Emergencies, by their very nature, are unforeseeable when planning time allocation in the surgery. It is the policy of this practice to have a certain amount of time allowed in each day’s schedule to facilitate the provision of emergency treatment if necessary. A genuine emergency case will always be seen, but due to the obligation of treating patients with appointments punctually, the unscheduled patient may have to wait for some time.
Emergencies out of hours can be facilitated by leaving a message on our answering machine. This is checked periodically and the patient contacted by telephone to arrange a suitable time for attendance at the surgery. There is a call-out charge of €60.00, in addition to the fee for any treatment provided, for this service. This service, in a single-dentist practice such as ours, is limited by the availability of the dentist. If the dentist is unavailable the answering machine will not invite the caller to make use of the emergency service.
Most dental emergencies can be treated initially by the provision of pain-relief and/or infection control. If the dentist is unavailable it is suggested that advice be sought from a general medical practitioner, a pharmacist or, in severe cases, the accident and emergency department of a hospital.
Appointments can be arranged in person or by telephone. E-mail should not be used to arrange appointments. It is our policy to see patients with appointments on time. Time is allocated for each appointment and cannot be exceeded at the expense of the following appointment except in exceptional circumstances, therefore punctuality is appreciated. It will be understood that due to the nature of practice the allotted time may be exceeded on occasion and subsequent appointments may be delayed. We strive to avoid this.
Making an appointment is a commitment to attend the practice at a given time and that commitment should be honoured. Appointments which cannot be kept should be cancelled a minimum of 24 hours in advance. This allows others to make use of the surgery time. Uncancelled and unattended appointments thoughtlessly deny that time to others, are a waste of clinical time and are charged for.
Arriving late for an appointment causes all subsequent appointments to run late and may mean that no treatment can be provided at that appointment. A late arrival may be considered an uncancelled appointment.
Once an appointment has been made it is the policy of this practice to charge a fee for any appointment that is unattended without 24 hours notice. This fee is currently €30.00 per 30 minute session. This is intended to defray our overhead costs for the time reserved for the appointment.
If notice is received less than 24 hours before the appointment no charge will be made if another patient subsequently fills the appointment. If no notice is received a charge will always be made, and further appointments will not be made until the charge has been paid. Patients making appointments will be informed of the charges for late cancellations and non-attendance, and advised that any rescheduling of appointments should be notified at least 24 hours in advance, to avoid a charge. The application of the charge will be at the discretion of the practice.