Can Dentists Treat Their Family Members? An Expert's Perspective

It is not explicitly prohibited by the American Medical Association's Code of Medical Ethics for dentists to treat their family members. However, dentists should carefully consider the particular circumstances that arise before deciding to provide medical care to close friends, family members, or employees. Patients may be curious if their dentists treat their own family and friends, and the ethical concern revolves around professional objectivity. Ideally, dentists should avoid treating family and friends.

It can be difficult for dental caregivers to make professional decisions about the people they care about, and it is best to ask loved ones to be treated by another dentist—even a colleague. Another issue with treating family and friends is that you worry when you release them into the community when you retire. Your dentist should always wash their hands and put on a new pair of gloves before seeing each patient. For 30 years, the company has been a leading authority on human resources and personnel issues, helping dentists successfully deal with complex and changing labor laws.

I would have preferred that my family members had gone with colleagues in the two offices I worked at before I retired, but in the end, neither of them did, mainly because going from one side of the city where I live to the other is like having a dentist voluntarily clean a treatment tray—it's tortuous and very difficult. In other words, a dentist cannot use leverage to influence a patient's behavior—for example, telling your husband: “If you don't paint the kitchen, I won't give you surface anesthesia. A particular irritation I had when treating a member of my wife's family is that I was always late for appointments. The General Dental Council (GDC) does not restrict dentists from treating family members, but they do state: “You must maintain appropriate boundaries in your relationships with patients.

The College has kept dental hygienists informed of the status of the regulations that are currently in the hands of the government and has made it very clear that treating a spouse is not allowed unless the regulations are approved. It is important to ensure that the dentist chosen is experienced, qualified, and has an impeccable dental practice. Delaying treatment for a dental problem that may not bother you much at the time can lead to significant oral health problems such as loss of a tooth or an increased risk of heart disease due to advanced gum disease. Personally, I have never met a dentist, therapist or hygienist who did not treat their partners or family members and many on Twitter also openly admitted that they treated family and friends.

Norma Dickhaus
Norma Dickhaus

Lifelong food evangelist. Amateur food maven. Award-winning explorer. Extreme internet buff. Certified twitter scholar.

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