How to Survey Dentists and Orthodontists

happy male dentist

It’s safe to say that consumers will gravitate toward healthcare products that are backed by a professional in the field.

This is just as true for oral care products and services–if not more so. 

As product growth in the dental market begins to rise, it's in the best interest of oral health brands to turn to research with those in the industry.

For dental health companies that want to understand how to survey dentists for useful product feedback, they must learn how to navigate research with those working in the dental field. 

Keep reading as our healthcare market research firm will help you learn the art of surveying dentists. 

Benefits of Conducting Market Research With Dentists

Using a dental survey to obtain feedback from those in the oral health care field can yield endless amounts of insight. Below, we’ll cover some of the top ways such research can benefit a brand. 

  • Targeted marketing campaigns. One of the most important aspects of surveying dental specialists is that you're getting an expert opinion. This is a fantastic way to improve a product's marketing and advertising initiatives. Why? Because it opens up new avenues for how the research data can be used.

  • Consumer trust. This is a simple but essential benefit. When potential consumers see a health-related item is backed by proper medical research, it creates brand trust, which often leads to repeat purchases.

  • Increased competitor strategy. Between a dental product that has undergone research with actual dentists versus one that hasn't, which one would you buy? The one that has the backing of dentists, right? This fact can be used against competitors and also woven into your marketing strategy. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Market research with dental practitioners opens up a huge array of possibilities for relevant healthcare brands. From a better marketing strategy to increased purchases, a brand can grow exponentially by using the data obtained. 

Step 1. Intro Meeting

The first step in this process after partnering with a market research company, like Drive Research will be to connect with your team.

If you're wondering why kickoff meetings are important in market research, it's because they act as a way for you and the research team to understand key project goals--and this isn't a step that should ever be skipped! 

Here's what will likely be reviewed in the initial meeting: 

  • Key objectives
  • Main elements of the project
  • Questions included in the dental market research
  • General project timeline
  • Additional questions answered 

And there you have it. Ensure all of these topics have been covered by the time fieldwork begins.

💡 The Key Takeaway: A kickoff meeting is an essential part of the dental research process. It's a way for core objectives to be covered and questions to be asked.

Step 2. Writing the Survey for Dentists

The key ingredient in how to survey dentists or orthodontists is understanding how to write a survey. 

Writing a survey can't be that bad, you just shoot out the questions you want to be answered and then you're good, right? Nope! That said, we'd like to enroll you in a brief course on survey writing 101.

At the end of the day, surveys that aren't written properly just don't yield the desired result. 

They can cause a host of issues, including:

  • Biased feedback
  • Sparse data
  • Vague responses

If your survey isn't written in the way it should be, there really is no point in a survey at all.

Survey questions for dentists should also be succinct.

Again, this online survey is for an audience who are busy seeing patients all day. They, along with any other healthcare professional, don't have much time for long surveys. 

So, make sure the writing is concise and that the survey won't take longer than 10 minutes. If anything, have a goal to make them three to five minutes long. 

Any repetitive or non-pressing questions should be removed, as this will knock off additional time. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Practitioner survey questions should be clear and short. This aligns them with the dentist's schedule, and also makes them more likely to be taken.

Recommended Reading: 7 Tips to Conducting Market Research with Doctors & Physicians

Step 3. Programming the Survey for Dentists

Onto one of the more technical parts of the process.

We'll give you the short version: programming a survey is when it's taken from a document and entered into an online survey platform. This is the version that your dentists will see.

A survey testing checklist is often followed, due to the detailed nature of this step. 

Common to-do's on the checklist include:

  • Checking router logic
  • Checking answer sequences
  • Checking if question order/flow makes sense

This is a crucial step in the process. If a programmer doesn't follow a specific list of key areas to check, things can go awry quickly. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: A programming checklist is the best way to ensure a quality survey is created. 

Step 4. Surveying Dentists and Orthodontists

After programming wraps up, the survey will then be sent out to the dentists. However, it's likely the survey will not be sent out to all of the dentists--yet. 

This is where something we call a "soft launch" comes in. 

Think of the soft launch as a tester. It's the finished survey that's sent out, but instead of it being sent out to all the dentists in the panel, it's only sent out to a small group of them. 

Is this necessary? 100%!

This is a great way to weed out any errors that may be hidden in the survey without your entire panel getting it.

For instance, routing errors can be discovered this way, along with other important factors like quota fulfillment or response amount. 

For a full overview of this step, check out our post on reasons to soft launch email surveys before jumping in. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: A major factor in understanding how to survey dentists is that a soft launch is necessary. This step weeds out sneaky errors while sparing the entire panel from them.

Step 5. Cleaning the Survey Data

Any gardeners here? We have a point, bear with us. 

Say you have a bountiful vegetable garden that's ready for harvest. Wouldn't you wash those vegetables before you ate them? Of course, you would. 

The same goes for a survey! Your survey questions for dentists may have yielded great data, but that data needs to be cleaned in order for it to be used correctly. 

Several key elements are checked for in the cleaning process:

  • Skipped questions
  • Quick complete times 
  • Straight-lined answers

We'll discuss below. 

It's not uncommon for some answers to be skipped on a survey. But when a respondent begins to skip a bunch, their feedback likely shouldn't be considered. 

Another thing to look out for is respondents who just want to get through the survey.

This may be less likely with dentists as the survey is already quite short, but it doesn't hurt to look. Fast complete times indicate the responses weren't thoroughly considered. 

In the same vein, straight-lined answers are when a respondent zooms through a survey and just clicks the same response for each question.

Again, this is a sign that they didn't think much about their response and just wanted to plow through the survey. 

Take a look at our short video on data cleaning:

💡 The Key Takeaway: Data obtained from questions for dentists--even great data--needs to be carefully reviewed before it can be effectively used. 

Step 6. Analyzing and Reporting Feedback From Dentists 

If you're not convinced about investing in a third-party market research team, let this be the point that sways you.

After the data gets cleaned comes the report. This is compiled by the market research team, and it's where you'll find all of the important data the survey yielded. 

Instead of having to sift through the feedback yourself, the team compiles everything for you and provides suggestions based on what respondents are saying. 

This is essential in figuring out what next steps you, as a brand, will take to use the feedback in the best way. 

Remember those benefits we went over earlier in this post? This is where you'll find out how the data gathered can help those initiatives.

At Drive Research, we prioritize this step by arranging a debrief meeting where we'll go over each data point with you. At this time, you'll be able to ask questions, get in-depth advice, and cover other necessary details. 

Check out our post, Breaking Down a Market Research Report Into 10 Pieces, for more information on this step. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: The final step in successfully surveying oral health professionals is getting a thorough market research report together. 

Survey Dentists With Drive Research

Conducting market research with dentists, dental practitioners, or orthodontists is the first step in creating a stellar oral care product--let us help you on that journey! 

Drive Research is a market research company based in New York. Our team is experienced in working with healthcare professionals and can guide you throughout the entire process. 

Want to learn more about our market research services? Get in touch with us through any of the ways below. 

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Lark Allen

As a Content Marketing Specialist, Lark has a strong background and passion for creative, professional, and journalistic writing. She is also a self-proclaimed music freak and 90s enthusiast.

Learn more about Lark, here.

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