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What happens when a great dentist receives a negative review online?

Here at VivioSites, we are committed to helping dentists portray themselves accurately online. But what happens when a great dentist receives a negative or inaccurate review online?

Many dentists shy away from claiming their review sites as they feel they are opening themselves up to negative reviews. The reality is, patients can review your practice online with or without your consent and by claiming the profiles you are taking control of the conversation. Not claiming your profile on review sites can be more detrimental as this allows your patients, and competitors, to shape your online persona.

Reputation Management

Reputation management is the act of managing and monitoring what is said about your practice online. While many dentists we speak with are aware of what is being said about them online, not many dentists have a strategy on how to address both positive and negative reviews that they receive.

Form an action plan

Your office should have a plan and policy in place for when reviews – negative or positive – are received. Some practices we have spoken with have answered negative reviews defensively and have regretted it. You don’t want to rely on emotion when a negative review comes in. By formulating a response plan before a review is received, you can ensure that if one does arrive you are ready to handle it in a professional manner.


While it is may seem easier not to address an online review, we recommend that your office responds to both positive and negative reviews. When only negative reviews are responded to, it can make happy patients feel ignored. Additionally, potential patients look for responses from the office and only seeing an office respond to negative reviews draws the eye to those same reviews.

Request Reviews

Patients who have, or feel they have had, a negative experience are more inclined to leave a review than those who have had a positive experience. You will need to ask your loyal and happy patients to leave a review about their visit to your office to counteract any less than stellar reviews.

While emailing and soliciting reviews online is a successful strategy, empowering a team member to be a review ambassador can be more impactful. The last person who interacts with a patient before the leaving the office, typically an appointment scheduler or receptionist, should oversee requesting reviews from patients.


Reputation management is an ongoing process. Reviews and mentions of your brand online need to be monitored and responded to on a consistent basis. This helps ensure that your practice is properly represented both in the office as well as on the internet.


Need Help?

VivioSites is committed to helping great dentists find and attract new patients online. One of the most important ways we accomplish this mission is by helping great dentists present themselves accurately online. From soliciting reviews, responding to reviews, and managing your online presence – we can help you manage your online presence effectively.