In the age of the internet, the dental sector is not immune to the challenges of managing online reputation crises. As patients increasingly turn to online reviews and social media to share their experiences, dental practices must be vigilant in protecting their reputation and maintaining patient trust. This blog post will guide you through the complexities of strategies for managing online reputation crises in the dental sector and provide strategies for prevention and recovery.

From understanding the types of reputation crises and their impacts to exploring proactive measures and legal considerations, we will discuss the essential components of effective dental reputation management. By the end of this post, you will be equipped with the knowledge and tools to navigate and overcome strategies for managing online reputation crises in the dental sector, ensuring the long-term success of your dental practice.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the types of online reputation crises that can affect dental practices and take proactive measures to prevent them.

  • Quickly respond to negative feedback, utilize professional services, and leverage positive reviews & testimonials for managing reputation crises.

  • Strengthen patient relationships, develop a crisis management plan & continuously monitor & improve online presence for successful recovery from such situations.

Understanding Online Reputation Crises in Dentistry

Online reputation crises in dentistry can originate from multiple sources like negative reviews, misinformation, or unfavorable publicity. Such hurdles can greatly impede a dental practice’s success and the trust patients place in it. With online reviews being a key factor in patient decision-making, it’s imperative for dental practices to uphold an excellent reputation for attracting new patients and keeping the existing ones.

Understanding the types of reputation crises that can affect dental practices and the potential consequences is key to navigating the complex world of online reputation management. Equipped with this understanding, dental practices can take action to prevent crises and promptly address any arising issues.

Types of Reputation Crises

Reputation crises in dentistry can arise due to patient dissatisfaction, inaccurate information, or association with negative events or individuals. Unfavorable reviews, in particular, can have a significant impact on a dental practice’s reputation, with the potential of losing 22% of new patients when they encounter a single negative review. Promptly addressing negative reviews and investing in reputation management for dentists is vital to prevent any harm to the growth and reputation of the dental practice online.

Besides negative reviews, a dental practice’s reputation might be compromised due to links with unfavorable incidents, such as patient safety issues or inadequate emergency planning and disaster recovery. Understanding the numerous types of reputation crises allows dental practices to be well-prepared to tackle these challenges and safeguard their online reputation.

Impact on Dental Practices

The consequences of reputation crises can be far-reaching and damaging for dental practices. Negative online reviews can result in reduced patient inflow, loss of trust, and detriment to a dental practice’s professional reputation. Trust, in particular, is a cornerstone of the dental profession, as patients must have faith that their dentist will provide effective solutions to their issues without causing harm.

Patient retention is another critical aspect of a dental practice’s success, as it is five times more expensive to acquire a new patient than to retain an existing one. Encouraging and showcasing positive feedback from satisfied patients can help improve patient retention, foster a positive online reputation, and attract prospective patients.

Word-of-mouth referrals also remain the most effective marketing strategy for cultivating a professional reputation in dentistry.

Proactive Measures to Prevent Reputation Crises

Prevention of reputation crises is a vital part of managing a dental practice’s online presence. By implementing proactive measures, dental practices can protect their reputation and uphold patient trust. The three primary steps to prevent reputation crises involve constant monitoring of online presence, keeping information accurate and updated, and educating staff on best practices.

Implementing these proactive measures not only helps dental practices stay ahead of potential issues but also demonstrates a commitment to providing excellent patient care and upholding a favorable reputation. As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure,” and this sentiment rings true for dental reputation management.

Regularly Monitor Online Presence

Regularly monitoring a dental practice’s online presence allows for the early identification of potential issues and the opportunity to address them before they escalate into crises. By keeping a close eye on online reviews, social media mentions, and other online platforms, dental practices can stay informed of their online reputation and interact effectively with their audience.

Tools such as:

  • BirdEye

  • DemandHub

  • OptinMonster

  • Broadly

  • Google Alerts

can assist dental practices in monitoring their online presence. By setting up alerts for their practice name, key personnel names, and website domain, dental practices can receive email notifications whenever these keywords are mentioned online, allowing them to stay informed and address any negative feedback in a timely manner.

Maintain Accurate and Updated Information

Ensuring accurate and updated information on all online platforms is essential for maintaining transparency and credibility with patients. Outdated information can be confusing and misleading, potentially causing patients to lose trust in the practice. By regularly updating online listings and providing accurate information, dental practices can prevent misinformation from causing harm to their reputation.

