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How to combat a ‘cancellation culture’ in dentistry

dental appointment cancellationShaz Memon explains why now is the time to nip the ‘cancellation culture’ phenomenon in the bud.

It’s fair to say that many of us feel much of 2020 has been cancelled in one way or another – or at least postponed.

This pandemic erased a lot of our plans – from holidays to marking milestones through to new job opportunities and fresh beginnings. It also hit practice appointment books hard. Dentists saw their profits tumble when the government shut up shop in an attempt to manage the spread of COVID-19.

Cancellations became an acceptable face of the coronavirus. While hair grew long and our nights out diminished, dentists and their patients grew impatient for government decision-makers to share guidance and best practice.

Those in pain were forced to self-medicate in the interim until practice doors reopened. Patients seeking more cosmetic procedures were stalled at the starting block with their planned smile makeovers put on hold.

But this cancellation culture did not begin with coronavirus. Patients who decide (for whatever reason) to renege on a booking have long affected dentists. There has been much discussion on whether to charge those failing to attend. Arguably, it can prove a sound preventative policy if a practice faces frequent FTAs.

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