UK Dental Marketing Regulations: A Quick and Clear Guide

dental marketing regulations

Ready to market and grow your practice but worry about breaching dental advertising guidelines? You are not alone considering 9/10 dentists fear being sued. So stay away from the hefty fines and settlements as we walk you through UK dental marketing laws in this simple post. Let’s get started!

Who sets the rules? Two key players we care about:

  1. General Dental Council (GDC): You already know and love the GDC! But you may not know marketing falls under their ethical conduct rules in dental professionals. Their advertising handbook can be found here and is our primary resource.  
  2. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA): Zooming outside dentistry, ASA are the independent advertising regulator. They monitor media across the UK and make sure everyone follows the laws. 

Now we have met the authority figures, let’s dive into the details…

1. Be honest and transparent: This might seem obvious, but you'd be surprised!

be honest to adhere to dental marketing regulations

Most typical advertisements you see online would not pass in the healthcare world. So stick with realistic language and showcase genuine patient experience. Think less imaginative and more factual!

  • Misleading claims: Do not guarantee painless procedures or claim everyone can achieve miraculous results from treatment.  
  • Before and after photos: Take accurate photos and avoid excessive editing. 
  • Testimonials: Make sure they are real and genuine – people know!

2. Respect patient privacy: Keep everyone safe and protected

Anonymise all details in marketing information unless patients have stated otherwise. One London pharmacy was fined  £275,000 due to data protection breaches (scary). 

  • Consent is king: Get permission before using patient data publicly. 
  • Stay real: Explain how you collect and store any patient data in a privacy policy.
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): Stay updated and informed!

3. This is not football: No one player is the best!

Highlight your qualifications, experience and awards without making comparisons or condescending remarks. We are all friends in the dental industry… 

  • No bashing competitors: Simple state who you are and what you do. 
  • Avoid subjective claims: Remain objective and never claim “best dentist in town.” 

4. Mind your language: Even little children should understand

dental market guidelines dicate language should be simple so even young children could understand it

Communicate clearly and concisely while avoiding technical terms. This can be tricky! Any statement not held by the entire dental profession must be clear. 

  • Jargon and technical terms: Use language your target audience understands.
  • Exaggerated claims: “life changing treatment” is pushing the boundaries.
  • False promises: Don’t imply that dental treatments are risk-free.

5. Consider the platform: Different channels have different rules

learn what#s acceptable for different social media platforms

Respect each platform and tailor accordingly! Google and Instagram are completely different… 

  • Social media guidelines: Each platform has its own advertising policies so beware!
  • Email marketing regulations: Obtain consent before sending emails and always include an easy unsubscribe option.
  • Website disclaimers: Include clear information about your team, contact details and complaints procedure. 

Include GDC registration numbers and degrees when discussing your team. Avoid using the words ‘specialist’ or ‘specialises in’ when dentists are not officially qualified or the field does not exist like ‘denture specialist’.

Bonus Tip: Consult a legal professional or marketing agency specialising in healthcare for tailored advice.

Final words

Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to regulations. Staying informed and compliant protects you from legal hassles and builds trust with your patients. Remember that rules also change over time! If you want to stay on the safe side then contact Dental Writers today where we create 100% GDC compliant content so you don’t have to. Click here to learn more. 


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Dale King

Dale has been writing in the dental industry for over 10 years and keeps up to date with the latest technologies and treatments

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