The internet can be an excellent dental marketing tool. Many practices have found that going online can be a great way to bring in more patients, whether that is a simple presence on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter or something more elaborate like a full-fledged dental app.
However, there is a worrying tendency by some people to use the internet as if the things said on it do not count in real life. You can see this all the time with online comments, where people will often post incredibly hurtful things they would never say to someone. However, this is not the case, and claims made online can lead to legal trouble.
This has definitely been the case recently, as a man has been prosecuted by the General Dental Council (GDC) for unlawfully using the title of ‘dental technician’. Luis Fairman pleaded guilty to the offence of unlawfully using the title dental technician, contrary to section 39 (2A) of the Dentists Act 1984.
Mr Fairman posted a video on YouTube entitled “NHS Dentistry – Ed’s Story”, in which he referred to himself as a dental technician. However, he was not registered with the GDC, and so his use of this title was not legal.
By law, anyone describing themselves as a dentist, dental nurse, dental technician, clinical dental technician, dental hygienist, dental therapist and orthodontic therapist must be registered with the GDC.
In Mr Fairman’s case, the claim ended up costing him £1,050: a £500 fine, a £50 victim surcharge and £500 in costs to the GDC. Even if you are a fully qualified dentist, you must make sure you do not claim to have any title that you have not registered with the GDC, even if it is just a marketing tactic on the internet.
You should be able to find plenty of positive things to say about your practice to ensure there is no need for false claims. You should be as honest as possible in your marketing, and focus on providing the best service possible.