Online Reviews Matter More Than Ever, New Study Finds

March 17th, 2012

A study released this week reports that online reviews play a critical role in consumers’ perceptions of local businesses.

According to the Local Consumer Review Survey, more consumers are using the Internet to find local businesses and over a quarter of consumers regularly read online reviews when evaluating local businesses.

But to those of us at GDON, here’s what stood out most about the findings:

“Approximately 72% of consumers surveyed said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, while 52% said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business.”

In other words, the perceived legitimacy of online reviews is also on the rise.

Read the article at Search Engine Land.

 

GDON Oral Health Series Concludes with Advice on Choosing Toothpaste & Mouthwash

March 4th, 2011

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Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the countless toothpaste and mouthwash options available in your local drugstore? Good Dentist Or Not is here to help.

Part 5 of our six-part series on oral health walks you through the process of choosing the right toothpaste for your mouth. And the solution really does depend on your mouth. In particular, are you prone to getting cavities? Do you have gum disease? How about root sensitivity?

Find out why your answers to the above questions are important when deciding on a toothpaste.

In Part 6, we wrap up our series by answering the question, “What mouthwash should adults use?” As with toothpaste, choosing the right mouthwash depends on factors like your history of cavities or gum disease. Find out what kind of mouthwash will do the best job protecting your oral health.

Did you miss any articles in our series? Go to the Dental Health Articles section and access them all.

Who’s the Best Dentist for You?

March 2nd, 2011
General Dentist

Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Whether you’re having your shoulder operated on, your hair cut or your coffee made, you want the best. The same goes for finding the best dentist.

The “best,” of course, means something different to everyone. Your “best dentist” isn’t just any practitioner. He or she is also the professional — the person — who is right for you. This article offers guidance on discovering our best dentist.

‘Know Thyself’

Question: What’s the most important thing to know to find the best dentist for you? Answer: yourself! Sometimes we can be so quick to search the Internet or take someone else’s word for it that we forget to consult ourselves first. Trust us: A little self-exploration will pay huge dividends.

Start by creating a picture of your “best dentist.” How does he carry himself? How does he interact with you? Really put some thought into what you want. Create a list of your preferences. Talk it out with someone if that would help.

Reputation Matters

Everyone has a reputation for various aspects of their work. Your dentist search involves knowing which aspects you care about the most and then finding the dentist with a reputation for excellence in those areas. For example …

  • Cost: For some, money is the one consideration to which all other factors take a back seat. This patient’s best dentist might offer the “best bang for their buck.” Another patient might be willing to pay a premium for a dentist who has many years of experience and offers exceptional quality.
  • Results: “Do no harm” is the first rule of thumb for doctors and dentists alike. Have you had painful experiences in the past? If so, your best dentist will have to be perfect in the pain department. How about the dentist’s reputation for quality of work? You don’t want to entrust your oral health to someone with a questionable track record.
  • Service: Maybe your last dentist was cold or unfriendly. If so, the best dentist for you will have to offer “service with a smile.” Ask: Can the dentist see you promptly?  Is her support staff any good? What are her personality and interactions with patients like?

Ratings and Reviews

At this point, you’ll want to match your preferences with actual reputations. The Internet can be a great to start. Look for sites, such as Good Dentist Or Not (GDON), that feature:

  • Ratings: On our website, each dentist is rated according to six criteria. Simply enter your physical address to generate a list of dentist options in your area. How do dentists measure up to your needs? Keep in mind that these ratings are averages. If only one user has rated the dentist, it might not be a truly representative view.
  • Reviews: On GDON a patient can also write a review of his dentist. The additional details available in these reviews can help you flesh out the ratings and gain greater insight into the dentist’s reputation.

One person recently wrote on our website: “All I care about is COST and RESULTS! That is it! The cost was fair, not cheap, and not expensive. Actually they were a little cheaper than average in my research. And the results were fantastic. Blew my mind really.”

There’s someone who’s found her “best” dentist. Now go out and find yours!

GDON Oral Health Series Looks at Oral Exposure Time & the “Mouth Chemistry War”

February 17th, 2011

Part 3 of our six-part series on oral health introduces you to the concept of oral exposure time.

Check out the article to learn why cavity-causing bacteria and gum disease-causing bacteria thrive under certain circumstances. By modifying your diet, you can take a big step toward preventing major dental problems.

In Part 4, we show you how to control what percentage of cavity-causing and gum disease-causing bacteria live in your mouth. You’ll find step-by-step guidance, including:

  • What kinds of toothpaste to use
  • What types of mouthwash and other tools can help
  • What kinds of food to eat
  • How to get useful input from your dentist or dental specialist

Next up: We’ll conclude the series with articles exploring toothpaste and mouthwash selection in depth.

How to Find a Dentist

February 15th, 2011

Question MarkFinding a dentist involves more than simply scanning the Yellow Pages, choosing the first name in a list and booking your first appointment.

You need a location that’s convenient, an office that’s agreeable and, of course, a dentist you approve of. This article explores three simple steps to find a dentist.

