Checking for Answers
(page 1 of 2)
Like a patient getting a diagnosis, you have the right to know the methodology behind the decision. We have anticipated some questions and, with the help of the company that did the research, provided answers.
WHO CONDUCTS THE SURVEY?
The survey was conducted by an independent source, topDentists LLC of Augusta, Ga.
HOW ARE DENTISTS NOMINATED FOR THIS LIST?
According to the company, the nomination pool of dentists consists of all dentists listed online with the American Dental Association (www.ada.org), as well as all dentists listed online with their local dental societies, thus allowing virtually every dentist the opportunity to participate. Dentists are also given the opportunity to nominate other dentists who may have been missed but who they feel should be included in the list. Respondents are asked to put aside any personal biases or political motivations and to use only their knowledge of their peers’ work when evaluating the other nominees.
WHAT QUESTION IS ASKED WHEN DENTISTS ARE SURVEYED?
“If you had a patient in need of a dentist, which dentist would you refer them to?”
Dentists and specialists are asked to take into consideration years of experience, continuing education, manner with patients, use of new techniques and technologies and – of course – physical results.
HOW IS THE VOTING CONDUCTED?
Voters are asked to individually evaluate the practitioners on their ballot whose work they are familiar with. Once the balloting is completed, the scores are compiled and then averaged. The numerical average required for inclusion varies depending on the average for all the nominees within the specialty and the geographic area. Borderline cases are given careful consideration by the survey editors. Voting characteristics and comments are taken into consideration while making decisions. Past awards a dentist has received and his or her status in various dental academies (Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Periodontology, etc.) can play a factor in the decision.
ARE THERE ANY CROSS-CHECKS?
Once the decisions have been finalized, the included dentists are checked against state dental board records for disciplinary actions to make sure they have active licenses and are in good standing with the board. Then letters of congratulations are sent to all the listed dentists. (topDentists LLC is allowed to sell plaques to dentists proclaiming their selection to the list; however, under no condition is the purchase of a plaque a condition for being included on the list. The list is published prior to plaque offers being made. Louisiana Life magazine is not connected to, and receives no income from, plaque sales.)
WHERE ARE THE BIASES?
topDentists LLC says this: “Of course there are many fine dentists who are not included in this representative list. It is intended as a sampling of the great body of talent in the field of dentistry in the U.S. A dentist’s inclusion on our list is based on the subjective judgments of his or her fellow dentists. While it is true that the lists may at times disproportionately reward visibility or popularity, we remain confident that our polling methodology largely corrects for any biases and that these lists continue to represent the most reliable, accurate and useful list of dentists available anywhere.”