Dentists Feel Online Reviews Are Extortion to Defend Reputation

Dentists Feel Online Reviews Are Extortion to Defend ReputationNegative online reviews have made headlines in the past few weeks with patients suing doctors and doctors suing Google.

It’s a hot topic among dentists who feel they have little recourse when an unflattering review is posted on sites like Yelp or DoctorBase.

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if they have experienced a negative online review.

66% of the dentist respondents answered yes to receiving a negative review with half of those experiencing a bad review more than once.

34% said they have not yet received a negative online review.

Here’s what dentists had to say about negative online reviews —

“It has become extortion to defend your reputation on line. It is too easy for your competitors to place negative postings about you.” (California dentist)

“I think this can be very detrimental to a practice.” (North Carolina dentist)

“They should not be anonymous. It wouldn’t take much for me to post negative reviews of my colleagues either representing myself as a patient, and I don’t know whether or not they have done such a thing. A completely anonymous person could completely irreparably ruin someones career with a negative post quite easily. People are extremely upset, impatient and oftentimes unrealistic these days so it could be very easy to unintentionally “tick someone off” while attempting to do the best for them. I anesthetized a gentleman yesterday who was in a great deal of pain so he could hear and understand that I could not extract his badly impacted wisdom tooth. After carefully explaining it to him after he visibly felt better, he asked “can’t you just yank it out?” This happens quite often, so if someone is going to post something negative they should put on their big boy pants and own up to it. Apparently I have someone floating around out there faceless that I will never be able to engage in any kind of problem solving.” (Florida dentist)

“I simply do not see how first amendment rights trump was is obviously extortion via slander. That is why we have small claims courts. If someone wants their money back for what was perceived as poor service, utilize the justice system. These online review websites allow the individual to be judge, jury, and executioner without fear of rebuke. Why someone would want to intentionally harm a doctor and “put them out of business” is beyond me. You think it is funny or unfortunate until it happens to you. I never in a million years would have thought being moral, ethical and always doing the right thing would bring me 2 negative reviews: one of them for telling the patient the truth and returning her money. There needs to be legislation against this. We need to act as a profession before the profession is completely destroyed.” (Suburban orthodontist)

“They are nothing more then gossips, and should be treated a such. The loyal patients, the ‘Last of the Mohicans,’ would never compromise the good name of their doctor.” (Illinois dentist)

“It’s BS because you can’t argue your case without revealing confidential patient information.” (Georgia dentist)

YELP seems to play favorites with businesses. They called me to see if I wanted to advertise. After saying no, 10 of the 12 reviews were hidden from the public. Coincidental? You decide. All 10 of these reviews were 4 and 5 stars (out of 5).” (California dentist)

“I have new patients sign a paper that they need your permission to write anything about you.” (General dentist)

“I do not like them because it is very hard to rebuke.” (Florida dentist)

“There should be some way to control this. Patients can easily post a negative review simply because you take them to collections.” (Pennsylvania dentist)

“They’re a bugger and they can’t be removed…only buried…that costs $$.” (General dentist)

“I think we should be able to see who it was who gave us the negative review and have an option to deal with the situation and have the review removed.” (Utah dentist)

“I am not too concerned by an occasional bad contact. I try to make it an opportunity to get people to call or come into the office.” (Texas dentist)

“I hate the anonymity!” (Urban orthodontist)

We also asked dentists if they answered yes to receiving a negative online review, how they handled the situation. Here’s what they said —

“I replied to it, but so far it has not be removed.” (General dentist)

“I posted a very positive response. However, I found out recently there are HIPAA issues I did not even think about in the response that I could be sued for.” (Suburban orthodontist)

“The site it appeared on allowed you to write a rebuttal. I invited people concerned by what they read to call or come by the office to discuss their concerns, meet the office team and tour the facility.” (Texas dentist)

“I added explanation to it.” (California dentist)

“I responded to patient’s review online. Patient responded and 1 star was upgraded to 3 stars. I refunded money on dissatisfied service.” (California dentist)

