While dentistry remains firstly a health profession, it is naive
and unrealistic not to realise that business considerations
and financial compensation for services rendered play an
important role in achieving a successful private practice. A
fundamental principle of professional ethics in healthcare is
that serving a patient's best interests should always take
precedence over any consideration of profit or personal gain.
George Merck, the founder of Merck Pharmaceuticals said
'Medicine is for the patient, not for the profits. The profits
follow'..., the same can be said for dentistry. However,
since dentists are in a position to gain financially from their
professional recommendations, there is a risk of their having
a conflict of interest, whether actual or perceived.