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Can bad reviews be good for your dental practice?

It seems counter-intuitive, but a few negative reviews can have a positive impact on your dental practice. While most dental practices are focused on amassing a large number of positive reviews, a few negative reviews can bring issues within the practice to light. For example, some of your patients may be experiencing long waiting room times, but are too polite to mention it to you during their appointment. If left unresolved, the long wait times can result in dozens of negative reviews that may deter new patients and lose current ones.

Silver Lining

While no one wants to receive negative reviews, they can help you to improve the quality of your practice. Using the above waiting room example, one negative review about long wait times brings the issue urgency and gives you, the dentist, a chance to address it with your staff before it becomes a larger, practice-wide problem.

Saving Face

Whenever a negative review is received, an initial reaction is to become defensive and make excuses. The truth is handling a negative review with grace in a public forum can GAIN you patients. When replying to a negative review, acknowledge the issue in your response and offer a chance to rectify the situation. Potential patients who see your proactive and kind response will feel more comfortable visiting your office once they see how you handle a negative review calmly and professionally.

Reputation Management

As mentioned above, one or two negative reviews can have a positive impact on your business but should  not be the majority of your online reviews. A few negative reviews can easily be buried by  many positive reviews and can also help potential patients feel like they have a better idea of how your practice operates.  Here are just a few ways to get more reviews on your online profiles:

  • Ask! Each member of your staff should be reminding patients to leave a review as they exit the practice.
  • Remind! It is easy for a patient to forget to leave a review. We recommend sending an email to your patient an hour or two after their appointment requesting to leave a review online.


Need help? VivoSites offers reputation management services for practices of all sizes. We can help you monitor, manage and solicit reviews online.