Dentist Review Websites You Should Know

We’ve been talking about online reputation management for dentists on consumer review websites.

We recommend monitoring what patients are saying about you on the Internet, but not taking it too seriously. Freaking out or filing lawsuits isn’t likely to be in your best interest.

The Players

If you want to find out what people are saying about you, you need to know where to look. Here are the major players in the public dentist review business. To give you a sense of each site’s scope, we’ve seen how many dentists are listed for two sample areas: San Francisco, California, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Note that the numbers may not be directly comparable, since some sites provide results only for a specific city, while others search the entire metropolitan area.)

Though most of these sites are national, each geographic market has its own favorites. Ask around to find out which site is preferred by people in your area.

Yelp (1,660 dentists in San Francisco, 280 in Milwaukee)
Firmly entrenched in the San Francisco area, Yelp serves 24 urban markets in the US. These days, Yelp is generally considered to be the industry leader in the consumer review category. The site covers all sorts of businesses and professionals.

Angie’s List (500 dentists in the San Francisco and San Jose area, 300 in Milwaukee)
This site is different in that there is a small monthly fee in order to view reviews. This site is especially popular in the Midwest.

DR. Oogle (850 family dentists listed for San Francisco, 80 family dentists in Milwaukee)
This website calls itself “The Good Dentist Guide” and specializes in dentist reviews, boasting over 100,000 reviews and more than 5,000 registered dentists. It is based in San Francisco, but serves most major metropolitan areas. Some San Francisco dentists have hundreds of reviews. The site does allow dentists to reply to comments and remove their listings. It may display information on high-ranking dentists on competitor’s listings, but these are not paid advertisements.

RateMDs (70 dentists listed for San Francisco, 7 in Milwaukee)
Founded by the man who created RateMyProfessors.com, this site lets users review medical professionals. You can register to respond directly to any comments made about you, but you cannot remove your name from their listings.

Judy’s Book (70 dentists listed for San Francisco, 3 in Milwaukee)
A more minor player in the review game, this site was recently sold and relaunched. In the Health & Medical section, there’s a category for “Coroners”… one can only imagine the situation in which an ordinary person would have cause to rate a coroner… or the situation in which an ordinary person would go shopping online to find the most highly-recommended coroner.

Insider Pages (170 reviewed dentists and 1,800 total dentist listings for San Francisco, 43 reviewed dentists and 900 total listings for Milwaukee)
The site appears to list a massive number of doctors, but most listings do not include customer reviews. Owners can add coupons and messages about their businesses to their listings.

CitySearch (50 reviewed dentists and 273 total dentist listings for San Francisco, 110 reviewed dentists and 1,228 total listings for Milwaukee)
CitySearch recently acquired Insider Pages.

Google (1,140 dentists with consumer ratings in the greater San Francisco area, 560 in the greater Milwaukee area)
Though it’s rarely mentioned as a review site, Google’s local business search allows users to enter in their own ratings and reviews, but most of the reviews are from other sites such as those listed above. This means that a review on one website can find its way to Google. Since many people to go to Google to find local businesses, expect these ratings to carry more weight over time.

Wondering How To Search for Yourself?

Option one is to go to each of the above websites and browse the directory or search the listings for yourself. But it turns out there’s an easier way…

The second option is to let Google do the heavy lifting for you. But to take advantage of this option, you’re going to need to determine your keywords. Then you’ll use Google to search each website, one at a time, for those keywords.

Take a moment to consider which keywords would best identify you. You’ll want to select some combination of the following:

  • Your last name. (If you have a common last name, you might also include your first name.)
  • A geographic identifier: your town, city or state.
  • Your dental practice name, or a keyword in your practice name.
  • Either “Dr.” or “dentist.”

Then go to Google. In the search box, enter the keywords that will identify you. Then you’ll want to specify which site you want Google to search; do this by entering “site:www.yelp.com” or whichever website you’re interested in.

So let’s review: The text you enter in the Google search box should look something like one of these:

  • Boucher Kansas Dentist site:www.yelp.com
  • Dr. Stillman Toronto site:www.droogle.com
  • “Gentle Dental” Boston site:www.insiderpages.com

You’ll then see a complete listing of everywhere on that site where your keywords appear.

Once you find your profile, it’s a good idea to bookmark it. You might get in the habit of checking your reviews about once a month.

One More Time – Which Sites Should I Check?

We recommend taking a look at all of the sites listed above. Once again, here they are:

  • www.yelp.com
  • www.DoctorOogle.com
  • www.RateMDs.com
  • www.InsiderPages.com
  • www.CitySearch.com
  • www.JudysList.com
  • www.AngiesList.com [NOTE: Angie's List requires a paid subscription to see full reviews.]
  • local.google.com [NOTE: Go to Google Maps and search for your keywords there to find your listing.]

