I’m wondering if it’s safe to choose an Elgin dentist from Yelp. I just moved to town and need to get established with an office. I know it sound odd, but I’ve never had to “shop” for a dentist before. I went to the same office from the time I was a child up until I moved. Now, I’m looking over the reviews and I can’t make heads or tails of them. I mean, I use the site a lot for restaurants and stuff, but looking for medical-type referrals on there seems weird. I’m curious to know, from a dental office perspective, if the reviews can be trusted. One really strange thing I see a lot of is reviews that aren’t recommended. What’s up with those? Why do they even exist?
Also, if I can’t trust the reviews, how do I go about finding someone who will be good? I don’t really know anyone locally, so getting recommendations from friends and family is out.
Generally speaking, Yelp is a good platform. It’s one of the few that aggressively combats fake reviews, so most of the time what you see written there is representative of what you can expect from a business.
As a caveat to that, any time the site picks up on anything odd about a user or the review, it tosses the review in the “not recommended” bin and those don’t count toward the company’s rating. No doubt, many of those are fake reviews. It could be that the company paid someone to leave the review or that a competitor paid to have a fake review left as an act of sabotage. Unfortunately, those things do happen. Some are also probably real. Yelp doesn’t tell anyone what it’s looking for in reviewers or reviews, but it could be that someone doesn’t have enough friends, hasn’t left enough reviews, or left the review while inside the business. These things could all potentially be triggers for Yelp’s system. The reality is we really don’t know.
One important thing to note is that most offices have somewhere between 1,500-2,500 patients per dentist. With that kind of exposure to the public, any office is bound to have a couple of negative reviews. Expect there to be a mix of good and bad and read both types to find out what’s going on. If you get a good feel for a place and most of the recent reviews are positive, it’s probably worth checking out. Sure, you want to find a new forever home, but if you’re really not feeling like you belong after a visit, you can switch. Take the time to make sure you’re totally comfortable with the dentist and his staff before you jump into any kind of treatment. If the practice is a good fit for you, you should be able to move forward without any lingering doubts.
This blog is sponsored by Elgin dentist, Dr. Steve Sirin.