Are There Advertising Restrictions for Dental Practices?

The American Dental Association and Florida Statute § 466.019 mandate laws for advertising by dentists.

The American Dental Association provides several resources that help supply practicing dentists with an understanding of how to promote their businesses through marketing and advertising. Such resources include a publication such as the “Advertising Basics for Dentists and Dental Associations: A Guide to Federal and State Rules and Standards.” Within that publication is incorporated state law including Florida Statute § 466.019, which mandates laws for advertising by dentists. The purpose of that particular section “is to ensure that the public has access to information which provides a sufficient basis upon which to make an informed selection of dentists while also ensuring that the public is protected from false or misleading advertisements.”  This particular statute does not indicate or define the meaning of “advertising” within the contextual basis, and therefore, it may be inferred that the meaning should be interpreted broadly.

What Can I Include in my Dental Marketing Ads?

Among the stipulated advertising regulations pursuant to Florida statute, no licensed dentist shall advertise any such false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive statement or claim within such advertisement. That includes, misrepresentations of fact, statements made with only partial disclosure of relevant facts, and anything else that can potentially create unjustified expectations of favorable results.

A complete restriction to dental advertising is mandated in Florida Statute § 466.035, where the law states that no dental laboratory shall “solicit or advertise, directly or indirectly, by mail, card, newspaper, pamphlet, radio, television, or otherwise to the general public to construct, reproduce, or repair prosthetic dentures, bridges, plates, or other appliances to be used or worn as substitutes for natural teeth or for the regulation of natural teeth.” Moreover, dental practices are prohibited from posting advertisements that contain fee information without a disclaimer that such is a minimum fee only, or any other declaration that allows an ordinary, prudent person to misunderstand or to be deceived.

Can Dentists Engage in Telemarketing?

Dental practices and dentists may engage in telemarketing, upon acquiring proper licenses, and following certain mandated rules. It is important for licensed dentists, along with many other business owners to understand that proper procedure and etiquette when marketing is fundamental to earning a good customer base and providing the utmost best experience for consumers. Therefore, pursuant to Florida’s Telemarketing Act, businesses and sales people that engage in telemarketing must follow proper steps and procedure to adequately provide telemarketing services. First, they must obtain a license from the Florida Division of Consumer Services before operating in Florida. Of course, there are many restrictions that come with the participation in telemarketing. The list includes: (1) no calls before 8:00am and after 9:00pm, (2) no blocking of caller I.D., (3) telemarketers can’t tell a person that they can pay for their service only by credit card or otherwise to announce a preference for that method of payment, (4) from the time a person answers the call, the telemarketer has 30 seconds to state his or her true name, the name of the company the telemarketer represents, and the goods or services being sold, and (5) if a person agrees to buy the goods or services that the telemarketer is offering, the telemarketer must provide them with information about their right to cancel the agreement.

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