How to Advertise a Dental Practice

Dentists can advertise their business through direct mail and the yellow pages.
Dentists can advertise their business through direct mail and the yellow pages. (Image: dentist cabinet image by Mirek Hejnicki from

Dentists need to promote or advertise their practices like any other business. Since dentists provide local services, all of their advertising should be focused on the local market. The objective of dental advertising is to attract a potential patient's attention, build her interest and desire to use the dental service and, ultimately, prompt her to take action.

Things You'll Need

  • Brochure
  • Mailing lists
  • Website

Decide how much you want to spend each month on advertising. Allocate your advertising expenses among different types of advertising, including print or newspaper, television and even Internet ads.

Decide which types of patients you will target in your advertising, according to Target people who need routine examinations, but also promote certain specialties of your dental practice. Direct your teeth whitening services, for example, toward middle-aged people or smokers.

Obtain the data card or advertising rates from various advertising sources. Determine the specific deadline for purchasing each ad. Purchase your advertising in advance and keep it running consistently.

Start by getting referrals from current patients, even before any of your ads come out. Offer your patients discounts commensurate with the number of patients whom they refer. Keep your referral system running. Post the referral incentive program on the wall near the check-in window. Include referral page along with the documents that new patients fill out on their first visits.

Have a Web designer create a website for your dental practice. Include your website address on your business card and all advertising pieces.

Study dental advertisements in your local yellow pages. Place an ad that is comparable in size to some of your key competitors, as potential patients will often refer to the yellow pages when searching for a dentist. Place an online yellow pages ad through your yellow pages, too, because people also search online for local dentists.

Place advertisements in direct-mail magazines or comparable publications that are mailed to people's homes.

Create a brochure about your dental practice. Include your website address on the brochure. Obtain the names and addresses of new residents in your town from your local county administration office. Mail brochures to these new residents.

Advertise your dental practice in local community newspapers because they are highly cost effective.

Find a local Internet specialist who can optimize your website, which will help you get listed on the first or second page for local searches through Yahoo or Google.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can track what type of advertising attracts the most business by having your receptionist ask patients how they found out about you. Radio advertising also can be effective, especially since it is targeted toward a specific age group. Television advertising is usually cost-prohibitive, though sometimes television stations will offer reduced rates if time slots are still available.

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