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Get Noticed the Right Way: The Impact of Patient Reviews on Dental Practices

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Feedback and reviews are essential for a business as they help improve quality and lead to professional development. It goes without saying that good reviews and feedback generates positive behaviour, and negative reviews create an opposite effect.

The same applies to a dental business. Creating a solid reputation online is necessary today. Without one, your reliability score can take a hit. Ergo, you need good reviews and ratings to attract and retain customers.

This article will explore the utility of adding online reviews for a dentist, benefits, and the steps to deal with negative reviews.

Do People Still Read Online Reviews?

Yes, they do. Even though people have access to an unlimited amount of information on the web, they go through the reviews of a product or service to get first-hand user-generated information about the same.

That’s why you need to include reviews in your dental marketing efforts.

People use the internet to find information about a business or find a new business in their city. According to a 2020 BrightLocal survey;

  • 93% of respondents used the internet.
  • 34% of them are using it to find a new business every day.

In addition to this, 87% of the customers read and trust these online reviews—a figure which has increased from 81% in 2019.

This means that creating intuitive websites, catchy landing pages, and launching campaigns is not enough. All these elements of dental advertising are created by the business owner, a fact very well known by the customers.

Online reviews, on the other hand, get more trust from the community as they are user-generated. That’s why 79% of the customers trust online reviews as much as they rely on personal recommendations from friends, colleagues, and family.

This becomes even more important for a dentist as you are dealing with a person’s health and wellbeing. So, they wouldn’t visit your clinic randomly just because your Dental SEO and Google Ad is performing well.

Now that you understand the value proposition of online reviews let’s find out the benefits of the same.

Understanding the Impact of Online Reviews

People want to engage with businesses that listen to them and understand their preferences. And online reviews are one of the many ways to do that. Reviews as a part of your dental marketing efforts is an opportunity that you wouldn’t want to miss.

Here are the reasons why you must consider including online reviews on your dental websites.

Engagement with Patients and Customers

Every review added on dental websites represents a type of communication extending into a relationship. Customers choose to interact with a business in two scenarios, either they like your service or don’t like it.

Irrespective of the reason, when a customer adds a review, you get the opportunity to respond. If it’s a good review, you can acknowledge that, show gratitude and influence them to revisit.

In case it’s a bad review, you have the chance to address their concern and show other customers that you are ready to help your patients resolve every issue.

Establishing this connection with your patients/customers means you can also earn more revenue. Because businesses that engage with their customers get 23% more revenue than non-engaged ones.

Social Proof

Reviews represent social proof in action. While a patient is searching for a new dentist in the city, reviews can influence their decision. This is because they can access the information they need or “find authentic experiences” from dental websites.

As a result, review guides a patient’s decision and helps formulate their behaviour in your favour or against if the reviews are not good. Just as we are talking to friends and family to know their opinion of something or some services in person or via social media, reviews automate this process with a difference that reviews are added by random people.

Create Customer Loyalty

When a patient takes time to leave a review for your business, it shows the impact you have on them. This also means that these customers will keep on coming back again and again to build a relationship.

More importantly, the power to leave reviews and help impact other people’s decisions is empowering. Customers take the option to leave a review as a responsibility to guide others.

This sensitivity towards a service that caters to another person’s well being is what drives them to share the good and bad of the services provided. Now the onus of providing a good service and attracting a positive review is on you.

Reviews Make You and Your Business Visible

Being visible on the internet and achieving success are interlinked. Search engines like Google have specific ways to index dental and rank them based on some parameters.

Marketing for dental clinic

One of those parameters is the generation of original and user-generated content and reviews. The algorithms utilised in indexing and ranking the websites favours online reviews keeping your brand on the surface, making it more visible than others.

Reviews Gain Trust

Positive reviews are not only good for dental marketing, but they build trust. We say this because customers would not trust a business that has less than 4-stars.

As you can see in the image, 92% of people won’t trust a business with negative reviews. That is the true impact of getting good reviews for your dental practice, and that’s why positive reviews should be a priority for dental marketing.

Customers not only leave reviews online but will also talk about your dental practice among their friends, called word of mouth. This creates a ripple effect in the community.

People trust this because the information comes from an authentic source. It can be a patient or the patient’s relative, friend, colleague etc. The point is that reviews resonate in society. The word of mouth thing has more impact in smaller cities and towns than bigger ones.

Reviews Have an Impact on Sales

This may be hard to believe, but reviews (good or bad) can have an effect on your business revenue. Dental businesses with better reviews and ratings can expect an increase in sales than those with negative reviews.

Not just reviews, but an improvement in the ratings can also impact sales. A Harvard Business School study found that improvement in the business rating by one-star on Yelp.com can increase sales by 5% to 9%.

Reviews Lead to More Reviews

Businesses that have substantial online reviews encourage other customers to leave reviews. This is good for you because your dental marketing efforts will be complemented with more user-generated content.

Online reviews matter for every sort of business, even more so for a business in the healthcare industry. With people getting better at using the internet for doing everything under the sky, reviews and ratings can become a game-changer for your business.

While good and positive create a positive impact, the negative reviews are bound to reduce trust and do the opposite of every point we have mentioned above. In the latter scenario, you need to do some damage control and address the customer’s complaints. Let’s see how to handle negative reviews and prevent losing your reputation.

Negative Reviews and How to Tackle Them

In the medical and healthcare industry, 89% of potential customers look at reviews, and 87% believe that reviews are critical in this industry. In this scenario, one negative review can undo a substantial amount of your dental marketing efforts.

Hence to prevent taking a big hit, you need to know how to handle negative reviews and prevent reputation damage.

One of the best ways to respond to a negative review is by replying. 53% of the customers expect you to send a reply to their negative reviews within a week. Any later than this, your reputation will further deteriorate.

This simply suggests that your patients or customers need you to listen to their issues and take appropriate action. Three things are set in motion when you reply to one negative review;

  • You give context to the patient’s complaint – Acknowledgement.
  • You can mitigate the downfall from the negative review – Understanding.
  • You can show that you value your customers – Action.

With this approach, a negative review becomes an opportunity to demonstrate the importance of a customer and provide proof about your company’s principles and ethical approach.


Online reviews and ratings are integral to your dental marketing campaigns. It has become important to build your brand, enhance its reputation and create an open channel for communication between the brand and customers.

By getting more positive feedback, ratings, and reviews, you can influence your sales, customer base, and reputation. Ultimately, it creates a narrative about your brand in the market and associates your dental practice with the specific qualities.