Since the inception of the American College of Dentists, ethics and professionalism have been integral to the organization and its activities. The College was founded in part:
“…to aid in the advancement of the standards of dentistry to encourage the development of a higher type of professional spirit.”

Ethical Dilemma Videos

Since 2015, the College has partnered with Indiana University School of Dentistry to create a series of ethical dilemmas videos for use in dental schools and continuing education settings. The complete catalog can also be found on the American College of Dentists Ethical Dilemmas YouTube channel.

The Jacket

The newest video in the series

Patient in Pain

Who Cares for the Patient?


Third Opinion

Tooth Colored Restorations


Full Care

Fair Payment

Who Decides?

Adolescent Patient

Uninvited Attention

Making Decisions
Gies Report 2020: Perspectives on Dental Ethics for a New Century

In the Fall of 2014, the Board of Regents of the American College of Dentists approved a major study of ethics in dentistry. This October, a draft of the comprehensive report and recommendations on the ethical issues in dentistry will be reviewed by the empaneled Project Advisory Group . The Regents have referred to this project as a “Gies Report” on ethics in dentistry because it will be 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. Dr. Jerome B. Miller has generously  given $1,000,000 in matching funds, and a primary focus of the campaign is  funding this major report on ethics.

Ethics and Leadership Scholarship Programs
Professional development opportunities for advanced studies in Ethics and Leadership

Dr. Cecelia L. Dows Scholarship for Advanced Degrees in Ethics

Fellows and non-Fellows are invited to apply for this award. Offered annually to one new scholar, this is a competitive, one-time scholarship of $10,000 to be used towards a Master’s or Doctoral program in ethics. Recent recipients have attended Harvard and Creighton Universities.

Creighton University Partnership

The course, Oral Health Care at the Intersection of Professional and Business Ethics – MHE 624, is eligible for a $2,000 scholarship for ACD Fellows. Limited to five applicants per year, this scholarship is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The course reviews the ethical challenges faced by health care providers who are both private entrepreneurs and members of a profession. More information about the course can be found at Creighton University’s Health Care Ethics Program page.

Kellogg Leadership Program Scholarships
The American College of Dentists has secured two slots in the planned 2019 Cohort VI of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) Leadership Institute. Interested applicants should contact the Executive Office of the American College of Dentists at for more details. The grant has been set at $15,000 per participant for this three-year program.
Online Dental Ethics Courses and Resources

The College curates an ever-growing collection of online courses, resources, and materials related to dental ethics, which are available online at This ethics resource clearinghouse serves to heighten ethical and professional responsibility. Fellows and non-Fellows alike are encouraged to utilize these resources, which are free and open for non-profit educational use.