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Dentist Problems

  • 19-03-2016 11:42pm
    #1
    Posts: 0 ✭✭ Emilio Angry Grapevine


    Hey all would really appreciate thoughts/people to weigh in on the below


    I am getting braces with a dental practice and have a number of aligners to go through, I am not even a quarter of the way through.

    Here is the issue, every appointment has been cancelled and rescheduled (except the appointment where money was required up front of course!) this was not such a problem however now that my aligners are running out and after appointment to collect my next set of braces was cancelled twice, I am losing my patience.

    The reason for cancellations is meetings, dentist is not around and promotional events. I am guessing all of the cancellations were actually due to promotional events and my appointments have been given to prospective clients.

    Its especially frustrating when I am told in situations where I will run out of aligners to keep old ones in which means my treatment wont finish when it should. I pay each month by direct debit.

    Any insight on what I can do?

    I am afraid this will be a constant issue for the rest of my treatment and would rather switch to another dentist.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,240 ✭✭✭ Oral Surgeon


    I would simply speak to the dentist or practice manager and point out that X number of appointment have been cancelled for no apparent reason and that your treatment has been delayed by y number of weeks as a result.
    Ask if these cancellations are likely to occur again and if so why??!!
    Ask that they make appointment and stick to them in future....

    Hey all would really appreciate thoughts/people to weigh in on the below


    I am getting braces with a dental practice and have a number of aligners to go through, I am not even a quarter of the way through.

    Here is the issue, every appointment has been cancelled and rescheduled (except the appointment where money was required up front of course!) this was not such a problem however now that my aligners are running out and after appointment to collect my next set of braces was cancelled twice, I am losing my patience.

    The reason for cancellations is meetings, dentist is not around and promotional events. I am guessing all of the cancellations were actually due to promotional events and my appointments have been given to prospective clients.

    Its especially frustrating when I am told in situations where I will run out of aligners to keep old ones in which means my treatment wont finish when it should. I pay each month by direct debit.

    Any insight on what I can do?

    I am afraid this will be a constant issue for the rest of my treatment and would rather switch to another dentist.


  • Posts: 0 ✭✭ Emilio Angry Grapevine


    I would simply speak to the dentist or practice manager and point out that X number of appointment have been cancelled for no apparent reason and that your treatment has been delayed by y number of weeks as a result.
    Ask if these cancellations are likely to occur again and if so why??!!
    Ask that they make appointment and stick to them in future....


    Thanks for replying OralSurgeon. When my recent appointment was cancelled for the second time I told her how frustrated I was with this. The receptionist said she would speak to the dentist and call me back. I told her to only email, she said she would but has not.
    There is currently a money off offer running for a while and the appointment was cancelled to book in clients for consults.

    They are also not very accommodating when the 2nd appointment (for early March) was cancelled she said the next one available was the end of April!

    Part of what is included in the price is unlimited appointments. I feel if I am having trouble with my braces I cannot even go into the practice since they will not even keep to my main appointments.

    Do you think if a complaint is made they would transfer me to another clinic?

    I have paid over €1500 and have a direct debit set up for the reminder of the balance


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,545 ✭✭✭ Nicholas Acidic Toxin


    Sounds unacceptable to me, when an appointment is cancelled (which happens from time to time) it should be rearraged asap not a month later. For them to admit they are more interested in new patients than in existing paying patients is very odd.

    Express your annoyance in the strongest way possible, if you get no resolution demand a refund and go elsewhere (ideally a place with a orthodontist that does less promotion and more time treating of patients)


  • Posts: 0 ✭✭ Emilio Angry Grapevine


    Sounds unacceptable to me, when an appointment is cancelled (which happens from time to time) it should be rearraged asap not a month later. For them to admit they are more interested in new patients than in existing paying patients is very odd.

    Express your annoyance in the strongest way possible, if you get no resolution demand a refund and go elsewhere (ideally a place with a orthodontist that does less promotion and more time treating of patients)

    Thanks for your reply! I suppose I am confused about what rights I have here. As in I am unsure if I have a right to request a refund or request to be transferred to another practice. I have sent an email to the practice and am awaiting on a reply.

    I have also sent an email to the Dental Council of Ireland and am awaiting a response.

    I suppose this practice thinks patients might not realise they can finish treatment elsewhere and by giving consults to prospective clients means more money for them


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,926 ✭✭✭ davo10


    Thanks for your reply! I suppose I am confused about what rights I have here. As in I am unsure if I have a right to request a refund or request to be transferred to another practice. I have sent an email to the practice and am awaiting on a reply.