It is essential for dental practices to regularly assess their online presence on various platforms, such as:

  • Dentrix

  • Eaglesoft

  • Curve Hero

  • Denticon

  • Dentrix Ascend (dental practice management software)

  • NexHealth (patient engagement and experience management)

  • Village Dental

  • Tend

  • Skyline Dental

  • Grand Street Dental

  • Sculpt Center for Implants & Periodontics (dental websites and online directories)

  • Healthgrades

  • Zocdoc

  • 1-800-Dentist

  • WebMD

  • RateMDs

  • Vitals (dentist review sites)

  • Social media platforms where the dental practice has a presence

  • Online bookkeeping solutions for managing the practice’s finances

Regular updates ensure that patients have access to the most accurate and up-to-date information about the dental practice, promoting trust and credibility.

Train Staff on Best Practices

Staff training is another vital component of preventing reputation crises. Dental staff members, including front office personnel, dental assistants, and hygienists, play a significant role in shaping a patient’s overall experience. By training staff on best practices, such as effective patient communication and handling negative feedback, dental practices can ensure that their team is prepared to address potential issues and contribute positively to the practice’s reputation.

Investing in staff training has the added benefit of fostering a positive work environment, boosting employee morale, and promoting a sense of ownership and responsibility among team members. A well-trained and motivated staff can not only help prevent reputation crises but also contribute to the long-term success of the dental practice.

Strategies for Managing Online Reputation Crises

When faced with an online reputation crisis, dental practices need to act swiftly and decisively to mitigate the damage and rebuild trust. Three effective strategies for managing online reputation crises include rapid response to negative feedback, utilizing professional reputation management services, and leveraging positive reviews and testimonials. By employing these strategies, dental practices can navigate the challenges of reputation crises and emerge stronger and more resilient.

Keep in mind that each reputation crisis is distinct, and the approach to resolving the issue should be customized to fit the specific situation. Nonetheless, these strategies lay a strong base for dental practices to initiate the process of recovery and rebuild their online reputation.

Rapid Response to Negative Feedback

Swift and professional responses to negative feedback are a key part of managing an online reputation crisis. Delayed responses can worsen the situation, leading to further damage to reputation, reduced trust, and negative word-of-mouth. Addressing negative feedback promptly can show a dental practice’s dedication to resolving patient concerns and upholding a positive online reputation.

When responding to negative feedback, dental practices should:

  1. Remain professional, empathetic, and solution-focused.

  2. Apologize for any inconvenience caused.

  3. Address the issue directly.

  4. Offer a resolution.

Following these steps can help rebuild trust and credibility with the affected patient and the wider online audience.

Utilize Professional Reputation Management Services

Professional reputation management services can be invaluable for dental practices facing an online reputation crisis. These services specialize in:

  • Monitoring online reviews and mentions

  • Responding to negative feedback

  • Promoting positive reviews and testimonials

  • Implementing strategies to enhance online reputation

By partnering with a professional reputation management service, dental practices can navigate and resolve reputation crises more effectively and efficiently.

Reputable professional reputation management service providers for dental practices include:

  • Widewail

  • Circulation Dental

  • Practice Builders

  • Practice Cafe


  • NPI Crusader

  • TNT Dental

  • Pro Impressions Group

  • Rize Reviews

The cost of these services typically ranges from $39 to $250 per month, depending on the services and features included in the package. It is recommended to research and compare different providers to find the one that best fits the needs and budget of your dental practice.

Leverage Positive Reviews and Testimonials

Promoting positive reviews and testimonials can help counterbalance negative feedback and reinforce a dental practice’s credibility. By showcasing the positive experiences of satisfied patients, dental practices can demonstrate their commitment to providing excellent care and create a more balanced online reputation.

Strategies for leveraging positive reviews and testimonials include:

  • Responding to online reviews

  • Appointing employee ambassadors

  • Building up positive reviews across different platforms

  • Sharing testimonials in video format

  • Making it easy for patients to post reviews

Platforms such as Google, Healthgrades, Zocdoc, WebMD, and RateMDs are ideal for showcasing positive reviews and testimonials.

By promoting the positive experiences of their patients, dental practices can rebuild trust and credibility in the wake of an online reputation crisis.

Legal Considerations and Actions

In some cases, legal considerations and actions may come into play when managing online reputation crises in dentistry. It is essential for dental practices to be aware of defamation laws and determine when it may be necessary to pursue legal action against false or damaging content. By understanding the legal landscape surrounding online reputation, dental practices can better protect themselves from the potential harm caused by false or malicious statements.

In the subsequent sections, we will elaborate on the specifics of defamation laws and determine when it might be appropriate to take legal action against false patient reviews or other harmful content.

