Dentist Reviews: Amazing Tips on Finding the Best Dentist for 2022


dentist reviews on a cell phone


Before picking a new dentist, most people will take the time to look at dentist reviews. After all, when you’re looking for the perfect top-rated dentist, you’ll want to do your homework and make sure they’re a good fit.

But what should you look for when looking at reviews? Reviews can be a bit overwhelming as there can be a lot of data. For example, at a glance, several dental practices may seem to have similar reviews. Typically, you can glance at the reviews and get a good feel for the dental practice. But sometimes you may want to dig a little deeper.

This article covers methods and strategies for going through dental reviews to make sure you get the most out of them. Regarding the review sites, there are several that are widely used for dentistry. For example, Google, Facebook, and Yelp are some of the most common. Since Google tends to be the most widely used, this article will focus on Google specifically.

Before proceeding with our methods for reviewing dentist reviews, let’s address qualifications. You may be wondering why we’re qualified to give tips on how to best use dental reviews. Not only are we highly skilled shoppers (we’ve probably spent way too much time shopping and reading Amazon reviews), but we have also done a lot of research and talked to many people regarding tips for how to best use reviews. If you’re going to compare dentists, these tips can greatly help you.

Sorting Google Dental Reviews

Google reviews for a business are sorted by “most relevant” by default. Even though Google is incredibly smart, I wouldn’t count on its algorithm to figure out what is most relevant. Instead, it’s helpful to sort by “most recent.” There are several reasons for this.

First, the most recent reviews are most likely the most relevant. Any business can change over time, and what happened five years ago is probably not relevant today.  For example, let’s say a business got a lot of negative reviews five years ago but has since made improvements and now has top-notch customer service. Or the opposite could be true where they had killer reviews a few years ago, but their services have since gone downhill.

Second, it helps to look at trends when reading reviews. This is closely related to the above tip about wanting to see the most relevant reviews. As mentioned above, a business can change over time. For example, if a dental practice has a 4.9 rating on Google, that’s rather good, right? Sometimes that’s the case, but not always. For example, if a business has a 4.9 rating with 300 reviews but received a lot of negative reviews in the past six months, that’s a sign that something changed for the worse recently. You can only see this when sorting reviews by “most recent.”

Dental Practices With Only 5-Star Reviews

If a dental office is genuinely great, it’s normal for it to have mostly 5-star reviews. But what does it mean if all the reviews are 5 stars?

The answer mostly comes down to the number of reviews. If a good dental office has only 20 reviews, chances are good that there will be only 5-star reviews.

However, if there are over 100 reviews and the business has been around for several years, it’s normal to have some 1 star reviews. After all, seeing hundreds of patients makes it probable that a patient will leave a negative review at some point. Maybe a patient is in a bad mood and writes a bad review to feel better. Or maybe there is a misunderstanding, and they choose to write a negative review. And, of course, we’re all human, and everybody does mess up occasionally. So, it’s also possible that a patient will write a negative review when somebody on the team does something they think is incorrect. If a dental practice has a large number of reviews but none with fewer than 4 stars, it could be a sign of something fishy.

Mention Names of Staff on Dental Reviews

It’s great when people give kudos to specific people by name. It’s a sign that the patient really likes them.

Low Average Ranking

An average ranking below 4.5 is rare and suggests there may be underlying issues with the dental practice.

Dental Office Responses to Reviews

It’s important to look at what people say in reviews, but it’s also useful to look at how a dental practice responds to them. There are two main things to look for.

Are the Responses Prompt?

Does the dental practice respond to reviews? If they don’t, that isn’t a sign of a caring, well-rounded dental practice. If they do respond, do they respond quickly or wait months?

How Does the Dental Office Respond to Reviews?

When responding to reviews, what is the general tone? Does it sound warm and caring? If so, that’s a great sign.

Where Should I View Google Reviews for a Dental Practice?

