UPDATE: What’s in a Name? What Dentists Need to Know About Naming Their Dental Practice
This is an update to my blog What’s in a Name? What Dentists Need to Know about Naming Their Dental Practice. There, I talked about the types of names a general or specialty dental practice is permitted to have, but I did not discuss mixed specialty practices and co-mingled speciality and general practices. That’s the topic of this blog…
General and Specialist Practice Names
Whether we are talking about a general practitioner hiring a specialist associate or partnering up with a specialist, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (the “RCDSO“) naming rules for mixed general and specialty practices are the same:
- the practice name cannot include any reference to the specialty. An example of what is not a permitted practice name is ABC General and Orthodontic Dentistry.
- the specialist cannot apply for a specialty practice name to operate out of the same location as the general practitioner. For example it is not permitted that the same practice have both ABC General Dentistry and ABC Orthodontics as practice names. If the specialist wants a separate practice name, he or she will have to provide a different office address and a different phone number from that of the general practice.
- the marketing materials may refer to the specialty within the general practice. For example, ABC Dentistry, now providing oral maxilofacial surgery is an acceptable way to phrase the relationship on marketing materials.
- note: patient charts in such a mixed practice do not have to be separate but there does need to be separate documentation for the general practice and the specialist within the chart itself. Notes and observations cannot be kept in one document within the chart.
Mixed Specialist Practice Names
Separate RCDSO naming rules govern situations of two or more different kinds of specialists practising out of the same location (whether in partnership or as associates):
- If each of the dentists has the same specialty, then no naming issues should arise. For example, based on the global naming rules, a specialist perio practice can be named, for example High Street Periodontics.
- If each dentist has a different specialty, then the practice name can have both or all specialties in the name. For example, ABC Orthodontic and Periodontic Dentistry. Alternatively the practice name can be very generic such as ABC Dental Specialists”. However, the two or more specialists cannot apply for separate business names (i.e. ABC Orthodonitcs and ABC Periodontics). If each specialist wants a separate practice name, he or she will have to provide a different office address and a different phone number from the others.
- The marketing materials may refer to each of the specialties that is being provided from the location, but cannot refer to two different practice names operating out of the same location. For example, here is an acceptable way to market such a practice ABC Dental Specialists, providing Oral Maxilofacial Surgery (Dr. Smith), Periodontic Services (Dr. Brown) and Orthodontic Services (Dr. White).
- note: patient charts do not have to be separate in such a practice but there does need to be separate documentation for each specialist within the chart itself. Notes and observations of each specialist cannot be kept in one document within the chart.
For further guidance on practice names, you can contact us or the RCDSO directly or visit them online for useful publications: www.rcdso.org. Please note that the information provided herein is not legal advice and is provided for informational and educational purposes only. If you need legal advice, contact me (Ljubica Durlovska), David Mayzel or Michael Carabash. We are your legal dental team.