A funny thing happened to me yesterday.  I was on my way to a card game with my friend, Sue, who I have known since elementary school.  She told me how mad she was at her dental office.  

She had a problem with a tooth so she made an appointment with the dentist.  She had a checkup and it seemed that it had been 4 years since she had any x-rays and a dental visit.  

The dentist told her that she now needed to go to an endodontist for a root canal and then it would be followed by a core build up and a crown.  She was shocked.  This is a woman who had great teeth for her whole life.  She had a few fillings and that is all.  She even said that her son and her daughter also needed a root canal recently.  She was wondering if it could be hereditary!

I took a deep breath and told her that it absolutely was not heritary, in fact, it was due to plain simple dental neglect!! Previously she and her husband would come for their dental appointments together, and the dental office may have contacted her husband, but she personally never received a phone call to make a checkup appointment in those 4 years!  She felt like the dental office let her down, and did not take care of her.

So, be sure that your patients are being called by your staff and informed about what will happen if they do not come into the office for a checkup. Root canals! Extractions! Periodontal disease! Be frank with your patients.

If you do not have room in your hygiene schedule, figure out a way to create more treatment rooms and more hygiene appointments.  Your patients are counting on you to take care of them!