The ethics of Team Cain can be summarized in our Core Values. We established these values together. They are:
Integrity – Do the right thing even when no one’s watching
Clear Communication – Eliminates most problems
Attention to Detail – Every step matters
Desire to Exceed Expectations – Yes, we’re that good!
Compassion – We deeply care
Respect – For ourselves, our team mates, our patients and parents
Everyone at Team Cain understands our ethical foundations. These foundations are the Golden Rule and the Rotary Four Way Test.
The Golden Rule:
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
The Rotary Four Way Test:
1. Is it the truth
2. Is it fair
3. Does it build good will and friendship
4. Is it best for all concerned
This rule and test is the foundation for our integrity. At Team Cain integrity is doing the right thing when it’s not easy, no one is watching and no one may even know.
How do we apply the Golden Rule and the Four Way Test (referred to as the Rule and the Test) to the practice of orthodontics?
The Rule and Test apply to how we treat our patients, parents, and each other on the team. We treat others the way we want to be treated in the clinic and with finances. We treat others truthfully and don’t make false promises or claims. We treat others fairly by balancing all of our patients’ needs and requests. We build good will and friendship through the compassion and respect we show. We do what’s best for all concerned by communicating with our patients so they understand their role in getting great results for the benefit of themselves, their parents and our team.
Ethics in Advertising
How do we at Team Cain apply the Rule and Test to advertising? The Rule and Test agree with the American Association of Orthodontics and American Dental Association Codes of Ethics.
It is unethical to claim to be the “best orthodontist” or pay a magazine or TV station to do so. It is unethical to claim to be painless. It’s in our professional Code of Ethics. It is part of the American Association of Orthodontist Code of Ethics that, “You must have a reasonable basis to believe that your public statements are true”. This seems simple. It’s in the 4 way test; is it the truth? So even when it’s the manufacturer of the braces falsely claiming their brand is better, it is unethical for a doctor to use the manufacturer’s false claims in marketing.
Unfortunately this happens all the time. For years now a particular brand of braces has claimed their “system” providers faster better results with fewer extractions. These claims of superiority have been tested repeatedly in many university studies and shown consistently to be false. In the July 2013 Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, Dr. Proffit, one of the most highly respected voices in our profession, and his colleague, Dr. Burrow were interviewed on this ethical topic.
Dr. Burrow says,
“In light of all the evidence that has been presented, it’s quite difficult to understand why marketers of self-ligating brackets continue to make claims of superiority. Based on current science and research, the misleading marketing claims should have disappeared.”
Dr. Proffit says, “I think the bottom line is that an aggressive marketing program, beyond anything orthodontists had previously encountered, succeeded in selling a lot of brackets that didn’t meet their marketing claims. I believe there is something wrong with claiming to be a better orthodontist than your peers because you use them and they don’t.”
This is why I do not link our website to manufactures websites. We can’t control what they say in their marketing and that may violate our ethics test. We do not promote products, we treat individual patients.
The 4 factors
There are not magic braces that are clearly superior or reduce the need for extractions. The braces are just the tool we use. The truth is the quality of orthodontic treatment is a result of four factors;
1. The training and experience of the doctor to identify the issues and create a smart plan to treat the issues.
2. The skills and knowledge of the clinical and business parts of the team.
3. The caring and compassion of the team.
4. Finally, the patients’ willingness to cooperate as needed with brushing, elastics and appointments.
So, there are no magic braces. It takes all four factors to get best results and we’re here to make it all happen.
If you have any questions or comments regarding our ethical position, please contact us.