The College created a practice advisory on professional advertising to assist dentists in understanding the legal and professional responsibilities regarding any advertising related to a dental practice.
What is professional advertising
Professional advertisement means any material related to a dental practice which is published, displayed, distributed or used, whether by an office directly or by someone on a practice's behalf.
The basic intent of these regulations is to protect the public interest and to ensure that advertisements by dentists do not demean the integrity and dignity of the profession.
While there is no substitute for reading and understanding the legislation, the highlights below may provide some assistance in ensuring compliance with the regulation:
- Ensure that you personally control any and all printed and/or electronic material about your practice that is made available to the public.
- Do not engage in advertising promotion that would result in the sharing or splitting of fees or payments to a third party that relate to the amount of business that you obtain as a result of an advertising or marketing campaign.
- Do not include in your advertisement materials anything that would be considered by the College to be in violation of the advertising regulation. This includes using:
- statements which are unclear, untrue or misleading;
- statements which are indicative of superiority or uniqueness;
- statements which suggest or create an expectation of favourable results or appeal to the public’s fears;
- testimonials or any statement that can only be verified by a person’s personal feelings or views;
- incentive programs, including giveways, contests, draws or free products or services;
- reference to your continuing education, or membership or positions at the College or in societies, associations, academies or similar institutions;
- reference to any degrees or diplomas other than those relating to the degrees or diplomas required for you to obtain a certificate of registration from this College;
- superlative or comparative terms, such as “state of the art, “cutting edge” or any other words or phrases to suggest a higher quality in relation to services, equipment, technology used, or products or persons providing the services.
- If your advertisement makes any reference to an area of dental practice, a dental procedure or treatment, you must clearly disclose whether you are registered with the College as a general practitioner or a specialist; and if a specialist, in which specialty.
- There is nothing to prevent you from advertising a fee; however, if you do so, you must keep in mind the following:
- The fee must be clearly stated so that anyone reading the advertisement will know what you are offering.
- Unless otherwise specified, the advertised fee would be the maximum fee inclusive of all services, including laboratory costs. The adver- tised fee would be applicable to all patients, whether or not they were aware of the advertisement and whether or not they had dental insurance coverage.