In the Fall of 2014, the Board of Regents of the American College of Dentists approved a major study of ethics in dentistry. In October 2019, a draft of the comprehensive report was reviewed by the empaneled Project Advisory Group as well as the ACD Board of Regents, who unanimously approved publication in early 2020.
The Board of Regents has referred to this project as a “Gies Report” on ethics in dentistry because it was modeled on the multiyear Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, Bulletin #19, issued in 1926. That study, directed by William J. Gies, used in-depth fact-finding rather than relying on panels of experts and urged that dentistry be grounded in scientific principles. Dr. Gies was the editor of the Journal of the American College of Dentists from its inception in 1934 through 1939.
The first phase of the project was devoted to defining its scope, clarifying methods for gathering information, and building relationships with partners. The project includes: (a) a comprehensive survey of the values in the profession and oral health care—including those of individual dentists, the profession more broadly defined, patients, and society; (b) professionalism and the role of trust; (c) truth claims; (d) standards and alternative concepts of oral health; (e) independence of the profession; (f) commercial influences; (g) the context of changing demographics and social values; and (h) management of conflicting values—identification, reflection, and means used by dentists for getting into and out of problematic situations.
This project was generously underwritten by the late Dr. Jerome B. Miller, past president of the ACD.