breaker.

I miss my previous dentist who retired - Dr. Alan Cady from Del City. He was awesome. "My Dentist" has done good work, but I've had 5 different dentists in two years. I think they shuffle them around so no one can get attached to one and get stolen if/when they go into private practice. The hygenist in MWC is wonderful!

metro
02-20-2012, 02:17 PM
Yes MyDentist has excessive turnover, especially with hygienists, assistants and office staff. Dentists get shuffled frequently around the company for various reasons. They aren't very loyal unless you are a dentist.

bandnerd
02-20-2012, 03:33 PM
Mine now emails me (I didn't even know they had my email) a few days in advance, and gives a reminder call to my cell. They request that I confirm, just in case, but they aren't pushy about it. There have been times where I didn't confirm and showed up for my appointment without a problem. I go to a small, private dentist office.

I think once a long time ago they called my work phone, which was weird. But I get weird phone calls at work all the time!

Far more persistent and annoying would be the Oklahoma Blood Institute. I realize I don't have a very common blood type; however, they have butchered my veins the last few times and I am taking a break from donating (used to be pretty regular), but they don't seem to understand that.

kevinpate
02-20-2012, 04:17 PM
...
Far more persistent and annoying would be the Oklahoma Blood Institute. I realize I don't have a very common blood type; however, they have butchered my veins the last few times and I am taking a break from donating (used to be pretty regular), but they don't seem to understand that.

You could always tell them one more call and you will just switch to being a plasma donor and donate the plasma payments to fund a new blog called StopHoundingMeOBI.net

metro
02-20-2012, 05:21 PM
I agree about OBI, they have turned into Nazis and lost me as a regular donor for awhile. I've told them dozens of times to quit calling almost every day, all hours of the day, even as late as 9pm.