The 5 Biggest Mistakes Dentists Make Using Facebook Ads

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Dentists Make Using Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are one of the most effective marketing platforms available. Unfortunately, dentists are still wasting money on Facebook Ads as a result of 5 common mistakes.

These mistakes leave you feeling frustrated with missed opportunities and wasted time and money. Most dentists who try Facebook advertising quickly get discouraged because they don’t get results.

Don’t worry! I’m not only highlighting the 5 biggest mistakes dentists make with Facebook Ads, but I’m also giving you the solutions so you can avoid them. Keep reading to see if you’re guilty of some (or all) of the 5 biggest mistakes dentists make when they try to use Facebook Ads.

Mistake 1: Depending Only On Facebook Ads To Attract & Schedule New Patients

This is a common mistake and it’s #1 because it is an extremely expensive one to make.

Dentists often think that if they can “just” get Facebook Ads right, they’ll say goodbye to the stress of trying to consistently attract and schedule new patients.

Facebook Ads are important and can be a powerful tool to help you get the patients you need, but they don’t work in a vacuum.

A successful Facebook Ad campaign needs 3 things to support it:

  1. A website designed to convert visitors to new patients
  2. A well-trained front office staff that can turn phone calls into appointments
  3. Accurate tracking so you can avoid wasting time and money on ads that don’t work

Facebook Ads are going to fail 100% of the time if they don’t have these 3 supports.

Below is the journey a potential new patients goes on once they see your ad on Facebook.

Graphic illustrating the journey a dental patient takes after clicking on a dentist Facebook Ad


Step 1: Your Facebook Ads

The primary role of a Facebook Ad is to send potential new patients who click them to your website. You don't want to put the entire weight of scheduling a new patient on your Facebook ads alone.

For Example:  Imagine that you’re running the below Facebook Ad to attract and schedule more dental implant patients. When a potential patient clicks that ad, they need to immediately be taken to a page on your website that gives them the information they need to schedule a dental implant consultation with you.

Dentist facebook ad example of a dental implants facebook ad being run by a Firegang Dental Marketing client


Example of a Firegang Dental Marketing client site's dental implants page that is the landing page for their dental implant Facebook Ad campaign

Step 2: Your Website

A web page like the one above is designed to answer a potential new patient’s basic questions about dental implants while guiding them toward booking an appointment. The goal of this page is to take a Facebook ad visitor and turn them into a new patient call for your staff. 

Ultimately, your website’s job is to get that potential new patient to call and schedule an appointment with you. A common mistake we see dentists make is sending people from a dental implants Facebook ad to their website's homepage. Something like this provides patients with a bad user experience on your website, and ultimately they don't convert into a new patient call. Consistency from ad to web page and a well optimized website are key to a high converting Facebook ad strategy.

Step 3: New Patient Call

If a potential new patient likes what they see on your website, they'll give you a call. It's this final step that will make a break your Facebook ad strategy.

Does your front office staff know about your special offers? Do they know that you’re running an ad offering a free consultation for dental implants? If they do, are they trained to answer any questions a potential patient might have about implants and guide them toward scheduling an appointment with you?

If not, you’ll lose that potential new patient AND still be wasting time and money on Facebook Ads that aren’t actually getting you patient appointments.

Making sure your front office staff is trained expertly to convert those phone calls to new patient appointments is vital to the success of any Facebook Ad campaign. Otherwise, you’ll be paying for “leads” and not seeing any actual new patients in your office.

Facebook Ads aren’t something you can “set and forget”.

You need to be tracking your Facebook ad success every month to make sure you’re actually seeing a positive return on your investment. Problems can't be fixed you don’t know they exist. Accurate tracking is how you can see which Facebook Ad campaigns are working, which ones aren’t and why. It gives you the data-driven power to make smart decisions about how to spend your marketing dollars and test what kinds of ads are actually helping you schedule new patients.

I’ll get more into the specific ways to track your Facebook Ad campaigns later in this blog post. Hint: It’s Mistake #5!

Now that you understand that Facebook Ads can’t succeed without the support of your website, your well-trained front office staff, and accurate tracking metrics, let’s move onto mistake #2!

Mistake 2: Creating Generic Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads aren’t new anymore. That means that most of us are a little jaded about them when they pop up in our feed. If an ad is generic with a stock photo we’ve seen before and ad copy that doesn’t pique our interest, we scroll right by!

If you’re going to invest marketing dollars in a Facebook Ads campaign, you need to create an ad that will entice potential new patients to actually click. Don’t phone it in by creating a generic, bland ad!

Here is an example you can use to create a Facebook Ad designed to make potential patients stop scrolling and click.

Dentist facebook ad example from a Firegang dental marketing client using the best dental ad for Invisalign

This ad captures your attention because:

  • It’s a picture of clear braces, not a generic smiling person with perfect teeth, so the image is different than every other image on Facebook.
  • The ad copy makes it clear that getting straight teeth can be easy AND discreet, which communicates clear benefits potential patients care about.
  • The ad copy invites the reader to click to “learn more” so there’s no high-pressure language to turn off a potential new patient. It’s inviting and has a clear call to action.

Use Facebook Ads as an opportunity to show why your dental practice is different than your local competition. Show potential new patients why they should choose you over the other dentists in your area.