Step 1: Find a Convenient Location

Word of mouth: Ask around. Family, friends and colleagues are all great sources. At work, pose the “who do you know” question during lunch or over coffee. Send an email to your office mates asking for advice. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends asking your doctor or pharmacist for referrals.

Internet: Go online. The ADA suggests searching your local or state dental society for listings on their website: www.ada.org. Even a simple Google search will yield many names (sometimes more names than you know what to do with!). Try a website which locates dentists around you, rates and ranks them, and even provides customer reviews of them. Hint: That’s what Good Dentist or Not (GDON) does!

The combination technique: The best way to find a dentist is to use both approaches. Ask around to get ideas and then go to our website for reviews. Or, find a dentist through GDON and then ask people in your network if they’ve heard of him or her.

Step 2: Consider the Office

Atmosphere: When you first walk through the door, how do you feel? Are the walls old, gray and cracked? Or, is the room pleasant, visually appealing and welcoming? Do you feel comfortable?

Staff: How are you greeted? Are members of the staff receptive to your questions? Do they seem calm or stressed, talkative or anti-social?

Facilities: How is the state of the exam room, equipment and machines? When you look around, are things clean and organized, or grimy and disheveled?

Affordability: How much do standard procedures cost, will your insurance cover them and how do the prices compare to other offices?

Step 3: Evaluate the Dentist

Results: “The proof is in the pudding,” as they say. In other words, you won’t know the true quality of a dentist’s ability until you’ve had a chance to see him or her in action. How did everything turn out? How much pain was involved? Overall, were you pleased with the outcome?

Relationship: Did you get along? Were you at ease? Could you see yourself building a long-term professional relationship with this person? If not, take heart and continue the search; even the ADA suggests you see more than one dentist in your hunt.

To find a dentist you will have to put in some time and effort. But in your search, don’t forget to have fun, and smile, because your teeth are worth it!

Introducing Our New Series on Oral Health

February 10th, 2011

Get ready to look at the health of your teeth and gums in a whole new way.

Many of us assume good oral health comes down to avoiding too many sweets, brushing and flossing regularly and seeing the dentist every six months. Of course, all of those things matter.

But you may not be aware of some other important concepts that determine whether you’ll encounter significant dental problems. These concepts are the focus of a new six-part series of articles created by Good Dentist Or Not.

In Part 1 of the series — Diet Determines Bacteria; Bacteria Determine Dental Problems — we show how to optimize your diet for optimal oral health.

In Part 2 — Oral Exposure Time, the Most Important Concept in Dentistry — we explain why the time a food is in your mouth defines its impact on your teeth.

We’ll be posting the remaining articles over the next couple weeks, so be sure to check them out!

A Quick Tour of GoodDentistOrNot.com

February 8th, 2011

At GoodDentistOrNot.com, we want to be more than a dentist-review site. We want to be a destination where consumers can interact with each other and access resources about oral health.

We address the first part of that equation through our Community Forum. The site’s just getting up and running, so the Community Forum is pretty sparse right now. But over time, we expect it will fill up as consumers visit to share their thoughts on all sorts of dental-related topics.

Whether you’ve tried a new dental product, undergone an innovative dental procedure or formed an opinion about a trend in dental care, we hope you’ll share your thoughts in our Community Forum.

As for other consumer resources: First of all, we’re building a library of original GDON Dental Health Articles. Our first articles cover topics such as gum disease, what causes cavities and how to choose a toothpaste. Future articles will continue to explore dental-related subjects that matter to consumers.

If you’re a dental junkie (we know you’re out there), be sure to bookmark our Dental News page. We collect news feeds on all things dentistry, and you can click the headlines to see the full stories. There’s also a Dental Glossary with definition of key dental terms. Finally, our Dental Resources for Patients page includes links to the websites of key industry organizations.

Would you like to see any other consumer resources? Send us your ideas.

Introducing GoodDentistOrNot.com

May 6th, 2010

Welcome to the official GoodDentistOrNot.com blog. Since this is our first post, we thought we’d provide a quick primer on our site — and why it’s unique.

The motivation behind our site is simple: We want to provide a forum in which patients can help other patients find a good dentist. You can come here to write dentist reviews and to read dentist reviews written by other consumers.

Of course, there are plenty of sites out there featuring dentist reviews. Our site is different in three important ways:

1) You can rate dentists according to six criteria: Results, Affordability, Painless Treatment, Facilities, Service and Convenient Location. We chose these criteria because they provide valuable insight into a dentist’s practice.

2) You can sort results according to these criteria. What matters most to you in choosing a dentist? We give you the freedom to search accordingly. For instance, after finding all orthodontists within 10 miles of your home, you can sort the results based on price, quality of work or any of our other criteria.

3) We aim to list all dentists practicing in Massachusetts. Most review sites list only those dentists who pay an advertising fee. Not us. All Massachusetts dentists receive a basic listing on our site. Can’t find a dentist? Let us know. We’ll add him or her to our dentist directory right away (unless he or she has requested not to be listed).

We hope you find GoodDentistOrNot.com to be a useful tool for finding a dentist. Thanks for visiting!