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How would you deal with this situation?

(106 Posts)
donna1964 Sun 30-Aug-20 10:06:49

You drive 26 miles to a Private Dentist Appointment (Teeth Brace Checkup). You leave on time You drive into the City and it is gridlocked..because of roadworks. You telephone the Dentist to say you are stuck in Traffic and will be late...You are answered with a Answer Machine. Finally, you approach 2 is full, 2nd carpark lets you in and there is no carpark have to wait. You get to your Dentist appointment 45minutes late. Receptionist shows no understanding and says you have missed your appointment. That means you have to drive a further 26 miles home. Do you leave the Dentist quietly or do you argue your point. Bearing is have showed patience when your Dentist is running late and further you have in the past had to make a journey back to the Dentist 2 days after blocks where put on your teeth that fell off in the carpark after just having them put on.

eazybee Sun 30-Aug-20 10:10:53

Change your dentist.

lemongrove Sun 30-Aug-20 10:13:19

Yes, change...... easy enough to do with a private dentist, unlike NHS.

Chewbacca Sun 30-Aug-20 10:21:04

Dentists, like all other health workers, are having to work to very strict to appointment times due to the total clean down they have to complete in between patients. Therefore, an overrun of 45 minutes will have significant impact on them and their next patient. The responsibility to arrive on time lies completely with you. You knew that You had to travel 26 miles to get there, which is a significant distance, especially if it's a journey that you don't frequently make. You should have checked, before you set off for roadworks, diversions etc, to make sure that you had adequate time to get there and then find a parking space; easily done online. You didn't do that and ended up being late: your fault.
The faulty dental work your dentist did for you is a separate issue. If you're aggrieved at the quality of his work, find another or report him to the Dental Association. It sounds as though your time with this particular dentist is over.

Oldwoman70 Sun 30-Aug-20 10:23:19

Dentists are working to a strict appointment timetable, remember after each patient everything has to be deep cleaned, with so many people catching up on dental appointments there would be no vacant slots in the day, so unfortunately if you miss your appointment there is no way they can fit you in. I appreciate it wasn't your fault but neither was it the dentist's fault.

Oldwoman70 Sun 30-Aug-20 10:24:32

Chewbacca crossed posts!

DanniRae Sun 30-Aug-20 10:35:35

I agree with Oldwoman70

Callistemon Sun 30-Aug-20 10:52:02

Ditto what Chewbacca and OldWoman said.

We are not allowed to arrive early so no sitting in the waiting room. The appointments are so spaced to allow for thorough cleaning between patients. Our dentists are working 7 days a week to catch up.


geekesse Sun 30-Aug-20 10:53:24

Sorry, this is going to sound harsh. If you are asking whether you were justified in losing your rag in the dentist’s office and berating the receptionist, no you were not.

I understand the frustration you feel, but the receptionist did nothing wrong, he/she was merely enforcing the surgery’s policy on late arrivals. Behaving badly because you arrived late is ungracious. You really ought to write a note apologising.

If you have a gripe about previous work done by the dentist, that isn’t the receptionist’s fault, either.

What would I have done? Controlled my frustration, apologised for failing to arrive in time for my appointment, and made a new one. But I’d probably have set out earlier - my dentist is over 200 miles away, and I usually arrive an hour early because I factor time for in major traffic delays.

Toadinthehole Sun 30-Aug-20 11:13:58

My dentist is round the corner....usually walk. Why is yours so far away? They are operating so strictly at the minute. Mine has to deep clean after any treatments involving’ splashing’. This takes an hour. Anything else, like a check up, are all put in the same day. I can’t see how he could wait 5 mins. certainly not 45. Surely you’ve done it before and know how difficult it can be as regards parking etc. Sorry, but I wouldn’t have treated you either.

Luckygirl Sun 30-Aug-20 11:27:52

I think you need to find a dentist nearer to your home.

Receptionist should at the very least have been understanding of what had happened; as I am sure you understand the strict rules that are currently governing appointments.

Oopsadaisy4 Sun 30-Aug-20 11:31:27

I hope that you were polite to the receptionist?

If not an apology is in order. The dentist wouldn’t have been able to fill the slot booked for you, you are lucky they didn’t charge you for a missed appointment.

BlueBelle Sun 30-Aug-20 13:32:22

You can’t expect a dentist to still see you when you are 45 minutes late whether it’s your fault or not They have their
appointment scheduled for the day and that’s it I m afraid

If they keep you waiting it’s quite different it may be because they had a difficult or frightened patient or a more complex surgery than expected thats just to be expected sometimes

Do you leave the dentist quietly or do you argue the point you have NO point to argue

If you are not satisfied with the treatment find another dentist but you can’t blame him/her on this occasion

Squiffy Sun 30-Aug-20 13:42:16

You telephone the Dentist to say you are stuck in Traffic and will be late...You are answered with a Answer Machine.

