What is a Dentist Allowed to Warranty?

Here at Dental Warranty, we are often asked questions about what kinds of regulations affect the way a dentist stands behind their work with a warranty or guarantee. Stay on the right side of federal, state, and dental board regulations with these frequently asked questions:

How Are Warranties Regulated?

Warranties are regulated under the Magnuson-Moss Act, which was passed in 1975 to make warranties on consumer products easier to understand and to protect consumers from deceptive warranty practices.  There are specific requirements on what a warranty can and cannot promise, so it’s important to work with Dental Warranty or an attorney to make sure your written dental warranty is in line with the Act and subsequent Federal Trade Commission rules.

Can I Offer a Warranty for Patients to Purchase in My Dental Practice?

dental treatment in dentist's office

There are many kinds of protection options available for consumers to purchase, including service contracts (often called “extended warranties”), maintenance agreements, and insurance.  In fact, American consumers spend almost 40 billion dollars per year on these types of products to protect their major purchases.

Unlike warranties, which are under federal law, these other products are regulated under state law, and every state’s regulations are different.  It is important to work with Dental Warranty Corp or a knowledgeable attorney before offering these products.  The worst-case scenario would be to accidentally offer an illegal insurance product.

What Does My Dental Board Have to Say?

In our review of state dental board regulations, we find that dental boards want to protect patients by making sure that dentists don’t guarantee the success of the patient’s treatment.  This would be like Toyota guaranteeing that their cars will never break down.  Because there’s no way to know that, it’s a fraudulent claim.  So please don’t ever tell patients that a treatment is guaranteed to work.

For example, no Dental Warranty coverage plans guarantee the success of the dentist’s work.  Instead, they outline a plan for how the patient will be taken care of in various situations.

Can I Give a Lifetime Warranty?

Telling patients they get a lifetime warranty on your work is confusing. Does this mean the patient’s lifetime? Does it mean your lifetime?  The lifetime of you practicing at your current practice? Or does it mean the expected lifetime of the restoration?  If it’s the latter, how long is that, exactly?

We recommend against telling patients they have a lifetime warranty.  In some cases, it adds an unnecessary complication to selling your practice, and could set you up for unhappy patients with unclear expectations.

Should I Do My Own In-House Warranty, or Work With a Third Party Like Dental Warranty?

Of course it’s up to you, but the benefits of working with a third party are:

Dental Warranty

  • Don't reinvent the wheel...use ready-to-go legal documents and marketing materials
  • Help with implementation and achieving a financial "return on warranty"
  • Better benefits for your patients, including nationwide coverage
  • Tracking software to keep "who's covered for what and how long" straight

For more information about setting up a warranty in your practice, download our brochure and discover how Dental Warranty can help you grow your practice.

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