Is Dental Marketing Unethical? Dentists Think It Might Be… (Survey Results)

Dentists Are Torn over the Ethics of Marketing

In this poll, we asked dentists: Does dental marketing sully the reputation of dentists in the eyes of the public?
Dentists are split over the ethics of marketing

Dentists were split on the issue. The slight majority (54%) said, “Dental practitioners should hold themselves to a higher ethical code than used car salesmen.” The other 46% of respondents replied, “Today’s world is filled with ads, and consumers won’t judge a dentist negatively for advertising.”

  • I have increased my advertising over the past 18 months, and it has been very rewarding financially.” (New Hampshire dentist)
  • Heavy advertising reduces dentistry to a commodity rather than a professional service.” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “I was brought up to believe that a professional’s morals, ethics, quality of dentistry, and honesty brought patients to the office. I have depended on word-of-mouth referrals for the thirty-seven years I have been in practice.” (Mississippi dentist)
  • “If it diminished the profession in any way, the public would not go to those docs, and the ads in the phone book would be getting smaller.” (Georgia dentist)
  • “I am very disturbed in the direction the profession is headed. It’s one thing to say you don’t do amalgams and another to say you’re ‘mercury-free.’ ‘Pain free dentistry’ as opposed to what? Painful? It is all feeding into a very unprofessional, cut-throat and unethical atmosphere.” (Washington dentist)
  • “It costs so much to market, it’s hard to tell if its working, and we all have to do it to keep up with the other dentists who have started advertising.” (California dentist)
  • “Marketing ethically is one thing, but to say that marketing dentistry is unethical is ridiculous. What better way to communicate with prospective patients is there?” (Illinois dentist)
  • “Marketing itself does not necessarily demean the profession, but the majority of what is going on in dental marketing does.” (Texas orthodontist)
  • “It seems that newer dentists use any means possible to advertise their edge, and sometimes these are very misleading to patients.” (Wisconsin dentist)
  • “While most is ethical, it walks a fine line.” (New Jersey periodontist)
  • “‘Higher ethical codes’ don’t pay for college tuition for the kids, nor do they pay for one’s retirement!” (Texas dental sales consultant)
  • Post your own comments below!

Read the full dental marketing ethics survey results!


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