In a competitive market place, many dental businesses advertise their services but the DDU is reminding its members of the potential pitfalls of falling foul of GDC and advertising standards guidelines. In particular, dentists are advised not to use the term implantologist in their advertising to avoid misleading patients because there is currently no GDC specialist list for implant providers.
Dentists also need to be careful when advertising aesthetic treatments, such as fillers and minimally invasive composite restorations, the DDU warns.
This follows new advice from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on dental advertising published for National Smile Month. The ASA reminds those advertising dental products and services to ensure there is robust evidence to support claims, not to exaggerate the capabilities of a product and to make sure before and after images are genuine and used with permission.
Eric Easson, DDU dento-legal adviser said:
'Although the principles of advertising seem fairly straightforward, it's important not to misrepresent yourself, your skills or your services - accidentally or otherwise. There is the potential for what appear to be completely benign adverts or statements to be misinterpreted by patients or regulatory bodies. For example, dentists have been criticised by the GDC for using the term implantology in advertising because of the potential to mislead patients.
'The majority of dental professionals advertise ethically and in line with their legal obligations. However, it's important to regularly review all promotional material featuring you or your work to ensure it complies with guidance from the ASA, Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the GDC.'
This guidance was correct at publication 09/05/2019. It is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.