    I have also sent an email to the Dental Council of Ireland and am awaiting a response.

    I suppose this practice thinks patients might not realise they can finish treatment elsewhere and by giving consults to prospective clients means more money for them

    Op, though you can of course elect to have the treatment finished elsewhere, there is no guarantee that another dentist will take on ortho treatment started by someone else nor complete it at the same price you were quoted by your current dentist. Is this a case where the dentist providing the treatment is not based full time at the clinic you attend by rather visits there every month? This is not unusual as often there is not enough ortho patients for a full time clinician outside large urban areas.


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  • Posts: 0 ✭✭ Emilio Angry Grapevine


    davo10 wrote: »
    Op, though you can of course elect to have the treatment finished elsewhere, there is no guarantee that another dentist will take on ortho treatment started by someone else nor complete it at the same price you were quoted by your current dentist. Is this a case where the dentist providing the treatment is not based full time at the clinic you attend by rather visits there every month? This is not unusual as often there is not enough ortho patients for a full time clinician outside large urban areas.


    Hi Davo10, no the dentist is there full time 5 days per weeks with two late evenings a week. I work full time and can only make evening appointments. On the phone when cancelling my appointments the receptionist always moans that they could fit me in anytime but evenings fill up fast and is there any way I can do days, bearing in mind I had booked these appointments and thats no problem when booking but when it comes to them phoning me to cancel they make out I am the inconvenience because I can only do days. I am not willing to take holidays from work for rescheduled appointments because my evening appointments are given to other prospective patients.

    I understand what you mean about problems regarding price difference etc by switching clinic. I am in despair and have lost faith in the whole process.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,926 ✭✭✭ davo10


    Hi Davo10, no the dentist is there full time 5 days per weeks with two late evenings a week. I work full time and can only make evening appointments. On the phone when cancelling my appointments the receptionist always moans that they could fit me in anytime but evenings fill up fast and is there any way I can do days, bearing in mind I had booked these appointments and thats no problem when booking but when it comes to them phoning me to cancel they make out I am the inconvenience because I can only do days. I am not willing to take holidays from work for rescheduled appointments because my evening appointments are given to other prospective patients.

    I understand what you mean about problems regarding price difference etc by switching clinic. I am in despair and have lost faith in the whole process.

    Ah, now that is a different slant on the story. I can tell you that this happens to me, I recently had a hairdresser write me a very narky letter because I couldn't see her on a particular Monday when she was off, but we did offer to slot her in between patients on the Tuesday morning. It is understandable that evening appointments book up far in advance, they are the most popular for the reasons you outlined yourself. I can tell you that you will get short shrift from the Dental Council when the clinic explain that they offered you an appointment at a different time a few days later.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,049 ✭✭✭ digzy


    The reason for cancellations is meetings, dentist is not around and promotional events. I am guessing all of the cancellations were actually due to promotional events and my appointments have been given to prospective clients.

    Sorry...but something isn't adding up here.
    I can count on one hand the number of times I've cancelled patients.
    Usually dentists cancel due to a funeral, illness, new arrival (personal)or else it's due to a technical issue with the equipment or lab stuff not back (dental).

    I find it baffling that any dental practice would basically fcuk you off from an appointment mid treatment to see someone else.....and admit it!


  • Posts: 0 ✭✭ Emilio Angry Grapevine


    davo10 wrote: »
    Ah, now that is a different slant on the story. I can tell you that this happens to me, I recently had a hairdresser write me a very narky letter because I couldn't see her on a particular Monday when she was off, but we did offer to slot her in between patients on the Tuesday morning. It is understandable that evening appointments book up far in advance, they are the most popular for the reasons you outlined yourself. I can tell you that you will get short shrift from the Dental Council when the clinic explain that they offered you an appointment at a different time a few days later.

    I may not have explained that great Davo10. It is not that I am offered appointments a few days later its weeks later.

    Basically during my last appointment in January, (which was also moved around) I booked in for say the evening of March 2nd, I get a call a few days before to say the dentist wont be there and can they reschedule at a time convenient for me, I say no problem I work full time so evening would be best, and then they tell me thats okay we have April 29th. When I told her my aligners would have run out by then she said they could fit me in during the days. I do not think I am in the wrong there. When I had originally been booked in for said date with no problems and then they cancel I do not think its up to me take time off work to see them at a time that suits them when i am paying a fortune for this treatment.

    If they are the ones to cancelling they should try to slot me in as soon as possible and not 6 weeks later at a time I would be without aligners (which they should already know) and would put my treatment plan out by weeks. This appointment that has been cancelled twice is not even going to be 10 minutes long.