Resist the urge to blend into all the other bland, generic Facebook ads popping up on your feed!

Mistake 3: Running “We Exist” Ads

This mistake is similar to Mistake #2 but builds on the concept of differentiating your dental practice from your competitors. After spending millions of dollars testing and running Facebook Ad campaigns for dentists, we’ve discovered the real key to whether a Facebook Ad campaign succeeds.

The key is to be specific.

Don’t treat your Facebook Ads like a billboard! This is not the advertising platform to run ads with your practice’s name and basic information. Why pay for that when anyone using Google can just search for a dentist in your area and find that exact information for free?

Facebook Ads are the place for your practice to target potential new patients using specific services.

This is an example of what NOT to do

bad example of a dentist facebook ad

This Facebook Ad doesn’t highlight anything special or different about the dental practice. Any dental practice will say they make patients comfortable and relaxed. That doesn’t make this practice seem better than the other dentists in their area.

This practice is also offering a new patient special, but it isn’t mentioned until the very bottom of the ad in tiny letters. What a missed opportunity to attract and schedule new patients!

This is an example of a Facebook Ad Firegang is currently running for one of our clients:

An example of one of the best dental ads Firegang dental marketing is running on Facebook for a client

What makes this Facebook Ad work is:

  1. It advertises a SPECIFIC service - dental implants
  2. This ad showcases an enticing discount attached to that specific service
  3. It solves a real problem potential patients experience - being sick of their dentures

The more specific your Facebook Ad campaign is, the better it will perform. Don’t waste your time and marketing dollars on generic Facebook Ads that won’t help you attract and schedule the new patients you want.

Instead, take the opportunity to show off what makes your practice different and why potential new patients should schedule an appointment with you instead of your competitors.

Click here to get a copy of The Perfect Dental Facebook Ads Strategy and swipe our successful Facebook ads to use for your own practice!

Mistake 4: Spending Money “Boosting” Facebook Page Posts Instead Of Using Ads

We agree every dental practice should have a Facebook business page. It’s a great way to connect with your local community, show off your 5-star reviews, and promote special events or new hires in your practice.

However, we see way too many dentists waste money “boosting” Facebook posts instead of using Facebook Ads. Spending money boosting a fun meme or a practice update doesn’t help you attract and schedule new patients.

Facebook Ads are uniquely effective because they allow you to target specific patient demographics with a specific message.

For example, if you want to attract and schedule more Invisalign patients, you can create an ad and target it to reach women ages 25-55 within a 3-5 mile radius of your practice.

We actually have a case study talking specifically about this in our downloadable guide: The Perfect Dental Facebook Ad Strategy, so click here to get your free copy!

If you’re going to spend money on Facebook, why not spend it on targeted Facebook Ads that you can use to attract and schedule the exact type of new patients you need?

It makes much more sense than spending money away boosting Facebook posts that may or may not be seen by potential new patients.

Mistake 5: Using “Likes” To Measure The Success Of Your Facebook Ads

I talked about this a little bit as a part of Mistake #1...but I want to go into more detail. There are an overwhelming amount of metrics you can use to decide if your Facebook Ad campaign is working.

The mistake we see most dentists make is assuming if their Facebook Ad gets “likes”, that it is successful. The reason this isn’t accurate is because “likes” don’t translate to new patients in your chair.

In order to accurately measure if your Facebook Ads are successful, you need to track 4 key metrics.


Tracking clicks simply means seeing how many times your Facebook Ad has been clicked. Measuring clicks is a way to see how many potential new patients are interested in your ad and will also tell you how many times potential new patients visited your website because of your Facebook Ad.


This is the number of times your Facebook Ad is being shown to potential new patients. It is a metric that can help you decide if your targeting is working. For example, if your impressions are high but your clicks are low, you know that you’re not showing your Facebook Ad to your ideal audience.


Conversions are the number of patient appointments that have been scheduled because a patient clicked on your Facebook Ad. The ideal journey of a potential new patient is that they see your Facebook Ad, click on it and go to your website, then call your office and schedule an appointment.

Return On Investment (ROI)

You can tell if you’re getting a positive ROI on your Facebook Ad spend by dividing the revenue your practice received from new patients by the amount of money you spent on your Facebook Ads. This isn’t a metric that needs to be analyzed constantly - you want to give your Facebook Ads time to work! At Firegang, we recommend evaluating your ROI after a Facebook Ad has gotten at least 100 clicks.

The Best Way To Attract And Schedule New Patients

There’s a reason you’ll find multiple blog posts, online resources, and printable guides on our website about dental Facebook Ads. It’s because they work!

Facebook Ads for dentists are one of our top services and we recommend it to 100% of our clients. There isn’t another marketing platform that allows dentists to uniquely target their ideal new patients as successfully as Facebook.

That’s why we want to make sure dentists don’t get frustrated and waste their money running Facebook Ads the wrong way. We’re here to help you make Facebook Ads fit in with the bigger picture of your marketing and use them effectively as a tool to get more of the dental patients you want in your chair.

Ready to stop wasting money on Facebook Ads and start actually using them to get the patients you need?

Click here to schedule your FREE marketing assessment with our Facebook Ad experts now!

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