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One of the complexities of having a successful dental practice is the proper allocation of resources between the clinical and business portions of your business. Dental offices receive endless pitches from all manner of marketing agencies offering online and offline miracles associated with lead generation for high-quality patients.

Of course, you cannot embrace every pitch, and not every marketing method may be a good fit for your practice. Properly prioritizing your business resources and your decision-making processes is key to business growth.

Over 90 percent of potential new patients will conduct a search for medical services online. Their search query will most likely return a review site in response to a general search for a dental professional. For this reason, your online review and reputation management should be prioritized. The game of client acquisition is mainly played on review sites, and taking the lead requires purposeful engagement and a commitment to maintaining a superior online reputation.

Leave Your Loose Ends Untied

This is the most common and most dangerous mistake we see from medical and dental practices. It often surfaces as incomplete management of the main review sites and non-awareness of potentially damaging negative reviews in lesser-known websites that are still responsive to search queries.

The range and severity of review site neglect is wide and high, with very few practitioners fully embracing the lead generation benefits as well as the engagement required, to ensure the leads actually convert.

The first step toward proactive and holistic reputation management is the implementation of a review monitoring software platform to scrape and consolidate the reviews that matter most. A good review monitoring system will deliver the review data in a way that allows your office or marketing manager to process and handle the information efficiently, respond quickly, and utilize the insights effectively. A good implementation of the tool is the first step toward leading in popularity and ranking at the most consulted review websites.

(Learn what dental patients really want.)

Tackle The Build-up

We know that is what you do best, and you are always on the lookout for opportunities to address accumulations. In this case, however, we want you to do a historical audit and address negative as well as positive reviews that might have lingered on the Web for many years.

When it comes to acknowledging a customer and tackling a concern, late is better than never. Addressing older overlooked patient reviews is both for the benefit of the reviewer and the benefit of potential future patients. Convey that you care and provide both sides of the story. Some situations, for example a change of ownership on a dental practice, will allow you the opportunity to begin with a clean slate. Investigate the policies and procedures of each review aggregator, and proceed accordingly. If you manage a group practice, and specific practitioners that are no longer with you have received negative feedback, make it a point to clearly indicate the change on your review response.

Clean Up Your Act

Online reputation development, popularity scores, and high rankings on review websites are best managed proactively and way before the client ever turns on their computer. Implement internal processes aimed at optimizing your business model based on the feedback provided by your patients. By taking a customer-centric responsive approach, new patients will experience improved customer service delivery and, in turn, convert their experiences into better, higher ranked reviews. Don’t let the feedback go to waste. It is valuable beyond measure.

Rinse and Repeat

Dental practice online reputation management requires consistent investment and ongoing engagement. It is not a one-time deal. The best-ranked practices are those committed to providing caring, high-quality patient experiences, even after the patient has left the clinic and is engaging with your practice exclusively in a virtual setting. Set goals, schedules, and cycles for every facet of review management, from responding to reviews to analyzing the reviews of competitors.

Kevin Kent

Kevin is the Director of Finance and Operations at ReviewTrackers. Every day he finds creative ways to solve business owners' problems and identifies key issues to help them achieve top results.


  1. Kyle

    I would never go to a dentist that had a bad reputation in an online review. It is hard enough going to the dentist when you know good things about them. If they have unhappy patients, I would not go them.

  2. Chris Green

    It is amazing that there is software to help monitor reviews. It has become so important for business professionals to monitor and manage their online reputation. It is nice to see that there are tools available to simplify these tasks.

  3. twitteraddict05

    On this website I stumbled on the fact that lot of users grade medical staff on their bedside manners rather then on medical expertise. Of course I agree that it is stupid, because I need to be cured not pampered, I will go to my mother’s for that 🙂 However, when it comes to dentists, I always consider both medical and non-medical data about particular dentist. The dentist could be brilliant, but I’m so afraid of dentists that he or she must be pleasant and patient with me. I like children’s dentists, because they know how to handle terrified patients.