Ethics: What does that mean for you?

Texas Dental Association (TDA) member dentists are also members of the American Dental Association (ADA), and their local component societies. TDA members are pledged to follow a Code of Ethics.  

That may sound complicated, but it’s not. Our members have chosen to pledge to operate their practices with high standards that impact patient care and the patient experience. 

There are five general ideas in the ADA Principles of Ethics, and they each affect the patient’s experience.  They are:

Self-governance: This is an acknowledgement of the patient’s decisions.  ADA dentists have the duty to respect the patient’s rights to self-determination and confidentially.

Do No Harm: An ADA dentist has the duty to refrain from harming the patient.

Do Good: An ADA dentist has a duty to promote the patient’s welfare, through actions, education and by being available to the patient.

Fairness: An ADA dentist has the duty to treat people fairly.  And there are checks and balances, including a mediation service offered by TDA to help resolve any issues that might arise--at no cost to the dentist or patient.

Truthfulness: An ADA dentist has the duty to communicate truthfully.  Truthfulness may be implied in many conversations, but ADA dentists go one step further to assure truthfulness with this duty.  

How do you know if your dentist is bound by the Code of Ethics?  Ask him or her, “Are you a member?” If they are a member of TDA, ADA, and their local society, then you know this Code of Ethics is guiding your dental care.  If your dentist is not a member, ask him or her to join.

The above article is adapted from information originally published the Dallas County Dental Society

To learn more, click here for "The ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Conduct."

Principles of Ethics
TDA member dentists follow a Code of Ethics.