Dr Mark Hassed

Many dentists look down their noses at emergency clients. They regard them as somehow inferior to regular clients and an interruption to their busy day.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

When handled well emergency clients are profitable and an excellent and grateful referral source.

In order to handle emergencies well you need to be staffed and set up to do it. That means you need at least 2 operatories and at least 2 nurses.

Emergencies should be told “We'll see you today but there may be a bit of a wait. Is that OK?”

Genuine people will be grateful.

When you see them don't forget to charge fully for diagnosis. Every emergency should pay for a consultation and an x-ray plus whatever else they have done.

Fit them into the gaps in your schedule. Don't keep people who have an appointment pre-booked waiting. It's the emergency person who must be flexible.

Of course, emergencies must pay on the day of treatment. Cheques from people who have an extraction are likely to bounce, so I would only accept payment by credit card or cash.

But, for all that treating emergencies is well worth it.

They are very grateful and can become excellent referral sources.

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