I think that’s the frustrating bit! You tried to contact your dentist, but couldn’t actually soeak to anyone.

Had you been able to do so, they would probably advised rebooking.

PamelaJ1 Sun 30-Aug-20 13:48:47

I’m not a dentist but I do work to an appointment system.

I always remember one Christmas when I went in early to fit a client in. It was a 30min appointment and she was 25mins late.
My next client was waiting and I had a full day ahead.
If I had run 25mins late it would have inconvenienced about 8 people, one or two who may have been on their lunch break.

Yes, although you were a victim of circumstance the dentist had no choice IMO.

My client never returned, she was so cross. ??‍♀️

janeainsworth Sun 30-Aug-20 13:58:16

It sounds as though you’re in the middle of a course of treatment so you’d have difficulty getting another dentist to take you on.

Being late for your appointment will have cost your dentist money as he or she will still have had to pay staff & other overheads.

NotTooOld Sun 30-Aug-20 14:07:46

Oh, dear. No sympathy there, Donna, but they are right. I do think that the receptionist might have dealt with it better, though.

Callistemon Sun 30-Aug-20 14:44:45

I was 15 minutes late once but was told to make another appointment and that was before all the extra difficulties encountered with COVID.
I felt very guilty but there was nothing I could do about it.

annep1 Sun 30-Aug-20 15:09:23

It was very unfortunate. I wouldn't have thought of checking for roadworks or booking parking in advance but I would have allowed an extra half hour travel just in case. If you did that and it wasn't enough then that was really bad luck.
I understand they couldn't see you. As Squiffy said the problem was the phone. Perhaps you should have left a message and they might have got back and told you to rebook..

MerylStreep Sun 30-Aug-20 15:19:04

Before leaving ( or the night before) why didn't you check online to see if all was well, traffickwise in that town.
Particularly so as you had a strict appointment.

donna1964 Sun 30-Aug-20 15:19:30


^You telephone the Dentist to say you are stuck in Traffic and will be late...You are answered with a Answer Machine.^

I think that’s the frustrating bit! You tried to contact your dentist, but couldn’t actually soeak to anyone.

Had you been able to do so, they would probably advised rebooking.

Exactly that Squiffy...Had I got a returned call I could have turned back at the next exit. But, I have then had to go into the Albert Dock and drive to the otherside of the Docks before I could get into a Carpark which was full..and then wait for someone to return so as to get a Carpark space. Then run through the Docks which is some distance to get to the Dentist. I had given myself enough time even knowing there was roadworks. What was worse was I was waiting outside the Dentist whilst the Receptionist went in to speak with the Dentist...she then came out and went and sat at her desk without coming out to tell me what was happening! When I spoke to the Dentist the Receptionist actually said I had said more to her than I did and then in mid sentence the Dentist actually said 'he did not know whether he believed what I told him' and then quickly changed the subject. Because of his comment I think that is why he did see me...I was all of five minutes with him. As yet I have not made a further appointment although I have paid him near on £3000 for the treatment. I was in a right state when I come away... I had not seen the Dentist for over a month.

BlueBelle Sun 30-Aug-20 15:23:55

NotTooOld what actually did the receptionist say wrong according to donna she said you ve missed your appointment we weren’t there to witness if it was said in a rude way, a harsh way or in a sympathetic way donna was in a flux so she probably would think anyone who didn’t say ‘there there‘ was unsympathetic i m sure I probably would too

I m one of those daft people who always get near to the appointment place early and have to find somewhere to hang around tapping my toes but it’s safer

Blinko Sun 30-Aug-20 15:28:52

I think it's a sad state of affairs when someone needs to travel 26 miles to see a dentist. And spend £3k with them. Crikey O'Reilly!

Mine's in our village. Round here, you can get an NHS dentist, no problem. Dear oh dear what a pickle! You have my sympathy.

PinkCakes Sun 30-Aug-20 18:11:02

Why go to a dentist so far away? I wouldn't go 26 miles.

geekesse Sun 30-Aug-20 19:33:33

I had a particularly unpleasant experience with a dentist as a child, and I had great difficulty coping with dentist visits throughout my teens. 40 years ago, I found an NHS dentist who understood, and who helped me use self-hypnosis to control my terror. When he retired five years later, my care was taken on by a delightful newly-qualified dentist. I’ve moved house a few times since then, but I’m happy to drive from wherever I’m living twice a year for check-ups with a dentist I have trusted for 35 years.

I could understand if the OP travelled some distance to a dentist she trusted, but what mystifies me is that she does this for a dentist whose work she finds unsatisfactory.