A poll of dental practices throughout the UK reveals that the recent snow has meant a massive rise in patients missing out on appointments.
Last week’s online survey found that almost 75% of practices reported an increase in the last two weeks due to the severe weather.
And 75% of these practices reported fail to attends (FTAs) anywhere between 9% and 40% – or in some cases more.
Now dentists are concerned that dental patients, already reducing regular dental attendance as a result of economic belt tightening, will use this as a further excuse to opt out of routine dental care.
The survey was conducted by practice management software company, Software of Excellence, in a bid to verify anecdotal tales of increased numbers of missed appointments.
The vast majority of practices surveyed did manage to open during the period with those forced to close, doing so for anything from one half day to three days, depending on locality.
Brian Weatherly, managing director at Software of Excellence , said: ‘The impact of the bad weather was a quite shocking. Although we knew it would have affected practices we weren’t clear as to the extent. These figures show just how important a rigorous recall process will be for practices in the coming months, to ensure these FTAs do not become lost patients.’