Dental Advertising is the use of advertising in order to promote a dental practice, creating preference or elevating the status of a particular dentist or dental practice in the perception of the general public.
Throughout most of the 20th Century, dental associations generally restricted the advertising activities of dental practices, feeling the practice of advertising lowered the perceived professionalism of dentistry. These regulations started to relax after the US Supreme Court, in Bates vs. State Bar of Arizona, determined that professional firms (which would include dental practices) had a First Amendment right to advertise.
While the legal landscape changed, there was no substantial rush by dentists to implement advertising in their practices. Many dentists held on to the attitude that advertising lowered the image of the dental profession, and chose not to advertise their practices.
Dentistry in America is largely performed by practices with one or two practicing dentists, rather than by large corporations. As such, these practices do not tend to have the large advertising budgets of bigger companies, and have unique challenges in implementing professionally created and implemented advertising campaigns. As dentists began to consider the benefits of advertising their practices, a market formed in dental advertising.