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Why Choose an ADA Member?

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Keeping your mouth healthy is essential to your overall health, and having a good relationship with your dentist is key. The dental profession holds a special position of trust in the community and the best doctor-patient relationships are built on that trust. When you choose an ADA member dentist, you’re choosing a dentist who has access to a wealth of up-to-date information and resources, and has agreed to follow the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct and made a professional promise to put your health and well-being first.

First adopted by the ADA in 1866, the ADA Code is under constant review. While legal and ethical obligations are related, they are not the same. Ethical obligations may–and often do–exceed legal duties.


These are the five ethical principles that make up the ADA Code:


Principle 1: Self-governance
You have the right as a patient to be involved in your treatment decisions, and your ADA dentist has a duty to honor your decisions within acceptable treatment parameters and to safeguard your privacy.

Principle 2: Do no harm
Your ADA dentist has a duty to protect you from harm and must keep his or her knowledge and skills current.

Principle 3:
Do good
Your ADA dentist has a duty to promote your welfare by delivering competent and timely dental care that takes into consideration your needs, desires and values.

Principle 4: Fairness
Your ADA dentist has a duty to treat all people fairly and deliver dental care without prejudice.

Principle 5: Truthfulness
Your ADA dentist has a duty to be honest and trustworthy.

To make sure you are seeing an ADA dentist who has promised to follow these five principles, ask if your dentist is an ADA member or use the ADA Find-A-Dentist tool to find an ADA dentist near you.