The American Dental Association calls upon dentists to follow high ethical standards which have the benefit of the patient as their primary goal. In recognition of this goal, the education and training of a dentist has resulted in society affording to the profession the privilege and obligation of self-government. To fulfill this privilege, these high ethical standards should be adopted and practiced throughout the dental school educational process and subsequent professional career.

The Association believes that dentists should possess not only knowledge, skill and technical competence but also those traits of character that foster adherence to ethical principles. Qualities of honesty, compassion, kindness, integrity, fairness and charity are part of the ethical education of a dentist and practice of dentistry and help to define the true professional. As such, each dentist should share in providing advocacy to and care of the underserved. It is urged that the dentist meet this goal, subject to individual circumstances.

The ethical dentist strives to do that which is right and good. The ADA Code is an instrument to help the dentist in this quest.