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Ethical Dentistry

Dental chair in a clean operatory facing a large window where the sun shines in

For years I had the opinion the dental profession was working for the good of the public. Our major purpose was service to the public, not a strategic move for money. Dentists treated their patients as they were family, like they would want to be treated themselves.

But in recent years, in my opinion, things have changed. I wholeheartedly believe that there has been an obvious degeneration of ethics in our dental profession.

Dr. Gordon Christianson, voted year in and year out by his peers as the best dental speaker in the country recently stated: “In my opinion, the ethics of the dental profession has taken a real ‘dive’.”

What’s the issue? Over-treatment among several others. Diagnosis of decay where no decay exists. Replacement of restorations that continue to service the patient. Diagnosis of periodontal disease and recommended treatment where there is no disease. Aesthetic upgrades where alternative, less aggressive and expensive options have not been discussed. All done primarily for the financial gain of the dentist. This isn’t just coming from one less-than-reputable dentist, it’s widespread.

What’s the answer? A recognition within our profession to the problem and a willingness to change.

From a patient’s perspective? Be your own advocate. Ask more questions and seek second opinions.

It’s time to return to honesty and to deal with the public in a way we would want to be treated.

Our practice wholeheartedly believes this. We remind ourselves each day to ensure this is engrained in our way of life and train of thought – and hope that when you visit our practice you feel you are always approached with an ethical, honest and respectful point of view.


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