Why You Shouldn’t Skip Your Dental Appointment

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Your Dental Appointment

Regular professional monitoring of your oral health is a priority.

While most of our patients do manage to maintain regular six monthly appointments with us at our Ipswich dental clinic, we know that this isn’t the case for everyone. There can be a number of reasons for this including ill health, dental anxiety and even other important things cropping up at the last minute. While these are challenges that may, at times, mean that you have to miss your appointment, every effort should be made not to, and where this is unavoidable, such as through illness, a new appointment should be made as soon as possible.

You might be wondering why this is so important and what harm can missing one appointment cause. In today’s blog, we will take a look at this and also explain what to do if you need to cancel your appointment with us.

Early detection

One of the main reasons to attend your dentist for a check up every six months is to ensure that any problems that do arise are detected at an early stage. There is much that you can do to help of course, and what you eat and drink and how well you clean your teeth in the time in between your appointments will be critical to the health of your mouth.

If there is any damage to your teeth, such as tooth decay, detecting it early on may mean that you need little more than a small filling, perhaps one of the tooth coloured ones that we can provide at the Foxhall Dental Practice.  Skipping your appointment would mean another six months for the decay to spread and damage more of the tooth. This would almost certainly mean a larger filling would be needed, or even more extensive treatment such as the placing of a crown. There is also the possibility that you might lose the tooth or at least suffer significant pain as the decay advances and affects the roots of the tooth.

Gum disease

One problem that can certainly advance during this period is gum disease. While your dentist may detect this during your check up appointment, you should also make six monthly appointments to see the hygienist who will not only advise you on how to improve your oral health but will provide a professional teeth cleaning treatment known as a ‘scale and polish’. This is a great way to keep gum disease at bay and provide you with a healthy mouth.

Oral cancer

While skipping an appointment might mean a larger filling, it could also have more devastating consequences for you. We not only examine your teeth and gums during these appointments but also monitor the other soft tissues in your mouth for signs of anything unusual. We are in a unique position to do this and offer a first line protection for serious oral health issues such as mouth cancer. We can’t diagnose this or treat it, but dentists are likely to be the first to see any signs that might be cause for concern.

These might include sore or red patches, changes in colour of the tissue, lumps and abrasions among others. If we detect these, we will refer you to your GP for further investigation. If we do this, it does not mean that we have detected oral cancer and there may be other causes, but given the potential seriousness of this disease, it is essential that you have an early consultation with your GP to detect the cause of the issue and be treated if necessary.


If you do need to miss an appointment for a good reason, we always ask that you give us as much notice as possible. Even if you wake up unable to come that morning, we still request that you call us to let us know. Even at short notice, the dentists at our Ipswich practice  may be able to use your appointment slot to treat someone who is in a lot of pain. We are sure that if this was you, you would be appreciative of being seen quickly.

If possible, we ask for as much notice as possible. For example, if an upcoming trip clashes with your appointment you should call us as soon as you can. We may even be able to fit you in before you go if needed. If you are considering cancelling because you have anxieties about visiting the dentist, please call us also. Our team has treated many nervous patients and we do understand how challenging it can be for some patients. We will be able to discuss ways to help you have any treatment as comfortably as possible.

Remember too, that if you cancel because you are worried about the treatment that you are due to have, such as a filling, cancelling the appointment only delays the inevitable. If you cancel your appointment, what might have been a relatively quick and mildly invasive procedure could well result in something much more invasive and challenging for you. Please don’t stick your head in the sand. If you need to be treated, it is best to do so as soon as possible.

So please, do try to keep your six monthly appointments, and if you can’t then do let us know as soon as possible and also, book a new appointment straight away and don’t put it off.

To make an appointment at the Foxhall Dental Practice, or if you need to cancel one, you can contact us on 01473 258396.