The most common place to view Google reviews is on the dental practice’s Google My Business page, which you can view by searching for that dental office in Google and viewing their reviews directly on there. For example, if you want to see the reviews for Longmont Dental Loft, you can type the business name in Google and the Google My Business page will appear on the right side of the results. The other option is to view the embedded reviews on the dental practice’s website.

If reviews are embedded on a dental practice’s website, they are using a third-party widget to embed them. One thing to look out for is the possibility they’re filtering reviews and only showing those with a certain star rating. Not all dental practices filter out reviews on their own websites, though. For example, Longmont Dental Loft has Google and Facebook reviews embedded directly on our website and shows all reviews. Although there is nothing wrong with filtering reviews, just keep this in mind when viewing them on a dental practice’s website.

What Dental Reviews Should I Pay Closest Attention to?

Although all ratings can be useful, the 2 to 4-star reviews are some of the most beneficial ones to look at because they’re least likely to be “fake.” For example, if somebody has an agenda, they are most likely to give a 1-star review if they want to leave a negative review or a 5-star review if they want to leave a complimentary review. However, a 2 to 4-star review has a greater probability of being an honest one, so pay closer attention to those.

What Dentist Reviews Should I Pay Least Attention to?

1-Star Reviews

Unless there are a lot of 1-star reviews recently, you can pay less attention to these. As mentioned, if all the bad reviews happened a long time ago, they’re probably not applicable anymore. And an occasional 1-star review is normal even for terrific businesses.

Reviews With No Comments

If somebody leaves a review with just a 1-star rating but no comments, how strongly do they really feel about the business? If somebody doesn’t take the time to leave a comment, then it’s a sign they don’t care that much, and you can put less stock into that review.

Look Out for Fake Dentist Reviews

Although rare, sometimes businesses have fake reviews. Obviously, any dental practice can have an occasional fake review, and it doesn’t even have to be the dental practice’s fault. For instance, maybe a patient was upset about something and wrote an incorrect and false review.

But the most likely instance of fake reviews happens when a business hires a company to write fake reviews for them. As mentioned in a MarketWatch article, some of the signs can be an overuse of the words “I” and “me” or using generic names such as Jane Smith without a profile picture.

Negative Dentist Reviews

As mentioned above, it’s completely normal for any dental practice to have some bad reviews. For instance, we have had some at Longmont Dental Loft in the past. Most top-rated dental offices will occasionally have a 1-star review. You can have the best dental practice ever, but if you see hundreds of patients a year, it’s probable that there will be some bad reviews on occasion. A few bad reviews don’t necessarily mean anything negative, but there are some things to keep in mind.

Look at How the Dental Office Responds to Bad Reviews

As mentioned, even terrific dental offices with top-notch service will get 1-star reviews on occasion. How they handle these reviews says a lot about the practice. Being defensive is a bad sign, but showing compassion and understanding is a positive. To sum it up, unless a dental practice gets a lot of bad reviews, it’s the response that will show if the dental practice has shortcomings or not.

Look at the Timeframe of Bad Reviews

Are most of the bad dentist reviews from a long time ago? Are the recent reviews mostly 5 stars? If so, they probably had issues in the past but resolved them.

Are there a lot of recent bad reviews? If so, that’s a bad sign and could mean there’s an issue with the business.

Common Theme of Bad Reviews

Is there a common theme with bad reviews? For example, if all the bad reviews are about one topic, then it increases the chances that there is a real issue in that area.

Pay Attention to What the Review Is About

Let’s say somebody rates a Toyota Prius and gives it a 1-star review because it’s not fast enough. But if you’re thinking about buying a Prius, you probably aren’t expecting it to be super-fast. Instead, you’re more concerned about fuel economy and the environment. Therefore, it’s possible for people to complain about a topic that isn’t important to you.

Summary

Glancing at dentist reviews on Google can give you a fairly good feel for the practice.  However, if you want to dig deeper, there are things you can do such as sorting by “most recent,” looking at trends, and seeing how the dental practice responds to reviews. By using these tips, you can usually confirm if the office would be a good fit for you.