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Letters: Trust

January 21, 2013

The recent Gallup poll reports "high" trust in dentists ("Dentists Rank High in Gallup Poll," Dec. 10, 2012 ADA News). However, with only less than two-thirds approval seen, is this not misleading?

Would you trust anyone when there is a one-third chance of betrayal? Trust is an ongoing process integral to dental practice. It builds image, yields referrals and case acceptance. If they don’t trust you personally, no amount of advertising or practice management veneer will compensate.

Do we look at patients as cash cows? Do we practice to serve ourselves before them? Are we fully transparent in treatment options and outcomes? You can’t fool them forever. Patients, especially the apprehensive, are wary and perceptive of the least subtle word or action that bespeaks duplicity in irretrievable volumes.

Should this Gallup poll not rather be a call to better ourselves? Why do dentists rank below nurses at 85 percent? Shouldn’t more of us think, believe and act in our patients’ behalf first?

Lloyd S. Drucker, D.D.S.
Berwyn Heights, Md.

Editor’s note: It’s worth adding that very few respondents (just 4 percent) had a negative opinion of dentists’ honesty and ethics in the Gallup poll. Sixty-two percent of respondents rated dentists’ honesty and ethical standards as very high or high and 33 percent rated dentists as average.