Patient Acceptance Policy
Terms and Conditions
This is an outline guide of our terms and conditions under which we strive to ensure a good working relationship with our patients. Patients are seen at our Practice according to the terms and conditions we have set. We reserve the right to vary the terms and conditions from time to time.
We also refer you to the Patient Information folder kept in the waiting areas of the Practice, which contains details on useful information for patients.
Information for patients is also available on our website. If you require clarification on any matter, then please ask to speak to the receptionist in the first instance or the Patient Manager at our Practice for further information.
Booking your appointment
We will try to offer you a suitable appointment, and with your usual dentist for continuing care. You may refer to the practice information leaflet or website for details on the working pattern of your dentist. In case of a dental emergency, we will do our best for you to be seen by your usual dentist, however, they may not be available on that day in which case an alternative dentist may see you.
When we start your course of treatment, we will provide you with a treatment plan, indicate costs, and will want you to finish that course as soon as is possible to maintain oral health. Therefore, we would expect you to be able to return as advised and required.
Owing to the high demand for our services at specific times, we cannot always offer the most convenient time for appointments. Patients are expected to free up time in order to attend their dental appointments. Appointments are offered for booking if mutually convenient for the dentist and the patient.
Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, there may be a waiting period before you will be seen. If we cannot offer you an appointment because of limited capacity, you will be advised on available options for you at that time.
We need you to arrive at or just before your appointment time. You will be required to confirm your personal details such as your address, telephone numbers including your mobile and personal email address with the receptionist. The receptionist team will need to be made aware of your mobile and email contact preferences. It is usual for dental practices to use digital technologies to communicate with their patients. You may wish to take advantage of receiving courtesy messages about the time and date of your dental appointments. You will be required to declare your contact preferences when checking in.
Your appointment with the dentist
The dentist will try to see you as soon as is reasonably possible. The nature of dentistry means that we may run behind schedule; however, we will keep you informed if there is an excessive wait. That way you can make the choice of waiting for your treatment or rescheduling the appointment if that suits you better. If you arrive late, then you are unlikely to be seen by your dentist, as this can have a severe impact on the rest of the day for subsequent appointments. Patients who regularly arrive late for their appointment will not be offered dental care at our Practice.
2. Failing to attend, cancelling or changing your booked appointment
Failing to attend
It will be your responsibility to make a diary or calendar note of all the booked appointments you make. The Practice will not take the responsibility to remind you of your booking. We have a high demand for services and therefore will not see patients if they fail to keep two appointments or cancel at short notice ie less than 24hours on 2 occasions. However, we may see them on a private basis. This will apply to all patients.
Cancelling or changing your booked appointment
The Practice requires you to give a minimum of 24 hours notice if you wish to cancel or change appointments. If you provide us with as much notice as possible, we can then avoid wastage of clinical time.
Patients who book and either fail to attend or cancel with less than 24 hours notice are charged at the hourly rate as published on our website.
3. Dental emergency care or Your urgent care and treatment needs
The practice operates a triage for assessing how quickly you will need to see the dentist. Examples of true dental emergencies are a swollen face due to an abscess, uncontrolled bleeding and trauma to the teeth and tissues. These patients will be encouraged to attend often immediately without delay.
Dental Pain can be of varying severity and will not be classed as a true dental emergency unless it is a symptom that accompanies a true dental emergency as outlined above.
If you need to see the dentist in an emergency and during surgery hours, please telephone the Practice as soon as you become aware of the problem and we will make every effort to see you as soon as possible during surgery hours. We will try and book this appointment with your usual dentist; however, the dentist may not be available on that day or is fully booked and therefore an alternative dentist will see you.
For emergency treatment outside normal Practice hours, please telephone the Practice to receive the details of the emergency dental services. This may mean that you have to travel to another nearby town to see a colleague, and it is best if you are accompanied by a relative or a friend. It will be up to you to make any necessary arrangements such as travel and agreement of the cost of emergency treatment to be provided by the emergency dentist. Any treatment received in an emergency elsewhere will be separate from our Practice.
