Dental Marketing Industry Regulation Royal College Of Dental Surgeons Of Ontario (RCDSO) Advertising Guidelines

Did you know that RCDSO regulations prohibit dentists from posting reviews/testimonials/external ratings on their office websites and/or on external social media platforms operated by third parties? This includes references by patients to specific procedures/treatments performed by the dentist. Such actions may be considered a violation of professional misconduct, as described in the Professional Misconduct regulations of the Dentistry Act, 1991 Loi de 1991 sur les dentistes ONTARIO REGULATION 853/93.

Working with a digital marketing agency that specializes in the medical/dental industry has never been more important for dentists and their businesses. 

Gone are the days when phone books were how patients found their dentists. Today, people turn to the internet and social media to find the best dentist in their area. Having a website or using Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to promote your practice are effective ways to drum up new patients looking for a new dentist. Typically, once you have a patient come into your clinic, they will continue to come back, however, a lot of people find visiting a dental clinic an anxiety-inducing experience. With that said, around 75% of people experience fear of the dentist, with 20% avoiding the trip altogether. So, as a dental practice, not only do you need to sell yourself as a knowledgeable professional but also help potential customers overcome their fears. Using online marketing is one of the best ways to achieve this.

However, dental practices experience marketing challenges unique to their geographical jurisdictions. For example, dentists in Ontario Canada need to follow the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) rules and regulations around advertising. The RCDSO has formed an advisory on professional advertising to help dentists understand the legal and professional responsibilities that govern their conduct. 

In this digital age, dental advertising is an important strategy for attracting new patients and creating lifetime patients. As a dentist, marketing is most likely not your strong suit, let alone the RCDSO rules and regulations. And that is okay! As a professional online marketing and consulting group, Wisevu is here to help guide you through this heavily regulated industry and handle all your dental marketing needs in accordance with regulations.

With years of experience in the healthcare and dental industry, Wisevu can take your dental marketing strategy to the next level, help you attract new patients, re-engage existing patients and continually grow your practice. One of the biggest reasons dentists partner with Wisevu is because we understand your industry and do not require hand-holding. We will handle your advertising plan all while following the rules and guidelines set by the authorities like RCDSO for advertising dental practice online so that you can focus on your practice. 

RCDSO Regulations 

The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) permits dentists to advertise their services online. However, there are many regulations and “fine print” that must be understood. Dentists may be subject to complaints and professional consequences for violating these regulations. Here are some of the important regulations to follow as they relate to online marketing. 

The definition of professional advertisement is expansive and includes any material related to your practice that is published, displayed, distributed, or used, whether by you or by someone on your behalf. It includes 

RCDSO Regulations Dentist Advertise Permits
  • Advertisements
  • Flyers
  • Websites
  • Newsletters
  • Business Cards
  • Advertorials
  • Logos
  • Stationary
  • Signage
  • Announcements 
  • Other information related to the dental practice

Under the Dentistry Act and its regulations, it is an act of misconduct for dentists to publish, display, distribute or use promotional materials having information that: 

  • Is unclear, false, or misleading; 
  • Is not provable, such as patient testimonials;
  • Statements that include superlatives, such as “cutting edge,” “state of the art” or any other phrases which suggest higher quality products, services, equipment, or technology used than those of other providers;
  • Suggests uniqueness or superiority over other dentists; 
  • Statements which are likely to create expectations of favourable results or appeal to the public’s fears; 
  • Refers to any degrees or diplomas not required to obtain a certificate of registration from the College; 
  • Refers to continuing education, or membership or positions at the College or in societies, associations, academies or similar institutions;
  • Refers to practice areas/procedures/ treatments without disclosing if the dentist is a general practitioner or a specialist, and without disclosing the dentist’s specialty, if applicable;
  • It is also a violation of the regulations for dentists to use incentive programs, such as giveaways, contests, draws or free products/services, as well as to advertise fees misleadingly. 

When advertising your fee, keep in mind the following things:

  • Clearly state the fee in your advertisement so that anyone reading will know what you are offering;
  • The advertised fee should be the maximum fee inclusive of all services and laboratory costs;
  • The advertised fee should apply to all patients, whether or not they were aware of the advertisement or they had dental insurance coverage.

Do not engage in advertising promotion that may result in the sharing or splitting of fees or payments to a third party relating to the amount of business that you get as a result of marketing campaigns.

The RCDSO advertising guideline also states that “even if dentists are not personally involved with the distribution of promotional material about their practice or person, they are accountable if they directly or indirectly permit the distribution of any advertising or promotion of their dental practice”. At Wisevu, we understand this and when you advertise with us, you can rest assured we will consult you on the best ways to ensure you remain compliant. 

Rules for Posting Content on Social Media

RCDSO makes every effort to ensure that content published on social media follows the official policies and comes from approved sources.

