Interpretation and application

The foregoing ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct set forth the ethical duties that are binding on members of the American Dental Association. The component and constituent societies may adopt additional requirements or interpretations not in conflict with the ADA Code. 

Anyone who believes that a member-dentist has acted unethically should bring the matter to the attention of the appropriate constituent (state) or component (local) dental society. Whenever possible, problems involving questions of ethics should be resolved at the state or local level. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, the dental society may decide, after proper investigation, that the matter warrants issuing formal charges and conducting a disciplinary hearing pursuant to the procedures set forth in the ADA Bylaws, Chapter XII. PRINCIPLES OF ETHICS AND CODE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AND JUDICIAL PROCEDURE. The Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs reminds constituent and component societies that before a dentist can be found to have breached any ethical obligation the dentist is entitled to a fair hearing.

A member who is found guilty of unethical conduct proscribed by the ADA Code or code of ethics of the constituent or component society, may be placed under a sentence of censure or suspension or may be expelled from membership in the Association. A member under a sentence of censure, suspension or expulsion has the right to appeal the decision to his or her constituent society and the ADA Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs, as provided in Chapter XII of the ADA Bylaws.

Contact Information:
American Dental Association
Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

With official advisory opinions revised to January 2010.