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When are the Worst Times to Send Dental Appointment Reminders?

by | Jun 22, 2023 | Dental Appointment Reminders

When are the Worst Times to Send Dental Appointment Reminders

Dental practices strive to improve appointment attendance and optimize patient engagement to sustain profitability. Studies say even a single missed appointment per day costs your dental practice up to $30,000 annually.

Sending dental appointment reminders to your dental patients is an easy and cost-effective way to minimize missed appointments and no-shows for your practice. 

A study by Sesame Communications shows that sending dental appointment reminders helps reduce no-show rates by 22.95%.

However, not all times are appropriate when scheduling reminder emails and texts for your patients.

This article will explore the worst times of day, week, and month to send dental appointment reminders and why they are inappropriate. 

We will also look at why timing matters, and by the end of this article, you will know when to schedule your dental appointment reminders for optimal results.

What is the Ideal Frequency for Sending Dental Appointment Reminders?

Sending dental appointment reminders is vital to improving your practice’s bottom line and patient experience. 

A study by Cureus Journal of Medical Science shows that 24.3% of dental patients cite forgetfulness as the reason for their missed appointments

Each missed appointment is detrimental to your practice’s productivity and the patient’s oral health. 

At the same time, sending dental appointment reminders via text and email minimizes no-shows by 1.90% and 2.68%, respectively.

Appointment reminders boost adherence to treatment schedules for dental patients. 

However, the frequency of appointment reminders you send out can directly affect your patient engagement and retention. Therefore, finding the optimal balance between staying in touch with patients and being too frequent or intrusive with communication is essential.

Email is an excellent choice for those who prefer the written word, while text messages are best suited for those who need a quick reminder or do not check their emails often enough. 

As an industry best practice, you must send email reminders 2-3 times after appointment booking. 

The recommended timing is a few weeks before the visit date and a few days before a dental appointment. 

At the same time, you can send text messages or SMS reminders a few days and hours before the visit. 

However, it is crucial to be consistent with your dental appointment reminders, while the mediums may vary depending on the preference of your patients. 

4 Worst Times to Send Dental Appointment Reminders

Dentists should always strive to send reminder messages that are timely yet respectful of their patient’s schedules. 

Spreading out the emails and messages over a few weeks and days ensures patients always have ample time to cancel or reschedule the appointment if needed. However, certain times can be considered inappropriate and even annoying for patients. 

You must avoid sending dental appointment reminders at the following times:

Early Mornings

Most patients respond poorly to emails or text messages during the early mornings, making it one of the worst times for dental appointment reminders to be sent to them

In addition, it is disruptive as they are either trying to get ready for work or starting their daily chores. 

The early morning hours are usually hectic for most people, and the appointment reminder might be ignored or missed. 

Therefore, you should avoid sending dental appointment reminders between 4 AM and 8 AM. 

The next couple of hours must also be avoided as they are usually devoted to reaching their office or more productive tasks.

A better time slot may be 10 AM to Noon when people are more likely to read and act upon the reminders. 

In addition, they will have access to their schedule and can quickly check their calendar before sending you a confirmation.

Late Nights

Like early mornings, late nights are also one of the worst times dental appointment reminders can be sent. People prefer spending this time with family or maybe preoccupied with their leisure activities after office hours.

It is better to refrain from sending dental appointment reminders between 10 PM to 6 AM as these are usually considered unsociable and intrusive times of the day. In addition, most people are generally in a night of deep sleep after 10 PM, and sending out reminders during these hours may not be effective.

The ideal time slot for sending reminders should be from Noon to 5 PM. 

Patients can confirm or reschedule their appointments during these hours based on their other commitments. Beyond these hours, patients might be commuting from their office to home.


Most people take weekends off from work and will check their emails on Monday morning. Hence sending out reminders on Saturday or Sunday will be futile.

You should also avoid sending dental appointment reminders over the weekend because this period is usually reserved for family time and rejuvenation. 

In addition, patients may not pay attention to the reminders or even find them annoying. 

Monday to Thursday are the best days to send dental patient reminders

You are more likely to receive a confirmation or rescheduling response to your reminders on these days.


Sending dental appointment reminders during a holiday is also generally a bad idea since most patients will be away from home or celebrating with their loved ones. 

In addition, they may miss the reminder message as many would not have access to a computer or their phones during holidays.

In addition, holidays tend to disrupt daily routines. So even if people did receive your reminder while away from home, they might forget about it when they return home. Also, their chances of responding to your reminder during the holiday are significantly less.

It is best to avoid sending reminders on and before holidays. However, you must send reminders right after the holidays. 

Even if you have already received a confirmation from the patient before the holidays, it would be better to send a reminder again. But, of course, you must take a new confirmation after the holidays too.

Final Thoughts

Dental offices must carefully consider the timing when sending out dental appointment reminders. For example, sending reminders at unusual hours is ineffective and results in a poor response rate since many people avoid such tasks during these times. 

Furthermore, if appointments are scheduled for early mornings, sending reminders too close to the appointed date may leave too little time for rescheduling if needed.

The benefits of dental appointment reminders are significant. First, they ensure patients do not miss out on their oral health care. 

Additionally, timely reminders help patients plan and prepare for their upcoming appointments.

Dental practices can maintain higher patient retention rates by keeping them informed of the next steps of their treatment plan. 

Study shows dental offices that communicated with patients at least seven times in 12 months, referred to as “7/12” touchpoints, reported an increase of nearly 87% in active patients

In addition, you can improve efficiency by minimizing last-minute cancellations or no-shows. 

Finally, appointment reminders can help reduce the time dental offices spend on administrative tasks related to scheduling and rescheduling. 

By automating appointment reminders, dentists can increase efficiency and ensure all patients receive the necessary notifications about upcoming visits. 

Furthermore, automated appointment reminder technology helps streamline communication between dental offices and their patients. 

As a result, it saves time while increasing customer satisfaction rates, as patients are less likely to forget or miss necessary appointments due to a lack of communication. 

Yapi offers automated appointment scheduling and reminder software. It is a cost-effective solution that increases customer satisfaction rates and improves the overall patient experience at your dental office.

Yapi is the right solution for your dental office because:

  • The platform is easy-to-use and integrates seamlessly with existing practice management systems
  • It helps manage and schedule appointments with maximum efficiency
  • It also reduces the amount of time spent on administrative tasks related to scheduling. 
  • You can customize reminders and their text to fit patient preferences and your dental office needs.
  • It has settings to help you avoid the worst times for sending appointment reminders.

With Yapi, you can easily manage your appointments, reduce administrative tasks related to scheduling, and customize and send automated appointment reminders as per preferred times. 

In addition, it helps optimize your staff’s time by ensuring that all time slots are full. 

The platform comes with detailed reports to help you identify any gaps in performance and make necessary improvements to offer an improved patient experience. 

Try Yapi today to get started on improving the overall efficiency of your dental office.