Managing missed and cancelled appointments

Managing appointments

To manage our appointment system effectively and provide high quality service, it is important that patients attend for their appointments as planned. Appointments can be made or rescheduled by calling 01473 254513.

If you have any queries or concerns about an appointment, please call the practice to speak to our team. With enough notice this means that if you need a shorter appointment time or do not want to go ahead with treatment, we are able to offer an appointment to someone else.


Email reminders are sent 2 weeks before an appointment and texts 2 day before. Patients are requested to inform the practice of any changes to their contact details.

Please note text reminders are sent as a courtesy and texts may not be sent/received for reasons out of our control (IT failure, change in mobile number etc). Therefore failure to attend, by not receiving a text message, will not be considered a valid exception of our policy. We will offer a paper appointment card to all patients.

If you are unable to keep your dental appointment, then please call the practice give us as much notice as possible –at least 1 full working day-so that we can offer your time slot to another patient. If less notice is given without a valid reason, the appointment will be considered to have been broken and may incur a charge.

Rescheduling or delay of appointments by the Practice

We will only reschedule or delay a patient’s appointment in unavoidable circumstances, in such cases we will:

  • Contact the patient as soon as we are aware of the need to reschedule or delay and explain the reason why
  • At the time of contact we will offer the earliest next available appointment
  • If the patient is unable to commit to an appointment at that contact, then we will ask the patient to contact us and will book a new appointment at the earliest time available.

Cancellation of an appointment or a missed appointment by the patient

Failure to attend is defined as:

  • Arriving late for an appointment (5 minutes late or more)
  • Not arriving for an appointment
  • Not giving enough notice of not being able to attend (Short notice cancellation)- we generally require 1 full working days’ notice
  • Not arriving for an appointment due to not receiving a text reminder

NHS appointments

Although missed NHS appointments cannot be charged for, we have a very firm policy regarding non-attendance.

Patients who fail to attend two NHS dental appointments are unlikely to be offered any further appointments in line with NHS regulations (missed appointments do not have to be consecutive)

Your dentist can terminate your treatment if you miss your appointment without letting the dental surgery know. You may then need to pay again for a new course of treatment.

Whilst surgeries cannot charge you for not turning up, NHS England has the right to ask you to find another dental surgery if you continue to miss appointments. (What happens when you visit an NHS dentist, 2021

If you miss an NHS appointment and do not attend again within 24 months, we may not be able to see you again. We may be able to place you on our waiting list to contact you when a place becomes available.

Private Appointment – Hygienist

Patients who attend a hygienist appointment will have to pay a reservation fee. This will be half of the appointment fee. If a hygienist appointment is cancelled by the patient at short notice (less than 24 hours) or missed, then his payment will be lost and a new fee will need to be paid before a new appointment can be booked.