For many, the professional relationship between a dental
practitioner and a patient represents an ideal long-term,
close personal relationship that involves friendship as well
as professional responsibility. Privacy and confidentiality are
essential to all trusting relationships, especially in the professional
setting. Privacy refers to how an individual decides
what personal information to share with others. In part, it
is what individuals choose to let other people know about
themselves. Confidentiality is an implicit expectation that privacy
will be protected by those entrusted with the information.
The level of protection should be commensurate with
the level of risk and in some instances, the risk of a breach
of confidentiality may be high, with serious implications.