- Avoid False Claims: The first rule of dental advertising is to steer clear of any false claims. Any statement made in ads should be factually accurate and supported by scientific evidence, or you risk losing the trust of your patients.
- Be Clear and Concise: Your message should be straightforward and easy to understand. Avoid confusion by keeping your message simple, clear, and concise.
- Use Visuals: Pictures, diagrams, and graphics can be powerful tools in dental advertising. They can help explain procedures, enhance your message, and even make your ads more memorable.
- Be Ethical: Advertisements should always be ethical and not misleading. Claims made should be evidence-based, and any images used should be real and not enhanced.
- Keep it Relevant: Only advertise dental services you are currently offering, and stick to the services you specialize in. Make sure your ads fit your target audience’s interests and needs.
- Adhere to HIPAA: You need to ensure patient confidentiality when advertising your services, meaning you can’t use patient photos or information without obtaining their explicit consent (in writing).
- Use Simple Language: Avoid using technical jargon or complicated dental terminology and use language that is easy for the general population to understand.
- Keep it Legal: Many states dental boards have rules about the use of patient testimonials. Many states do not allow dentists to use terms, such as ‘Pain-free’, ‘painless’ or similar. There are other rules that may pertain, such as fee disclosures, announcement of specialty credentials, identity of the dentists and ‘General Dentist’ disclosures. Always follow the rules of your state board, the FTC and requirements of professional trade organizations and credentialing bodies.
- Don't Overpromise: Finally, avoid over-promising, and making guarantees or promises that you can’t keep. Always manage your patients' expectations and be realistic in terms of results and treatment outcomes.
Written by Duane Tinker
Dental Compliance Specialists helps make dental offices safer for patients, dentists and their employees. We help our clients develop and maintain their compliance programs including OSHA/Infection Control, HIPAA, DEA regulations and prescribing practices, Radiation Safety, OIG/Medicaid Compliance, Record Auditing, and more by providing actionable systems, easy-to-use tools, robust training, and accountability. Most of our clients have never been in trouble and want to keep it that way. Sometimes, though, dentists call when they are in trouble. In either case, we are there to make a meaningful difference. If you need help call us at 817-755-0035.