Advertising Standards – American Dental Association

Advertising Standards – American Dental Association

1. All advertisements submitted for display in an ADA publication are subject to review.

2. Products that are in an ADA Seal program must also satisfy all requirements of the Council on Scientific Affairs, in addition to these standards governing eligibility for advertising in ADA publications. Further information on the evaluation programs of the Council on Scientific Affairs is available by contacting the council office at 312.440.2734.

3. Advertisements must not be deceptive or misleading. All claims of fact must be fully supported and meaningful in terms of performance or any other benefit. The Association reserves the right to request additional information as needed.

4. Advertisements will not be accepted if they conflict with or appear to violate ADA policy, the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct or its Constitution and Bylaws, or if the advertisements are deemed offensive in either text or artwork, or contain attacks of a personal, racial or religious nature. The ADA reserves the right to decline advertising for any product involved with a government agency challenge or denial of product marketing, and for any technique or product that is the subject of an unfavorable or cautionary report by an agency of the ADA.

5. By submitting advertising copy, advertisers certify that such copy and the advertised product(s) are in accord with applicable government laws and regulations such as equal opportunity laws and regulations covering new drug applications and prescription drug advertising. For example, products that require approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for marketing must receive this approval before being eligible and must include “full disclosure” when required. It is the responsibility of the advertiser to conform to regulations of the FDA and all legal requirements for the content of claims made for products. Acceptance of advertising in ADA publications is not to be construed as a guarantee that the manufacturer has complied with such laws and regulations.

6. Complete scientific and technical data, whether published or unpublished, concerning product safety, operation and usefulness will be required.

7. The advertisement may cite, in footnotes, references from dental and other scientific literature provided the reference is truthful and is a fair and accurate representation of the body of literature supporting the claim made.

8. Comparative advertising claims for competing products and services will not be accepted.

9. Display advertising with respect to employment, purchase of practice, participation or any other contractual relationship with any dental care delivery mode or system may be accepted for publication. Such opportunities may also be advertised in the classified section of ADA publications without any illustrations or graphics.

10. ADA image requirements for advertising materials:

If treating (or it looks like they are treating) a patient (Dentist, Assistant, and/or Hygienist):

  • Must be wearing gloves.
  • Must be wearing protective eyewear.
  • Must be wearing a mask and have it sitting correctly on the bridge of the nose. (If not treating: Mask should be properly on or off. Mask may not be pulled up on top of head or hang around neck or ears.)
  • Should be wearing long sleeves – Concern for cases that are more invasive.
  • Cannot be wearing a watch, bracelets, or rings that may become contaminated.


  • If taking x-rays, patient should be wearing lead shield and thyroid collar.
  • X-ray images are moving away from film and should be on screen as much as possible.
  • Certain types of x-ray machines should not be shown (please request review if selecting a photo).

11. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products are not eligible for advertising.

12. Books and electronic media are eligible for advertising but a sample may be required in advance for review.

13. An advertisement for an educational course is eligible if it is offered by a provider that is recognized by the ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program (ADA CERP) or conducted under the auspices of the following organizations: an ADA constituent or component dental society, an ADA-recognized dental specialty certifying board or sponsoring organization; an accredited dental or medical school; or any organization specifically referred to in the Bylaws of the ADA; and educational courses offered by providers recognized by the Academy of General Dentistry Program Approval for Continuing Education (AGD PACE). The eligibility of an advertisement for a course conducted by or under the auspices of an organization or commercial entity other than the aforementioned will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

14. The advertiser and the product or service being offered should be clearly identified in the advertisement. In the case of drug advertisements, the full generic name of each active ingredient will appear.

15. Advertising that simulates editorial content must be clearly identified as advertising. The word “advertisement” must be displayed prominently.

16. Guarantees may be used in advertisements provided the statements that are “guaranteed” are truthful and can be substantiated. However, no guarantee should be used without disclosing its conditions and limitations. When space or time restrictions preclude such disclosures, the advertisement must clearly reveal where the full text of the guarantee can be examined before purchase.

17. Advertisements must not quote the names, statements or writings of any individual, public official, government agency, testing group or other organization without their express written consent. Guidelines for the use of testimonials are available upon request.

For questions regarding the ADA Advertising Standards, please contact Ms. Rebecca Kiser in the Publishing Division at 312.440.3540 or by email.