You might be surprised to find out what people are saying about you… Because, like it or not, the Yelp Revolution has happened, and you don’t get to control all information about your dental practice anymore.

About Julie Frey

+Julie Frey is the Editor of TheWealthyDentist.com blog. She has dedicated her career to Internet marketing and communications, working side-by-side with dental marketing guru Jim Du Molin since 2006. She has a degree in Linguistics from Stanford University, has a passion for language and writing, and lives in San Francisco.

  • D. Kellus Pruitt DDS

    I think it is much simpler to manage one’s reputation than Jim Du Molin leads us to believe.

    Who cares about the “Players”? When patients hear about a dentist, they simply search the dentist’s name.

    Managing one’s reputation is very simple: Treat every patient as if you are going to ask them for the favor of a good review at the end of the appointment.

    Then do it.

  • KB (name withheld)

    Dr Pruitt:
    In response to your statement “Who cares about the Players?”, I suggest you would care very much if the first response patients see on Google, AOL, MSN etc for searching your name is an inappropriate bad review of you by a patient. You may be blameless and the bad review undeserved; you may have discharged the patient for failure to pay or abuse of staff; but you may have no recourse. Yelp’s own paid employees are suspected of writing bad reviews of companies if companies don’t pay them for an ad!

    This is a very very serious issue; and not as simple as you may think.

    Yelp -for one- will put your main competitor’s ad right on top of your review -good or bad-, and suggest they contact him/her instead, if your competitor requests it and pays for it! Check out Yelp-Sucks.com and YelpLawsuit.com for further information about this. Or see

    http://phillips.blogs.com/goc/2008/07/the-yelp-mess.html
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/07/04/BUFU11IP6J.DTL

    http://blog.guruofnew.com/technology/yanked-off-yelpers-how-to-piss-off-your-most-passionate-users-in-7-days-or-less

    http://www.seriouseats.com/2008/08/yelp-extorting-local-businesses.html

    http://www.dld-conference.com/2008/07/yelp-goes-to-google-marissa-ma.php

    http://www.complaintsboard.com/suspicious-companies/yelpcom-a56519.html

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/13/yelp_sales_pitch/

    http://www.thedeal.com/techconfidential/vc-ratings/benchmark-capital/yelp-grows-through-extortion-a.php

  • D. Kellus Pruitt DDS

    Do you know how I know you won’t like this reply any more than my last one, KB? It is simple. You don’t sign with your name. You use initials to hide your identity. I’m sure you have a good reason that I will never completely understand.

    Again, the answer is simple, common sense: Don’t deal with sleaze. Find a reputable Web 2.0 patient review application and build your fortress there. Sleaze will fail on its own. That is the good thing about transparency and the free-market.

    I receive nothing for saying this, but DR. Oogle has been good to me for less than $100 a month. My patients have been good to me because they are the nicest people in the nation. Don’t hide from accountability. Use it to your advantage and you will never have to worry about a bad review again in your whole career. Trust me. It works.

  • http://www.ddslister.com Kyle

    Nice post.

    Dentists are starting to sue Yelp! yikes!

    Take a look at this: http://www.pcworld.com/article/161997/dentist_can_proceed_with_lawsuit_against_yelp_reviewers.html

    Watch out for what you post…

  • http://www.thevisibledentist.com/ The Visible Dentist

    Here’s a site developed especially for accessing reviews:
    http://www.thedentistreviews.com/

    It has a page with the Top 40+review sites it pulls from.

    John Barremore
    Houston, TX

  • http://www.doctorbase.com Frank H

    Agreed to above comments on policing the search on your name. Our company polices this arena and every dentist we have on board is searched a minimum of 40 times a month.

  • http://poptips.net Jeanetta Rittinger

    appreciated very much, I am obliged to say your website is amazing!

  • http://dentistinmilton.com Dentist Milton

    Good ranking in google for any dentist office is essential nowadays. Nobody reads yellowpages any more. Or even if they do, it’s definitely the older generation. After 10 years nobody will be reading the old yellow pages paper book.

  • http://www.austinsmilecreations.com Austin Smile Creations

    Look, a mix of good and not so good reviews adds credibility. There are people with a higher and a lower dental IQ and you will hear completely different opinions from both of them if you tell them the same thing. People will be upset with you if you tell them that their smoking habit causes staining on their teeth. They do not want to hear it so they will make it your fault, no matter how nice you will be to them! It is impossible to please everyone. Even if you are a cosmetic dentist, say in Austin TX, you will have dozens of other cosmetic dentists to compete with and the patients will eventually choose you or your competitor based on not just reviews online, but how you deal with them when they come to meet you.

  • Smith

    Hello,

    I want to congratulate for maintaining such a great blog on dental theme. I like to leave my appreciation for this great post.

    I am also having a blog on your niche topic (Dental). I like to make you a blogger friend at there. So if you like to have mutual friendship, then please let me know at houstondentalimplant[at]gmail[dot]com.

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