Code of Ethics
As amended and adopted by the American Dental Association, July, 1922.
In his dealings with patients and with the profession, the conduct of the dentist should be in accordance with the Golden Rule, both in its letter and in its spirit.
It is unprofessional for a dentist to advertise by handbills, posters, circulars, cards, signs, or in newspapers or other publications, calling attention to special methods of practice or claiming excellence over other practitioners, or to use display advertisements of any kind. It is also unprofessional to publish reports of cases or certificates in the public prints. This does not exclude a practitioner from using professional cards of suitable size with name, titles, address and telephone number, printed in modest type, nor having the same character of card in a newspaper. Neither does it prevent a practitioner who confines himself to a specialty from merely announcing his specialty on his professional card.
It is unprofessional for dentists to pay or accept commissions on fees for professional services, or for radiograms, or on prescriptions or other articles supplied to patients by pharmacists or others.
One dentist should not disparage the services of another to a patient. Criticism of operations which are apparently defective may be unjust through lack of knowledge of the conditions under which they were performed. But the welfare of the patient is paramount to every other consideration, and should be conserved to the utmost of the practitioner's ability. If he finds indisputable evidence that a patient is suffering from previous faulty treatment, it is his duty to institute correct treatment at once, doing it with as little comment as possible and in such a manner as to' avoid reflection on his predecessor.
If a dentist is consulted in an emergency by the patient of another practitioner who is temporarily absent from his office, or by a patient who is away from home, the duty of the dentist so consulted is to relieve the patient of any immediate disability by temporary service only, and then refer the patient back to the regular dentist.
When a dentist is called in consultation by a fellow practitioner, he should hold the discussions in the consultation as confidential, and under no circumstances should he accept charge of the case without the request of the dentist who has been attending it.
The dentist should be morally, mentally and physically clean. He should be honest in all his dealings with his fellow man, as comports with the honor and dignity of a cultured and professional gentleman.
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