The content posted on social media:

  • Should not hurt public confidence in the dental profession or compromise your professionalism;
  • Does not contain vulgar or inappropriate language, including harassing, racial or sexual terminology;
  • Does not mention or discuss specific RCDSO members, employees, dental staff, or individuals;
  • Does not contain slanderous or potentially defamatory words;
  • Makes false claims, allegations, or conclusions;
  • Should not contain a reference to an ongoing case or investigation or post graphic images of treatments;
  • Do not provide personal information or information that may identify the third party;
  • Standard of patient privacy and confidentiality must be maintained;
  • Does not abuse or infringe any intellectual property right or copyrighted material.

The College may restrict a user’s access to a College social media site or channel if it is determined by the College that the user:

  • Is impersonating another user;
  • Violates any RCDSO policy or terms of use;
  • Breaches any existing law, statute, regulation, standard or rule or by-law;
  • Has engaged or is presently engaging in unlawful, malicious, discriminatory or harassing behaviour.

At Wisevu, we offer dental marketing services that are in accordance with the RCDSO regulations. Here are the services we offer.

Services Offered 

Content Production

RCDSO Regulations Content Production

In the competitive dental industry, it is crucial to ensure your practice stands out from the competition. Ranking at the top of Google is simply not enough in today’s saturated dental market. Conversion-optimized dental sales copywriting by an experienced specialist agency like Wisevu is the way to do just that. Via our deep dive interviews, our marketing strategists ask our dental clients all the right questions, which allow our writers to position your practice effectively and make you stand out through engaging, informative, and unique content that will not only convert more patients but will be SEO optimized to give you a competitive advantage. Our team of content writers has extensive experience in writing content that meets dental regulatory guidelines like the RCDSO. The content we create matches your brand persona, offers unbiased health advice and general medical explanations, addresses patient fears, and, most importantly, speaks to your patients’ unique needs. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

RCDSO Regulations Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for dentists is arguably the single most effective and cost-efficient medium for improving online visibility and attracting highly relevant prospects actively looking for your dental services on search engines like Google, Bing and Youtube. SEO increases your website’s ranking position on major search engines, in turn improving your chances of online appointment bookings. Since 2008 Wisevu has been specializing in Organic SEO which ensures dental practices are ranking within the top half of the first page for their target dental services. Our 100% remote/virtual team model ensures the lowest costs in the industry. Our decades of experience in the dental industry have allowed us to build a massive network required to implement rapid SEO ranking improvements for our clients/strategic partners. 

Web Design

RCDSO Regulations Web Design

97% of patients visit a dentist’s website rather than call the office for information or book an appointment. From scheduling a routine cleaning to finding a dentist who specializes in the specific treatment they require, they use Google, Bing or YouTube. To stand out, you need a mobile-friendly website that’s as bright and appealing as the smiles that you deliver. And also a website that complies with the guidelines set by dental regulatory bodies like the RCDSO. At Wisevu, we build you a web presence with our dental website design service that is built on the world’s most reputable open-source framework ensuring that you are not locked into Wisevu or any single provider. While you can rest assured that your dental website is scalable and future-proof. We encrypt all data gathered on your websites, such as web form submissions, appointment requests, and contact forms. 

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

RCDSO Regulations Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay-Per-Click or PPC advertising will help you acquire new patients in the fastest way possible online. Google’s PPC network (Google Ads) allows you to advertise your practice on the different websites your potential patients visit. This includes Google search results (text ads), website (image or video ads), and YouTube (video ads). PPC advertising comes with several benefits. You are charged only when your potential patients interact with your ads. That means every dollar you spend is accounted for! Wisevu is a Google Ads and Google Analytics-certified agency ensuring complete compliance and optimal results for dental practices. 


RCDSO Regulations Remarketing


Remarketing is another great way to attract potential patients. Remarketing allows dentists to advertise to individuals who already interacted with their website without taking action, like scheduling an appointment. However, remarketing can be challenging to navigate because of guidelines and restrictions like RCDSO. At Wisevu, we are well-versed in the applicable rules for remarketing your dental practice online. Although heavily regulated and sometimes very restrictive, Wisevu has developed intuitive ways to ensure your remarketing ads reach your target audience while remaining compliant.  


Following all these rules and regulations can be overwhelming for dentists and this is where Wisevu comes in.

We are a talented team of web designers, content marketers, SEO’s, and PPC experts. We provide the most comprehensive online dental marketing solutions while complying with strict regulations. We strive to achieve the best results for our clients at highly competitive rates. To learn more, schedule a free consultation with our dental SEO experts.


The information stated here does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. All the content available here is for general information purpose. Readers should contact their lawyer to obtain advice concerning any particular legal matter.

Related Article: Online Reputation Management for Dentists in Ontario – Do’s and Don’ts

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