“I just got it. I have not yet responded. She only visited my office two times and gave me all A’s initially, but changed them 10 months later for no reason that I am aware of. Got some recommendations?” (Florida dentist)

“I didn’t know about until about 8 months later so decided to ignore it at that point.” (General dentist)

“I consulted with an attorney and wanted to claim a defamation of character lawsuit. My attorney advised me that it was not worth the effort to fight. The negative postings were on Yelp. There were two negative “Yelps” posted by two different persons, but it is fairly obvious that it is the same person posting the negative Yelp. In the end, I am doing nothing against these two negative Yelps.” (California dentist)

“I responded to the review. The person sent me an email saying a filling had fallen out — one that was done 3 months earlier at another DDS. I was out of town. Apparently this person expected me to be there for them. Not even a patient of record? (California dentist)

“I’ve ignored it. The review was so obviously not about me but a different dentist instead. I did write to the website requesting it be removed but did not receive a response. Instead I asked people to post favorable reviews about me to balance it out.” (New York dentist)

“We asked our best patients to go in and review us which sent that one bad review to the bottom of the list.” (Utah dentist)

“It was false and posted on Yelp. I called and requested it be removed. I even threatened legal action but to no avail. (General dentist)

What are your thoughts on negative online reviews? How would you handle them?

Dentists: Are You Tired of the Fluoridated Water Debate?

Dentists: Are You Tired of the Fluoridated Water Debate?Are you for or against fluoridated water?

Ever since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced taking important steps to ensure that standards and guidelines on fluoride in drinking water continue to provide the maximum protection to the American public to support good dental health, the fluoridation of public water has been a hotly-debated news item.

The American Dental Association states that 67% of American communities have public fluoridated water systems.

Why does the debate continue when according to many reports no valid scientific study on fluoridation has ever shown any health risks? (see 1991 study)

Yet, the fluoridated water debate rages on this week in the news —

–Philomath Oregon residents will be deciding in their March 13 special election whether fluoride will be restored to the city’s water supply.

–The Pennsylvania American Water Works announced that it has reduced the level of fluoride in the drinking water supplied to its Philipsburg area customers.

–The New Jersey legislature is in the process of putting together a new law that would force mandatory fluoridation to public water systems across the entire state.

–Pinellas Park, Florida voted to provide fluoridation of the water to its citizens as soon as it can find funding to pay for the necessary equipment.

The California Dental Association Foundation cancelled its commitment to pay for the fluoridation facility for Watsonville, California, siting ballooning costs.

–In Bolivar Missouri, city leaders voted to stop adding fluoride to the city’s water supply.

–The fluoride issue is being hotly debated in Bozeman, Montana — even though Bozeman has been adding fluoride to its water since 1953.

–A Carroll County, Maryland water district operator began an anti-fluoride fight in her district.

Basically all water contains some amount of fluoride. When fluoride is added to the water supply it only reaches levels of approximately 1 part fluoride per million parts water; this is the optimal level for preventing tooth decay, this according to the National Cancer Institute.

Scientists at the National Cancer Institute evaluated the relationship between the fluoridation of drinking water and the number of deaths due to cancer in the United States during a 36-year period, and the relationship between water fluoridation and number of new cases of cancer during a 15-year period.

After examining more than 2.2 million cancer death records and 125,000 cancer case records in counties using fluoridated water, the researchers found no indication of increased cancer risk associated with fluoridated drinking water.

Studies by the ADA have stated that fluoridation has been the single most effective public health measure to prevent dental caries, yet groups like the Fluoride Action Network and The Light Party actively campaign against the use of fluoride in drinking water.

Even here at The Wealthy Dentist we’ve seen dentists argue on both sides of the fluoridation issue.  What are your thoughts on fluoridation?

Do you think the fluoride issue will ever be laid to rest?

Cosmetic Dentistry Is Dentists’ Favorite Treatment Option

Dental Implants & Sedation Dentistry Are Also Popular

Dental Survey ResultsIn our most recent survey, we asked dentists about their favorite treatment options. Cosmetic dentistry was the clear winner, pulling in over one-third of the total vote (and one-half of he general dentist vote). Dental implants were the runner-up.

