Ethics and Principles: The Foundation of Your Dental Practice

Dentistry ethics and principles in dentistry may not be the most exciting parts of the office. But they are by far some of the most essential parts. No matter how friendly your staff or how current your technology is – a bad reputation does not lead to success. But what should your ethics and principles look like? Every practice must decide their fundamentals for the best care for their patients.

EthicsAt Progressive Dental Concepts, we recognize that your practice must make a profit. But we’d all agree, it would be improper and unethical to make a profit by sacrificing who you are as a dentist or the quality of patient care.  We’re always cognizant of the essential fact taht the patient’s best interests must take precedence over anything else.  As George Merck of Merk Pharmaceuticals once stated, “Medicine is for the patient, not the profits. The profits follow.”

By putting the patient’s needs first, they will tell others about your practice.  An abundance of our dental practices’ business originates from word-of-mouth referrals.  Accordingly, recognizing the need to prioritize patient care while balancing the bottom line requires a strong code of ethics and work principles.

Basic Ethics and Principles for All of Our Dentist Offices

  1. The patient’s needs are the most crucial part of your practice. It is never about the financial gain involved in doing extra or unnecessary procedures.
  2. Always give patients an accurate and informative accounting of treatment options, including the cost of different approaches.
  3. If you are merely competent at a specific procedure and not a specialist, suggest getting an optional approach or opinion.
  4. When making patient collections or insurance claims, list all procedures and coverage.
  5. Patient autonomy allows the patient the final say in treatment decisions. As such, the patient must have all pertinent information regarding the recommended procedure(s). Share this information with the patients in simple language to ensure they fully understand what must happen.
  6. It is the dentist’s office’s responsibility to protect patient information. This includes financial details, treatment, health concerns, etc., as defined by HIPPA.
  7. Treat all patients equally, regardless of religion, race, gender, or creed. Treatment is not withheld because a patient does not “fit certain criteria.”
  8. Do not use a patient’s testimonial, before/after photos, or other information without consent. Ideally, have written permission and not just verbal.

These are a few key components of dentist office ethics and principles. You may have others you have included in your practice model. Consider posting these ethics in your office, on brochures, or paperwork, so your patients know what to expect. Then, be sure to exceed the expected practices. By going above and beyond, you will not only have happy patients, but they will be quick to tell others about your practice.

If you are interested in being a part of our PDC dental group, having a strong foundation goes a long way. We can help you optimize your practice so you can do more. With Progressive Dental Concepts, you can choose how to operate your practice, so it benefits everyone- yourself, your dental care team, your patients, and PDC. Contact PDC today to learn how we can help.

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