Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners

Friday, August 22, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions -- >
  Advertising

Advertising
  • Does a general dentist need to use a disclaimer if he/she lists services performed in an advertisement?
  • No. However, when a dentist notes any services rendered, the dentist must note in the advertisement that he/she is a "general dentist." The word "family" may be substituted for "general." Also, ALL advertisements MUST include the full name and degree of the dentist who will be providing services. Refer to Board Regulation 43 and the ADA Code of Ethics.
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  • Does a licensed specialist need a disclaimer when listing services provided?
  • No. However, a licensed specialist must indicate the ADA-recognized specialty in any advertisement wherein services provided are included. Refer to Board Regulation 43.
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  • Can I include fees charged and/or services for "free" in my advertising?
  • Advertising that references a fee or fees, or a service for no fee, must clearly define the professional service being offered in the advertisement. Such advertised offers shall be presumed to include everything ordinarily required for such a service. No additional fees may be charged unless the advertisement includes the following disclaimer: "Additional fees may be incurred in individual cases". Refer to Board Regulation 43.
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  • Can I include in my advertising certain words and/or phrases which I feel describe my office, staff, and services rendered?
  • No advertisement by a licensed dentist shall contain any false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive statement or claim. Certain acts or omissions in the context of advertising by any licensee shall constitute unprofessional conduct as set forth in Miss. Code Ann. 73-9-61(1)(l), and subject the licensee to disciplinary action. Refer to Board Regulation 43 for a detailed description of these acts and/or omissions.
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  • What is a "corporate/trade" name?
  • A dental facility is considered as utilizing a "corporate/trade" name when that name is not the full name and degree of the dentist owning or working in the facility (e.g., Mize Family Dentistry, Family Dentistry, South Mississippi Dental Facility, etc.). All corporate/trade names must be registered with and approved by the Board, and the Board must be provided the full names of all dentists employed by or owning the facility, as well as any alternate locations of the facility. Refer to Board Regulation 55.
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  • I have been using a "corporate/trade" name for my dental clinic for many years. Do I still need to register that name with the Board?
  • Yes. It is immaterial whether you have used a "corporate/trade" name for one (1) or twenty (20) years -- you still must register that name with the Board; otherwise, you are in violation of the laws and regulations pertaining to advertising. Refer to Board Regulation 55.
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  • Is the word “affordable” allowed in dental advertisements?
  • Yes. At its 09/13/2002 Board meeting, the Board made the following determination with respect to use of the word “affordable” in advertising:
  • The Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners has recently re-evaluated its position as to use of the word “affordable” in dental advertising and signage, and whether use of such a term would be in violation of Board Regulation 43, prohibiting any advertisement deemed to be misleading to the public. Although, previously, the Board determined that use of the term “affordable” may be misleading, i.e., what is affordable to one person may not be to another, the Board has determined, based on advice of legal counsel, not to prohibit use of the word “affordable” in advertising and signage, provided all other aspects of the advertisement and/or signage comply with Board Regulation 43.
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  • Are Mississippi dentists allowed to advertise that they utilize the OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV Antibody Test?
  • No. Although the Board determined that it is within the scope of practice for licensed Mississippi dentists to utilize the OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV Antibody Test, it is not an appropriate mechanism for advertising. Refer to Board Regulation 43.
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  • Are Mississippi dentists allowed to utilize Groupon and Groupon-like advertising strategies?
  • At its 08/10/2012 meeting, the Board discussed Groupon and Groupon-like advertising strategies and whether such would violate the Board's laws and regulations. At that meeting, the Board voted unanimously to issue the following ADVISORY NOTICE to all licensed Mississippi dentists who currently may be utilizing, or considering utilizing, these types of advertising strategies:
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  • ADVISORY FROM THE MISSISSIPPI STATE BOARD OF DENTAL EXAMINERS TO ALL DENTAL LICENSEES:

    At its 08/10/2012 meeting, the Board discussed Groupon and similar advertising strategies and whether such strategies constitute a violation of the Board’s laws and regulations. At that meeting, the Board opined that dentists utilizing Groupon or similar services should be aware that offering discounts through Groupon-like services wherein fees are paid to the service constitutes fee-splitting when the payment is based upon a percentage of the fees collected or the number of referrals made. Dentists engaging in such a practice are deemed to be in violation of the American Dental Association’s (ADA) "Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct," as well as Board Regulation 1, which formally adopts the Code. The Board also opined that no violation of its laws and regulations occurs if the fee paid to the Groupon-like service is a pre-set amount which does not vary based upon a percentage of the fees collected or the number of referrals made.
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