Understanding Defamation Laws

Defamation laws protect individuals and businesses, including dental practices, from false or malicious statements that can harm their reputation. In the context of dental practices, defamation can take the form of slander (oral statements) or libel (written statements). To successfully pursue a defamation claim, dentists must demonstrate that the statements made about them are false and have caused damage to their professional reputation.

Online defamation, also known as cyber libel, is subject to its own set of laws and thresholds, which can be distinct from those applied to offline defamation in traditional media. Understanding these distinctions and the legal framework surrounding defamation is essential for dental practices seeking to protect their reputation from false or damaging statements.

Pursuing Legal Action

Pursuing legal action may be necessary in cases where false or damaging content significantly impacts a dental practice’s reputation and success. Factors to consider when determining whether to pursue legal action include the severity of the damage to the dental practice, the nature of the false statements, and the potential costs and benefits of litigation.

Before initiating legal action, it is advisable to consult with a legal specialist who can provide guidance on the most appropriate course of action and potential outcomes. Legal action should be considered as a last resort, after all other avenues for resolving the issue have been exhausted.

Building Resilience and Recovering from Reputation Crises

Overcoming a reputation crisis and reestablishing trust with patients necessitates a strategic approach, centered around resilience and continuous improvement. Dental practices can recover from reputation crises and secure their long-term success by strengthening patient relationships, crafting a complete crisis management plan, and consistently overseeing and improving their online reputation.

In the following subsections, we will discuss specific strategies and best practices for building resilience and recovering from reputation crises in the dental sector.

Strengthening Patient Relationships

Fostering strong patient relationships is an essential component of recovering from a reputation crisis and rebuilding trust. By focusing on effective communication and personalized care, dental practices can demonstrate their commitment to patient satisfaction and create a positive atmosphere that promotes trust and loyalty.

Some strategies for improving patient communication include:

  • Providing training opportunities for staff

  • Prioritizing communication skills for dental assistants

  • Emphasizing the significance of effective communication in building trust with patients

  • Recognizing when in-person communication is preferable to emails or texts

By nurturing strong patient relationships, dental practices can regain their footing after a reputation crisis and ensure ongoing success.

Developing a Crisis Management Plan

A comprehensive crisis management plan can help dental practices navigate and recover from reputation crises more effectively. The plan should encompass risk assessment, emergency response procedures, communication protocols, and preventive measures to minimize the impact of crises on the practice and its reputation.

By developing and implementing a robust crisis management plan, dental practices can be better prepared to handle unexpected events and mitigate the damage to their reputation. Regular reviews and updates to the plan ensure that it remains current and relevant, providing a solid foundation for managing future crises.

Continuous Monitoring and Improvement

Continuous monitoring and improvement of online reputation is essential for preventing future crises and ensuring long-term success. By staying vigilant and proactive in identifying and addressing potential issues, dental practices can maintain a positive online reputation and foster trust with their patients.

Some of the most effective tools for ongoing online reputation management, including online review management, are:

  • BirdEye

  • PracticeMojo

  • Reputation Builder

  • Social monitoring tools such as SocialMention and Google Alerts

Through regular monitoring and improvement, dental practices can eliminate harmful content from its source and ensure that they remain well-positioned to face any challenges that may arise in the future.


In conclusion, managing online reputation crises in the dental sector is a complex and ongoing process that requires vigilance, proactive measures, and a strategic approach. By understanding the types of reputation crises, taking preventive steps, implementing effective strategies, and considering legal actions, dental practices can protect their reputation and maintain patient trust.

The road to recovery from a reputation crisis may be challenging, but by strengthening patient relationships, developing a crisis management plan, and continuously monitoring and improving online reputation, dental practices can emerge stronger and more resilient. Remember, a solid online reputation is not only the key to attracting new patients but also the foundation for long-term success in the dental sector.

Frequently Asked Questions

What strategies can you use to build a credible online reputation?

To build a credible online reputation, follow the most common advice such as 10 steps to improve your online reputation right away, implementing effective Online Reputation Management (ORM) keys, or utilizing strategies like 7 ways to build a positive online reputation or 6 ways to maintain an impressive online reputation.

What causes reputation crises in dentistry?

Negative reviews, misinformation, and unfavorable publicity can lead to reputation crises in dentistry.

How can dental practices prevent reputation crises?

Dental practices can prevent reputation crises by regularly monitoring their online presence, keeping accurate information updated and training staff on best practices for customer service.

What strategies can dental practices use to manage online reputation crises?

Dental practices can rapidly respond to negative feedback, use professional reputation management services, and leverage positive reviews and testimonials to manage online reputation crises.

What are the legal considerations for dental practices facing reputation crises?

Dental practices facing reputation crises should be mindful of defamation laws and consider legal action when necessary to protect against false or damaging content.