The Dos And Don’ts Of Print Advertising For Dental Practices

In today’s world, advertising has become an essential part of any business, including dental practices. However, it’s vital for dentists to ensure their advertisements are truthful and adhere to state laws. Failing to do so could result in ethical issues that can damage their reputation. This guide aims to provide valuable information on the dos and don’ts of print advertising for dental practices. Our goal is to help dentists and their teams develop effective advertising strategies that will appeal to their target audience and attract prospective patients. Whether you’re designing business cards or creating print ads, understanding the basics of print advertising will help your dental marketing plans succeed. Keep reading to discover how to create effective print materials that resonate with your target market, comply with state laws, and ultimately promote dental health to a broader audience.

Dos of Print Advertising for Dental Practices

Print advertising remains relevant in dental marketing, and dental practices can reach their target audience with good print materials. However, the success of any print advertising campaign depends on how well it is executed. Here are some dos of print advertising that dental practices should consider.

1. Use eye-catching designs: A well-crafted design can attract potential patients to your services. Dental practices should seek the services of a professional graphic artist or graphic designer to ensure their print materials have an eye-popping appeal to capture the attention of their target market.

2. Be Clear and Concise: Dental practices must ensure that their print materials have clear and concise messages. Avoid using overly complicated language or medical jargon that may confuse potential patients. Use straightforward language to convey your services and benefits to your target audience.

3. Highlight Positive Reviews: Positive reviews from current patients can be an effective tool for convincing potential patients to choose your practice. Dental practices can include snippets of positive patient reviews in their print materials to reinforce their expertise in dental care.

4. Include a Call-to-Action: Every dental print material should have a call-to-action that invites potential patients to take a specific action towards engaging with your practice. Calls-to-action could be to schedule a first-time appointment, or encourage existing patients to refer their friends and family.

5. Ensure Ethical Standards: Dental practices must adhere to ethical standards when creating their print ads. Avoid any messages that may be construed as discriminatory or unethical. By abiding by ethical guidelines, dental practices can avoid tarnishing their reputation and damaging their brand’s image.

Don’ts of Print Advertising for Dental Practices

Print advertising for dental practices is a great way to reach out to potential patients and target audiences. It can help you introduce new dental services, maintain your existing patients, and expand your patient base. However, it is important to be cautious when it comes to creating print materials. There are several common mistakes that dental practices may inadvertently make when creating print advertising materials that can affect the effectiveness and return on investment of their marketing efforts. 

Don’t Forget About the Call to Action in Your Ads

Print advertising can be a powerful tool for dental practices to attract potential patients and promote their services. However, without a strong call to action, the advertisement may fall short in guiding the target audience towards taking the desired step. A call to action is a simple instruction that encourages potential patients to take a specific action, whether it be scheduling an appointment, visiting the practice’s website, or calling for more information.

Using action-oriented words in the call to action can increase the likelihood of the advertisement being effective. For instance, rather than simply stating the website address, using a phrase like “Visit us online now for more information” can draw in more interested patients. Similarly, “Call today to schedule your appointment” leaves no room for confusion about what the desired action is.

Don’t Overlook Unique Promotional Opportunities within Your Market Area

When it comes to advertising dental services, there are unique promotional opportunities that practices often overlook within their market areas. One creative method is partnering with local businesses for cross-promotion. By creating mutually beneficial relationships, dental practices can offer discounts to local businesses in exchange for business referrals.

For example, partnering with a local gym, yoga studio, or health food store can attract potential patients who value a healthy lifestyle. Hosting community events is another effective strategy to generate brand awareness while providing value to the community. For instance, organizing a free dental checkup or oral health seminar can build relationships with potential patients and position the practice as an expert and trusted authority.

Offering free consultations is also an excellent approach to promote dental services. Patients value transparency, and providing an opportunity to have a conversation with a dentist can help build trust and encourage new patient acquisition. By exploring unique promotional opportunities within their market areas, dental practices can differentiate themselves from competitors and generate a positive reputation in the community.

Don’t Limit Your Marketing Efforts to Traditional Direct Mail Campaigns

While direct mail campaigns have been a traditional staple in dental marketing, it’s important not to limit your marketing efforts to just that. With the rise of digital marketing, there are alternative strategies that dental practices can integrate to increase their marketing efforts.

Integrated campaigns that incorporate different channels like email marketing, social media marketing, and even QR codes on print ads can help increase website traffic and expand the reach to potential patients. For example, a dental practice can create a direct mail piece that includes a unique QR code that directs patients to their website, where they can learn more about their services and book appointments. This integrated strategy not only enhances the impact of a direct mail campaign, but also provides new channels for potential patients to engage with the dental practice.

Moreover, diversifying marketing channels can lead to better results as it reaches a larger audience and allows for targeting of different segments of your market. Social media marketing can help you reach a younger demographic, while direct mail campaigns might appeal more to an older demographic. Using different channels also allows for varied promotional techniques that can invoke an emotional response in your target audience.

Don’t Forget About Appointment Reminders, Follow-Ups, and Referrals

Appointment reminders, follow-ups, and referrals are crucial for dental practices looking to increase patient retention and satisfaction. Sending out reminders for upcoming appointments can improve attendance rates, reduce missed appointments, and ensure patients are receiving necessary care for their dental health. Follow-ups after appointments show patients that their dental practice cares about their well-being and can address any concerns or issues that may arise. Referrals from current patients can also help bring in new business and increase trust and loyalty with existing patients.

Dental practices can utilize various methods of appointment reminders, such as direct mail, SMS, or email. When implementing these strategies, it’s important to make sure the reminders are personalized and informative. Including the date and time of the appointment, location, and any necessary instructions can help patients remember and properly prepare. Additionally, having a system in place for rescheduling or cancelling appointments can make the process more efficient and less overwhelming for patients.

Follow-ups can also be done via phone call, email, or even a handwritten note. Taking the time to check in on patients after their appointment shows that their dental practice values their health and well-being. Referrals can be encouraged through word-of-mouth or by offering incentives such as discounted services or rewards for successful referrals.


In conclusion, dental practices should use print advertising to reach their target audiences. However, they need to be mindful of the dos and don’ts of effective print advertising. Dental practices should always focus on creating ads that are clear, concise, and informative. They should avoid using overly-generic or unspecific language, as well as excessive use of images and graphics. Additionally, dental practices should take advantage of the benefits of local media, such as the use of local newspapers and magazines. By following these tips, dental practices can ensure that their print advertising is effective and reaches its intended audience.