    The scenario with the hairdressing client is unreasonable of the client but I think the issue with my dentist is quite different. If you cancelled on your client you would do your best to ensure she was slotted in as soon as possible and not 6 weeks later.


  • Posts: 0 ✭✭ Emilio Angry Grapevine


    digzy wrote: »
    Sorry...but something isn't adding up here.
    I can count on one hand the number of times I've cancelled patients.
    Usually dentists cancel due to a funeral, illness, new arrival (personal)or else it's due to a technical issue with the equipment or lab stuff not back (dental).

    I find it baffling that any dental practice would basically fcuk you off from an appointment mid treatment to see someone else.....and admit it!


    Digzy they did not exactly admit that my appointment had been cancelled for a consult, they said they were busy with promotional events.

    When I looked this up online there are indeed promotions for two days next week where prospective clients are welcome to come in for consults. However neither of these promo days seemed to fall the day of my appointment which is weird to me why it was cancelled due to a promo. So I am guessing that with this new offer on basically anybody who rings gets given a date and current patients are given an excuse about why they are being rescheduled.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,545 ✭✭✭ Nicholas Acidic Toxin


    OP this is not a dental council matter this is not about the dental work its about management of the business. Sort this out as you would any dispute with a business. Write to them. be reasonable and calm. Dont threaten them with the dental council (people dont like being threatened it gets their backs up) and get what you want.


  • Registered Users Posts: 308 ✭✭ Hillmanhunter1


    Here is a guide to how to make a complaint:
    http://www.healthcomplaints.ie/resources/how-to-complain/


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 51,619 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Stheno


    Here is a guide to how to make a complaint:
    http://www.healthcomplaints.ie/resources/how-to-complain/

    That doesn't appear to relate to dental matters?


  • Registered Users Posts: 308 ✭✭ Hillmanhunter1


    Stheno wrote: »
    That doesn't appear to relate to dental matters?

    It is generic, but it sets out the three main steps, complain to the provider (in writing, if it isn't written down it didn't happen), complain to the regulator, and finally recourse to law.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,926 ✭✭✭ davo10


    It is generic, but it sets out the three main steps, complain to the provider (in writing, if it isn't written down it didn't happen), complain to the regulator, and finally recourse to law.

    Because they cancelled an appointment and couldn't give the op another one at a time that suited after work for a couple of weeks? They offered another time a few days later.

    That would make an interesting legal case, court hearings often get cancelled/rescheduled at the last moment so I would imagine a Judge would be on a bit of a bind if he said dentists couldn't cancel appointments, but courts/judges/solicitors can.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,813 ✭✭✭ Wesser


    I think going to the dental council is overkill. Surely the first thing to do is to ask for a clear explanation as to why your appt has been cancelled. Then calmly outline your as you have done here very articulately and clearly. I think if they try to cancel again the just say calmly .... No that's not ok with me.

    A question I have for any dentists out there...
    Why do Braces cost so much?
    I have a treatment plan that will take approx 6 visits, each lasting approx 11 minutes. After 4 of these appointments I will pay 500 euro. Why do braces cost so much? I understand there is wages... Equipment rent heat light etc. a comparable model is to see a GP where you pay only e 50 for your 11 minutes.
    Is it just that dentists have a better profit margin? Or is the equipment just very expensive? How Much is it for an orthodontist to buy a set of modules a brackets for one arch?

    Thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 308 ✭✭ Hillmanhunter1


    davo10 wrote: »
    Because they cancelled an appointment and couldn't give the op another one at a time that suited after work for a couple of weeks? They offered another time a few days later.

    That would make an interesting legal case, court hearings often get cancelled/rescheduled at the last moment so I would imagine a Judge would be on a bit of a bind if he said dentists couldn't cancel appointments, but courts/judges/solicitors can.

    I think you fundamentally mis-understand the nature of statutory complaints processes. The recourse to law is there only for constitutional reasons. Article 34.1 states that: "Justice shall be administered in courts established by law..." The effect of this is that the decisions of every complaints process overseen by a statutory regulator must be capable of being appealed to the courts.

    But it is important to remember that the statutory complaints processes themselves are not court processes and the standards of courts do not apply. Concepts such as treating customers fairly, and the reasonable expectations of customers, are given significant weight.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,926 ✭✭✭ davo10


    I think you fundamentally mis-understand the nature of statutory complaints processes. The recourse to law is there only for constitutional reasons. Article 34.1 states that: "Justice shall be administered in courts established by law..." The effect of this is that the decisions of every complaints process overseen by a statutory regulator must be capable of being appealed to the courts.