There were distinct differences between general dentists and specialists. While nearly half of general dentists favored cosmetic dentistry, only 16% of specialists did. Among specialists, dental implants were the favorite treatment option.

There were also notable differences between urban and rural dentists. Rural dentists were significantly more likely to vote for cosmetic dentistry as their favorite option. While Invisalign was preferred by one-quarter of urban dentists, no rural dentists reported feeling the same way.

Here are some other treatment options dentists like:

  • “Lasers.” (Maryland dentist)
  • “Periodontal plastic surgery.” (Arizona periodontist)
  • “Amalgam.” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “Conventional orthodontics.” (Michigan dentist)
  • “Third molars.” (New York dentist)
  • “Crowns and bridges.” (Canada dentist)
  • “Reconstructive dentistry.” (Kentucky dentist)
  • “Endodontics.” (Canada dentist)
  • “TMD.” (Michigan dentist)
  • “Smile makeovers.” (Cosmetic dentist)

Post your comments or read the complete dental treatment options survey results…

Dental Management: The Value of Entrepreneurism

dental management entrepreneural opportunity Dentists are classic entrepreneurs — they seek to better themselves through education, and take economic risks (the cost of education, the cost of opening and managing a dental practice) in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families.

According to American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks, “Earned success gives people a sense of meaning about their lives.”

Moreover, by succeeding as entrepreneurs, Dentists keep alive the American Dream that others may likewise create a better life for themselves, if they too elect to take advantage of the opportunities that exist.

The recent marriage of Prince William to Catherine Middleton, child of two employees-turned-entrepreneurs, broke tradition in Great Britain and brought attention to the value of entrepreneurism.

“The Middletons symbolize the opportunity that exists in a free-market system for those who take advantage of it. It is worth noting that they founded (their business) during the Thatcher era, when the Conservative government focused on lifting barriers to entrepreneurs through lower taxation, less regulation , and privatization,” writes John Berlau, a director at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

The idea of ordinary people building successful businesses — a concept often called the ‘American Dream’ — is now realized in certain British TV programs.

One study of thousands of British employees revealed that the workers’ perception of happiness actually rose as their demographic group’s average income increases relative to their own. It was the opportunity to advance that mattered.

When William and Kate said ‘I do,’ the royal family of Britain “officially wed the dreams and aspirations of millions of entrepreneurs in the UK, the U.S., and throughout the world” . . . and maybe some dentists too.

For more on this story see: The Entrepreneurs’ Princess

Dental Marketing: The 3 Elements to Successful Radio Advertising

Dental Marketing: The 3 Elements to Successful Radio Advertising

Radio can’t sell everything.

But for dental marketing, we know it can sell high-end dentistry.

Any dental advertiser who says, “radio doesn’t work,” used it wrong.

The 3 elements to successful dental marketing with radio advertising –

1. The right audience.

The first element to successful radio advertising is picking the right audience. This is done by selecting the proper radio station and the appropriate time of day to reach your target demographic.

2. The right frequency.

Next you need to find the right frequency. Radio is a frequency medium. Your results get better as time goes on, and you make repeated impressions on the same listener. Media buyers have different opinions as to how many commercials, or spots, is enough. The key is to spend just enough, without wasting money.

Underfunding a campaign is even more inefficient than over-funding it. If you can’t afford enough frequency on the most popular station in town, pick one you can afford or use another medium besides radio.

3. The right message.

The most important element to a successful radio campaign is the message. This includes the words, the voice, the music and the length of the commercial. Remember that we’re not trying to win awards for the most clever commercial – the only thing that matters is that the audience we are targeting picks up the phone and makes the call.

The simplest-sounding commercial often out-produces the slick polished spot with the smooth voice and the professional jingle. Don’t take your eye off the ball here. It’s not important that your staff, friends, and family all like your new commercial.

The only thing that matters for successful radio advertising is whether the commercial generates income.

Ed Ridgway has executed dental marketing campaigns for hundreds of businesses in the U.S. and Canada. He is nationally recognized for his ongoing campaigns with many of the top dental practices across the country.

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