The problem with only needing to see your dentist every six months to a year is that a lot can change with your dentist during that time. Most dentists have the foresight to alert all of their patients to any major changes in the clinic, but sometimes things get so busy that dentists forget. If you schedule an appointment and show up to the dentist's office only to find that your dentist is not there anymore, here is what you can do.
Call the Number You Used to Schedule Your Appointment
While it would be exceedingly rare to schedule an appointment with your dentist two weeks before only to find that your dentist has gone out of business, it does happen. This may be the case with your dentist. Call the number you used to schedule your appointment. If you get a disconnected number message, your dentist is either no longer practicing, or your dentist has relocated to another city where the telephone number would not be the same.
If Someone Answers, Ask Where the Clinic Is Located Now
If you dial the number and get the receptionist, ask them where the clinic is located now. He or she will give you the new address. If you are definitely going to be late for your appointment because of the new location of the clinic, the receptionist may suggest that you reschedule. Most dentists will not allow you to come in more than ten minutes late, even if you did not have the correct address information to begin with.
If the Clinic Went out of Business, Find out How to Get Your Records
The biggest problem with a dentist closing up shop and not forewarning patients is that patients do not get copies of their records before the office closes. This might happen if the dentist does not have any partners and suddenly passes away due to car accident or sudden illness or medical condition. However, you can still get your records. You will have to track down the dentist's family or office staff, since these are the only people that would know where your records are kept. Then you should be able to get copies of the records in order to transfer to a new dentist's office. If the dentist had a partner (i.e., another dentist practicing in the same clinic that moved to another location), then try to track down the partner to get your records.
Contact a new dental clinic to ensure you can continue to get the care you need.