Do’s and Don'ts of Dental Advertising
In order to educate our members and reach out to non-members, the West Coast District Dental Association is pleased to provide you with this information about Florida’s advertising regulations. The general rules to follow under state law and the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct are summarized below, followed by a list of specific “Do’s and Don'ts.”
Dentists may lawfully advertise to the public but doing so in an improper manner can place your license in jeopardy. Florida Board of Dentistry discipline is a serious matter and some of the rules are very technical, so please be aware of the requirements in order to avoid unintentional violations.
First, advertising is defined to include web sites, billboards, television, radio, yellow pages, telephone listings, newspaper display or classified advertising, “advertorials” (advertisements that look like editorials or news reports), signage, business cards and letter head. The rules apply to any statement, oral or written, that directly or indirectly offers to perform dental services. The rules apply to media exposure of any nature regardless of whether it is in the form of paid advertising or not.
Second, if you are the Florida licensed dentist offering the services, you have assumed total responsibility for the advertisement should the Board of Dentistry receive a complaint. Even if you hire someone else to run the ad, publish the website, use a referral service, etc., you will be the party held responsible by the Board of Dentistry. Just because a practice management consultant or a publisher trying to sell you advertising space says it is okay does not alleviate you of your responsibility as a licensee to ensure the rules are followed.
Third, dentists may not disseminate advertising that is in any way fraudulent, false, deceptive, or misleading. This includes misrepresentations of fact; making partial disclosure of relevant facts; making self-laudatory statements; creating unjustified expectations of favorable results; comparing the quality of your dental services against other available dental services; and making any other representation or implication that in reasonable probability will cause an ordinary prudent person to misunderstand or to be deceived.
You may also consult the BOD advertising rules here with this link...