Dentist wearing mask holding medical equipmentA negative online review can seem like a real slap in the face. You are a consumate professional committed to excellence, yet there it is for all the world to see: an unhappy patient griping about a bad experience while in your chair.

You might be tempted to shrug it off. You can’t please everyone, after all. But no one likes unfavorable comments, no matter how mild. Worse, negative reviews have the potential to damage your online reputation. They must not be ignored.

The New Word of Mouth

Online reviews have never been more important to the success of your practice, or to any small business, for that matter. They are the new word of mouth: most people turn to review sites before deciding how to part with their hard-earned dollars, and dental practices are not exempt.

Reputation management experts say that it’s important to reply to every online review you get. Needless to say, that can be very time-consuming, but you must consider the risk of not doing so.

Prompt Reply

Responding to online reviews shows your patients and potential patients that you are concerned, and that the experiences of your patients in your care matter. Replies do not need to be detailed: a simple thank-you to a positive comment is enough.

Negative reivews, on the other hand, need a little more thought. A prompt, reasoned reply to a harsh comment shows a willingness to address an issue. You can invite the reviewer to follow up with a private message, or even a phone call.

As we have said elsewhere on this blog, there can be benefits to negative reivews. Always keep in mind that your replies are there for anyone to see. Never take any negative review personally, and never respond in kind!


ProspectaMarketing is an experienced Internet marketing firm specializing in dental practices. We use the tools of Internet search marketing to help you reach key prospects who are looking for what your practice has to offer. Our unique and thorough approach provides visibility, financial accountability, and ongoing refinement and improvement. You can find out more by contacting Lane Anderson toll-free at 1-877-322-4440 Ext 101, by email using the form on our Contact Us page, or online at