Dentist Reviews: Amazing Tips on Finding the Best Dentist

Dentist Reviews: Amazing Tips on Finding the Best Dentist

Dental 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 will want to do your homework and make sure the new dentist is a good fit.

But what should you look for with dentist reviews?  Looking at 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 in 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 web sites that are used for dental reviews.  Since Google tends to be the most common, 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 looking at reviews on Amazon), 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 Dental Review Default View where sorting is by most relevant

When you pull up Google reviews for a business it’s sorted by “most relevant” by default.  Even though Google is incredibly smart, I wouldn’t count on its algorithm to figure out what I think 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 5 years ago is probably not relevant today.  For example, lets say 5 years ago a business got a lot of negative reviews. However, since then they’ve made improvements and now have top notch customer service.  Or the opposite could be true where they had killer reviews a few years ago, but now have a new dentist and service has gone downhill. 

Second, when looking at reviews it helps to look at trends.  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 pretty good, right?  Sometimes that’s the case, but not always.  For example, if a business has a 4.9 rating with 300 reviews, but in the past 6 months they received a lot of negative reviews, 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 Dentist Reviews

If a dental office is truly 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 to this question mostly comes down to the quantity of reviews.  If an office has only 20 reviews and it’s a good office, chances are good that there will be only 5-star reviews.  Therefore, having all 5-star reviews is normal in this situation.

However, if there are over 100 reviews and the business has been around for several years it’s normal to have some bad reviews.  After all, if you see hundreds of patients it’s probable that a patient will leave a bad review at some point.  For example, maybe a patient is in a bad mood and writes a bad review to feel better.  Or maybe there is a misunderstanding and instead of handling it a different way, they write a review.  And of course, we’re all human and everybody does mess up occasionally.  So, it’s also possible that eventually a patient will write a bad review when somebody on the team does something that they think is incorrect.   If a dental practice has a large amount of reviews but no reviews below 4 stars it could be a sign of something fishy. 


Mention Names of Staff on Dental Reviews

Dental Rating with that mentioned staff names

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


Low Average Ranking

Very rare to have an average ranking below 4.5.  If an average ranking is low (especially lower than 4.5) then there may be underlying issues with the dental practice.


Dental Office Responses on Dental Reviews

Dentist review with a response from the business

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

Are the Review Responses Prompt?

Does the dental practice respond to reviews?  If they don’t respond to reviews that isn’t a sign of a caring well-rounded dental practice.   If they do respond, do they respond quickly, or do months go by without responses? 

How does the Dental Office Respond to Dental 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 are on the dental practices Google My Business Page, which you can view by searching for that dental office in Google, and then viewing their reviews directly in Google.  For example if you would want to see the reviews for Longmont Dental Loft, you could type the business name in Google and the Google my Business page would appear on the right side of the results. The other option would be viewing embedded reviews in the dental practice’s web site. 

If reviews are embedded in a dental practice’s web site, they are using a third-party widget to embed the reviews.  One thing to look out for is it’s possible for them to be filtering the reviews and only showing ones that are a certain star rating.  Not all dental practices filter out reviews on their own web sites.  For example, at Longmont Dental Loft we have Google and Facebook reviews embedded directly on our web site and show all reviews.  However, some dental practices may filter out some reviews and for example only show five-star reviews.  There is nothing wrong with doing that of course.  However, keep this in mind when viewing reviews on a dental practice’s web site.


What Dental Ratings to Pay Closest Attention to?

Although all ratings can be useful, the 2- and 4-star reviews are some of the most beneficial reviews to look at.  And these reviews are 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 bad review or a 5-star review if they want to leave a good review.  However, with a 2- or 4-star review there is a greater probability that it’s an honest review and the reviewer doesn’t have a set agenda.  To sum it up, pay close attention to the 2- and 4-star reviews.


What Dentist Reviews to 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 as mentioned, an occasional 1-star review is normal even for terrific businesses.

Reviews with No Comments

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


Lookout for Fake Dentist Reviews

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

Of course, the most likely instance of fake reviews would happen by a business hiring a company to write fake reviews for them.  As mentioned on a MarketWatch article some of the signs can be overusing the words “I” and “me” or using generic names such as Jane Smith along without a profile picture.


Bad Dental 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 and if you see hundreds of patients a year it’s probable that there will be some bad reviews on occasion.  Having a few bad reviews doesn’t necessarily mean anything negative.  Of course, there are some things to look at. 

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 say 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 got that resolved.  Therefore, there probably is nothing to be worried about. 

Are there a lot of bad reviews recently?  If there is a large cluster of bad reviews that recently happened, that’s a bad sign and could be a sign that there is an issue with the business.

Common Theme of Bad Reviews

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

Pay Attention to What the Dentist Review is About

Let’s say somebody rates a Toyota Prius and gives it one star because it’s not fast enough.   Obviously 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.  The moral of the story is it’s possible for people to complain about a topic that isn’t important to you.  Therefore a 1 star may not be of concern to you if it’s about a topic that you don’t feel strongly about.


Summary

Typically, when you glance at dentist reviews on Google you can get a pretty good feel for the practice.  However, if you want to dig in 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. 

Responsive image



the loft

© 2021 Longmont Dental Loft. All rights reserved.