How Should You Deal With Negative Reviews In Dental Offices?


September 30, 2020




Every dentist enjoys receiving positive reviews from patients, especially from clients who are more challenging. Being faced with negative reviews, however, can be damaging to your practice’s image. How we handle unpleasant reviews may determine whether your office will be able to retain those dissatisfied patients and if other potential clients will be influenced by the reviews . Here are the 3 tips to deal with negative reviews in the dental office.

3 Questions to Ask with Negative Reviews:

  • Is the review from an actual patient?
  • Is the review a reflection of services provided or a different matter?
  • What will it take to resolve the issue so that the patient is satisfied and potential clients are not discouraged?

1. Is the review from an actual patient?

This question may seem surprising, but negative reviews are sometimes posted by competitors to tarnish a practice’s image. If the reviewer is not recognizable, you can directly report it to the site administration and request its removal.

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There are times where patients confuse dental offices and mistakenly post about the wrong practice. Simple clarifications of these errors will let the patient know that they posted about the incorrect office and they can be requested to remove the post accordingly.

2. Is the rating a reflection of services provided or a different matter?

Patients vent out in reviews for a variety of reasons. Some may not be directly related to the services provided by your dental office, but rather corresponding to other matters, like your office not accepting their insurance.

If the patient is complaining about matters that are not a reflection of the quality of service provided, most potential clients reading the review will understand the irrelevance of the post and not allow it to affect their impression of your practice. Regardless, it’s recommended to respond to these types of reviews with a polite request that the poster reach out to your office to discuss their concerns further.

If the negative review is in regards to the quality of service provided, it becomes imperative to respond and follow up in a way that will bring the patient back to your office again, along with a positive clarification for others who are reading the review as prospective clients.

Negative Reviews In Dental Offices

Avoid responding with negativity, accusations or confidential information. It’s extremely vital to reply in a professional and beneficial manner.  Clarifying to the poster that you’d like them to contact your office so that you can listen to their concerns and discuss it further manifests to all those reading the post that you prioritize the quality of patient care. 

3. What will it take to resolve the issue so that the patient is satisfied and potential clients are not discouraged?

Patient satisfaction lies at the core of your practice's success. Deciding on how and when to respond to patient reviews is vital. Your aim is to resolve the dilemma with the disgruntled patient as quickly as possible, while simultaneously preventing potential clients from being influenced by the negative review.

How you respond to negative reviews is a reflection of how you typically handle situations inside your dental office. Sending a message to the poster that you are prioritizing their concerns, will convey a critical message - that you truly care about listening to them and reconciling the matter.  

Many practices have gone a step further to proactively prevent public negative Google reviews before they even happen. This has been done via Reputation Management software that allows offices to send patients a text request for ratings/reviews instantly after checkout.

When patients reply with high ratings, they’ll be made public on Google. Alternatively, when patients submit low ratings they’ll be managed internally by your office, allowing you to survey the patient for feedback, and help improve their review. It’s a total win for your practice.


When handling negative patient reviews of your dental office, keep in mind that the response you post to the review may determine if the poster will return and if potential clients will be influenced by the post.

Always reply promptly and professionally, encouraging the poster to contact your office so that you will have an opportunity to listen to their concerns and agree on an appropriate resolution. 

To be more proactive in management of your online reputation, utilize Reputation Management software, and see a dramatic improvement in your online reviews.

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