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The ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Conduct

The dental profession holds a special position of trust within society. Therefore, the profession makes a commitment to society that its members will adhere to high ethical standards of conduct. 

The ADA Code of ethics contains three main components: The Principles of Ethics, the Code of Professional Conduct and the Advisory Opinions.

  • Principles
    The Principles of Ethics are the aspirational goals of the profession. They provide guidance and offer justification for the Code of Professional Conduct and the Advisory Opinions. There are five fundamental principles that form the foundation of the ADA Code: patient autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice and veracity. Principles can overlap each other as well as compete with each other for priority. More than one principle can justify a given element of the Code of Professional Conduct. Principles may at times need to be balanced against each other, but, otherwise, they are the profession's firm guideposts.
  • Code of Professional Conduct
    The Code of Professional Conduct is an expression of specific types of conduct that are either required or prohibited. The Code of Professional Conduct is a product of the ADA's legislative system. All elements of the Code of Professional Conduct result from resolutions that are adopted by the ADA's House of Delegates. The Code of Professional Conduct is binding on members of the ADA, and violations may result in disciplinary action.
  • Advisory Opinions
    The Advisory Opinions are interpretations that apply the Code of Professional Conduct to specific fact situations. They are adopted by the ADA's Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs to provide guidance to the membership on how the Council might interpret the Code of Professional Conduct in a disciplinary proceeding.

​What does this all mean to you?  It means by visiting a dentist who is a member of the American Dental Association, you'll get the best treatment possible.

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