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J Clin Diagn Res. 2016 May;10(5):ZC122-4. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2016/17400.7842. Epub 2016 May 1.

Between the Cup and the Lip: Missed Dental Appointments.

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Senior Professor and Head, Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Government Dental College Jaipur, Rajasthan, India .
Consulting Pedodontist, Axis Dental Private limited , New Delhi India .
Assistant Professor, Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Government Dental College Jaipur, Rajasthan, India .
Consulting Pedodontist, Prudent Dental Clinic , New Delhi, India .



Missed appointments are an issue which have been very commonly noticed but overlooked in Indian dental society. Almost every dentist, general or specialized, private or public, has faced this problem in routine practice but very less research has been conducted on this issue in Asian countries.


The aim of this study was to determine the frequency and distribution of missed dental appointments among children and the reasons behind the non-attendance in department of paediatric and preventive dentistry.


Patients under 15 years of age who reported during the period March through August 2014 were included in this study. Attendance data and demographical data for patients was obtained from patient records and the hospital database. The type of treatment patients were to receive was gathered from the appointment diaries of staff, postgraduate students and undergraduates. A structured questionnaire regarding the most frequent reasons given by patients for not attending the scheduled appointment was also prepared. The data were analysed using descriptive analysis.


Of the total 2294 patients 886 patients failed to come on their scheduled appointment. Percentage of patients who missed their appointments was 38.6%. A 38.2% of them required primary teeth pulp therapy. No significant differences was found between genders regarding the prevalence of missed dental appointments. Only 40% dentist witnessed that the most common reason for their patients to miss dental appointment was "no leave from school". Illness was the second frequent excuse heard by dentists (5/20= 25%) from their patients and attendants.


Missed dental appointment was found to be a common issue in paediatric age group. Counseling and motivation is required to be done at first dental visit to reduce the chances of missed appointment.


Children; Missed appointment; No leave from school; Pulp therapy

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