From My Social Practice:
With more than 140 million users, Yelp continues to be one of the premier platforms for online reviews. And people aren’t just browsing: a 2013 Nielsen survey reported that 98 percent of users make purchases at a business after finding them on Yelp, and 90 percent do so within a week.
If your dental practice isn’t on Yelp, or you haven’t yet claimed your business page, you’re missing valuable opportunities to grow your online presence and attract new patients.
Many small businesses including dentists have a love / hate (mostly hate) relationship with Yelp. Many dentists say that the secret algorithm that Yelp uses to determine which reviews patients see keeps their one negative review at the top of the list and hides their many positive reviews. They claim Yelp is little better than an extortion scheme that threatens dentists with continued bad reviews unless they pay up.
Yelp vehemently denies this and has won numerous court cases challenging their business practices.
Never the less Yelp has a large following and has positioned itself to appear high in any dental search. Despite misgivings dentists should do what they can to improve their Yelp presence. The linked article has some useful advice.
The primary thing every US dentist should do is claim and fill in his/her Yelp profile. This is free and allows you at least some control over what people will see when they find you on Yelp.