What Customer Reviews Mean to a Dentist

What Customer Reviews Mean to a Dentist

These days, most people will check out one or more reviews on review sites before reaching out to a dentist’s office. The reason is simple: People want to get a feel for the dentist’s reputation, customer service, and professionalism, and they want an honest assessment, not one influenced by an advertising budget.

Dentists, for their part, love positive reviews. More than anything, honest online reviews encourage more business and help to establish their credibility. Some dentists claim that a single review does their practice more good than several hundred direct-mail flyers or several thousand email advertisements.

But for all that pay-off, even some of the best dentists struggle with online reviews. Why?

Why Good Dentists Struggle with Reviews

Here’s the thing: Honest reviews are hard to come by. Unlike, say, a restaurant that serves thousands of people a month, a dental practice might have only a few hundred regular patients. And while people are all too willing to leave a negative review when something goes wrong, folks often forget to leave a positive review when things go right.

This can be an issue for many dentists. Many smaller, local practices struggle to get a good volume of online reviews for current patients. And when a practice does not have many reviews, new patients are hesitant to try it out, trapping smaller practices in a catch-22 where they need reviews to get more patients, but need more patients to get reviews.

For larger practices, the number of reviews might not be a problem so much as the content. A practice might have 12 reviews that say “Great people in this office!” But it will be the three-paragraph rant from a single disgruntled patient that folks will gravitate toward and read when online. That one rant might be enough to make a new patient “play it safe” and try elsewhere.

So, if you appreciate your dentist and want to help keep him or her in business, here’s what you can do to help.

Write a Review, Even if Not Asked

Most patients that are satisfied with their dentist would happily write a positive online review if asked. But busy dentists often forget to do the asking.

If you have a good experience with your dentist, go ahead and write that review. These days, with smartphones and plenty of public wifi, it’s possible to write a quick review right in the parking lot or waiting room!

Writing a review only takes a minute, but it goes a long way to helping out your dentist and his or her team.

Places to Write Reviews

So where do you leave a review? Remember, people want to know your review is real and authentic. As a society, we’ve learned to distrust reviews left on a company’s own website. Instead, we look for neutral reviewing sites. Here are a few worth using to write your review:

What to Put in Your Review of Your Dentist

Of course, your review should be both positive and helpful. (If you can’t be both, at least be helpful—again, honesty trumps all else when it comes to reviews.)

However, people will want more than just a quick “Great office, love my dentist!” It’s great to share the love, of course. But a good review should help others understand whether your experience applies to them.

For example, your review should mention:

  • What procedures you had done (such as fillings, teeth whitening, root canal, etc.)
  • Who had the procedure done (was it you, your child, your family, etc.?)
  • Anything that was handled particularly well (did the dentist comfort you when nervous?; finish the fillings with minimal pain to you?; did they have a friendly office staff?)

You don’t have to write a novel; just give a few details to help others understand your story.

Let Your Dentist Know

Some dentists might keep tabs on their reviews, but most don’t, preferring to hand off such duties to office staff or even a marketing firm. But that doesn’t mean they don’t love reading positive reviews of their work!

So, if you are proud of your review, feel free to send a note to your dentist to let him or her know. A good review is the best thank-you you could give.

Don’t Have a Review-Worthy Dentist Yet?

No worries—you can use our dentist finder tool to find a dental office near you. Then let us know how your visit goes. Or, just leave a review.