    But it is important to remember that the statutory complaints processes themselves are not court processes and the standards of courts do not apply. Concepts such as treating customers fairly, and the reasonable expectations of customers, are given significant weight.

    Have you a link to some case law/decision of the courts/complaints commision on cancellation and rescheduling of appointments? This is not a case of refusal to treat or discrimination, the op was asked if she could attend at an earlier time, if so she would be given an appointment a few days later. Please post a link if you do.


  • Registered Users Posts: 308 ✭✭ Hillmanhunter1


    davo10 wrote: »
    Have you a link to some case law/decision of the courts/complaints commision on cancellation and rescheduling of appointments? This is not a case of refusal to treat or discrimination, the op was asked if she could attend at an earlier time, if so she would be given an appointment a few days later. Please post a link if you do.

    As you well know (or at least I hope you do) the decisions of the Dental Complaints Resolution Service (DCRS) are not published.

    However the DCRS does stand willing to deal with complaints arising from a number of issues. From their website:
    Examples of the sorts of complaint we can look into include:
    • receiving the wrong treatment or poor treatment;
    • poor communication between you and the dentist;
    • the dentist not making clear how much you have to pay for treatment;
    • a delay that could have been avoided;
    • faulty procedures, or the dentist failing to follow correct procedures;
    • the dentist being unfair or biased;
    • being given misleading or inadequate advice;
    • the dentist being rude or not apologising for mistakes; and
    • the dentist not putting things right when something has gone wrong.

    On the face of it several of these criteria might be relevant to the OPs complaint.

    The great thing about an independent complaints process is that it is not for you or I to second guess how they chose to do their job.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,926 ✭✭✭ davo10


    As you well know (or at least I hope you do) the decisions of the Dental Complaints Resolution Service (DCRS) are not published.

    However the DCRS does stand willing to deal with complaints arising from a number of issues. From their website:
    Examples of the sorts of complaint we can look into include:
    • receiving the wrong treatment or poor treatment;
    • poor communication between you and the dentist;
    • the dentist not making clear how much you have to pay for treatment;
    • a delay that could have been avoided;
    • faulty procedures, or the dentist failing to follow correct procedures;
    • the dentist being unfair or biased;
    • being given misleading or inadequate advice;
    • the dentist being rude or not apologising for mistakes; and
    • the dentist not putting things right when something has gone wrong.

    On the face of it several of these criteria might be relevant to the OPs complaint.

    The great thing about an independent complaints process is that it is not for you or I to second guess how they chose to do their job.

    You do realise that the DCRS is not a statutory body and can apply not censure or sanction? It is a service set up by the Irish Dental Association to mediate between patients and participating dentists. If the dentist is not a member of the IDA, the DCRS is useless.


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 933 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Dianthus


    The dentist may well be oblivious to the shambles being made of the appointment book. There is the small but real possibility that this is an administrative/receptionist issue.
    Email the dentist directly outlining your concerns.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,545 ✭✭✭ Nicholas Acidic Toxin


    When it come to complaints people in this country are too shy. Come out and complain in person to the correct person. In this case the dentist. It is only if the dentist refuses to talk to you that you need to take it to a higher power or secondary body.

    Air your grievance calmly, concisely and accurately and await suitable remedial action. So often complaints get blown out of all proportion because people simply wont talk to each others and too much advice from outside "agitators"


  • Registered Users Posts: 1 hawklind


    You are right to be frustrated by the cancellation of your appointments Emilio Angry Grapevine. This issue seems somewhat unprofessional practice, and you deserve better treatment from your dentist. There may not be much you can do about this directly, but you should consider switching dentists if this behavior continues. Good luck!


    Linda Hawk

    dental practice manager

    The Dental Practice Management Agency



  • Registered Users Posts: 10 gdpman


    In reply as a general dentist, it is not the 66 minutes you are really paying for, it is the 5 years undergraduate training (and costs involved) followed by a further 2-3 years postgraduate training fees (and living costs etc) and for the knowledge and experience they have.

    As a general dentist the costs of equipment we have I would consider more than a general medical practitioner, also a lot of the running costs of a GP practice are subidised by the HSE which dentistry cannot avail of, this includes professional indemnity costs, clinical waste disposal , employment of nurses and admin staff, pensions etc etc



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,036 ✭✭✭✭ Dav010


    Check the date of the op guys, I’d say the op is sorted by now.



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