Today a patient who has already cancelled or failed 2 appointments at the college of dentistry (a failure is a no-show without any warning) since he started his root canal treatment almost 2 months ago exhibited very poor manners. He called in this morning to say he was on his way, then didn't come. Then he called and said he would be in after lunch, and then a half hour late called to say he would be in at 2 for his 1:00 patient. I waited around for 70 minutes before I decided he probably wasn't coming. What a waste of time. He never came but said he would "try to come in on Monday." Rude!
Dental appointments aren't like dropping by to pick up your dry cleaning! The dentist or student is waiting on the patient to come. I've never heard of a dental appointment being a spur of the moment thing, like renting a movie or even getting your haircut. We may operate similarly to a hair school in that we are altering parts of your body with sharp instruments at a reduced fee. But, you can't just "see if you'll make it in" or call and say you are "on your way" and then not show for a dental appointment. We aren't a walk-in clinic.
This patient is often necessary to fulfill requirments that must be met for the education to be complete. Not coming to the appointment means that someone else who has a real dental emergency may have to wait weeks for an opening, that the student is out their requirement or an opportunity with another patient, and it costs the school quite a bit of money to re-sterilize equipment and throw out unused paper products, lidocaine cartridges, etc. If we continually get cancelling patients, we may have to repeat another portion of the school year. That can cost thousands to the student and the school! I'm not worried at this point but just cannot understand how you could think that was acceptable behavior.
I could have been doing a root canal on someone else or at least working on lab work that I already have so much of with only 2 patients. Instead, I wasted over an hour so I would be ready when he came. I didn't want him to wait on me. So much for good manners! And, I still have not fulfilled any of my requirments.
I guess someone else can try on Monday when he tries so hard to get in. What does that mean, anyway? "If I can roll out of bed I may be in?"