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General Laws

Section 52A. No registered dentist, person practicing dentistry, or dental hygienist shall include, or permit, or cause to be included, in any newspaper, radio, or television advertisement, or in any display sign, personal solicitation or other manner of advertising, any written or spoken words or statements of a character tending to deceive or mislead the public, or claiming professional superiority or the performance of professional services in a superior manner, or the performance of painless operations of a dental or oral surgical nature, or shall advertise with signs or printed advertisements, or by means of show cases, containing the representation of a tooth, teeth, dental restoration of any kind or of whatsoever design or description or any portion of the human head or neck or photograph of any person, or shall make or set forth any promises, guarantees, representations, or statements that satisfaction or a cure will result from the performance of professional services; provided, however, that the foregoing shall not be construed to prevent the publication of truthful advertisements concerning the availability and price of routine dental services by persons subject to this section. No such registered dentist, person practicing dentistry, or dental hygienist shall include, or permit, or cause to be included, in any newspaper, radio or television advertisement or in any display sign, personal solicitation or other manner of advertising, any written or spoken words or statements of a character that: (1) contains a statement of opinion as to the quality of dental services; (2) refers to benefits or other attributes of dental procedures or products that involve significant risks but that do not include realistic assessments of the safety and efficacy of such procedures or products; (3) contains statistical data, representations, or other information that is not susceptible to reasonable verification by the public; (4) refers to a fee or fees for dental services and fail to disclose that additional fees may be involved in individual cases, if the possibility of incurring such additional fees may be reasonably foreseen; (5) offers a discount for dental services without disclosing the total fee from which the discount will apply; (6) fails to make a disclosure of the source and authorship of any message published under a dentist’s byline; or (7) contain a statement concerning the availability of specialty services to make the public believe that specialty care is rendered in a dental office by a qualified specialist when such is not the case. Nothing in the provisions of this section shall be construed to apply to or prohibit, restrict or limit the operations of the business of a dental laboratory. The board may, by regulation, in a manner consistent with the foregoing, further regulate advertising by persons subject to this section.

If a registered dentist contracts with a referral service and a fee is required for the registered dentist to be part of the referral service network, the referral service shall disclose the existence of the fee arrangement in any newspaper, radio or television advertisement, or in any display sign, personal solicitation or other manner of advertising. The disclosure shall plainly state the existence of the fee arrangement between the referral service and the dentists belonging to the referral service network and shall further state that only dentists who pay a fee are participants in such service.

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