Your urgent care and treatment needs
Your urgent treatment need would be a treatment that can wait for a period without risk to your general health. Examples of your urgent treatment need could be recementing a crown, lost fillings, sensitivity etc. An appointment will be offered depending on available times on that day, and capacity.
Available appointments may not be on the same day of your notification if it is agreed that you can wait to be seen. If you request, a dentist will be happy to offer any advice you need over the telephone before you are seen.
4. Payments Policy
A guide to the current cost of dental treatment is displayed in the patient information booklet available in the waiting areas of the Practice. Your dentist will discuss the likely treatment cost. This estimate can vary if your treatment plan needs to be changed at that point in time.
Method of payment
We accept cash or debit cards and credit cards.
You are required to pay the whole cost at the very beginning of your new course of treatment, that is the first appointment for that course of treatment. However, some private treatments can be paid as and when the treatment is done.
Patients who are in arrears with payments and who do not offer to pay within two weeks of receiving treatment, may not be seen again at the Practice. Patients have a choice of finding an alternative dental practice.
If you have overpaid for your course of treatment, we will make every effort to settle the overpayment as soon as is possible. Refunds will be issued by cheques or credit /debit card refunds following internal authorisation. You may be entitled to a refund if you initially decided to proceed with a course of treatment, but then changed your mind not to proceed. In such cases, as each course of treatment is different, we check your details and will refund any overpayments.
5. Recall and Maintenance
Recall for continuing care arrangements
At the end of an examination if you do not need treatment or at the end of a course of treatment, your dentist will discuss with you when you will need to see him/her again in order to help you maintain and better your dental health. (for example, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months etc before you need to return for a new course of treatment). We highly recommend you keep to the interval that the dentist advises. It will be up to you to book your recall appointment for maintaining your oral health.
Your oral hygiene routine and preventive advice
The outcome of any treatment will depend very much on your maintenance by following the recommended oral hygiene routine and preventive advice, including any dietary precautions. Our expectation would be that you follow these, and if you are unclear on any routine, you obtain clarification from your dentist. If you do not follow the dentist’s advice, your oral health may deteriorate.
Your dentist will expect you to follow instructions to try and avoid possible problems or complications that can occur after treatments.
6. Information about you
Should any of your personal details change, we require you to inform us as soon as is possible. The current details we require from you include your address with postcode, telephone numbers including mobile numbers and email addresses (for children we require contact details for the parent or guardian). All details will be kept confidential. The privacy notice is available on our website, or you may ask our receptionist for a copy.
The dentists follow good practice guidelines. One of our protocol for safe dental care is that we require patients to tell their dentist about their medical history including any changes. It may help to bring a current repeat prescription form with you. We will ask you about the exact names of medications you are currently taking if any. The dentist will expect you to complete a confidential medical history form, and answer a lifestyle questionnaire to determine risks to health and can offer advice.
7. Information for Patients
Practice information leaflet
This leaflet provides useful details about our Practice. Copies of the latest leaflet are available from the receptionist and is published on our website
Patient information booklet
The Information regarding our Practice policies and protocols that apply to our patients is kept in a Patient information booklet in the waiting areas of our Practice.
Should you require detailed information on any subject matter, you should direct your communication to The Patient Manager of the Practice.
8. Your Feedback and Complaints
Contact with Patient Manager
In this practice, we take patient concerns and complaints very seriously indeed. We try to ensure that all patients are pleased with their experience of this service. When patients complain, they are dealt with courteously and promptly so that the matter is resolved as quickly as possible. Patients with concerns or complaints are encouraged to either asking to speak to the Patient Manager or in the absence of the Patient Manager, you may speak to the Business Manager. It may be that you want to submit a written complaint, in which case please write to our Patient Manager at the Practice address. Full details on how to complain are published on our website.
9. We do not tolerate abuse to any team member
Please note we reserve the right to refuse dental treatment. We do not tolerate verbal or physical abuse at any level. Patients who are violent or abusive to practice personnel, to other patients or anyone else on the practice premises will be refused treatment and reported to the appropriate authorities including the police.