Dental industry gears up for introduction of new code

25 June, 2015

The Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA) and its members are preparing for the introduction of a new code of practice designed to ensure decisions on management and treatment options for healthcare needs are based on sound clinical evidence, not driven by incentives or other influences.

"The new ADIA Code of Practice is all about providing a context for the dental industry's engagement with dentists and allied oral healthcare professionals. ADIA is working to foster an environment where dental professionals make decisions on patient treatment options free from any undue influence by suppliers of dental products," said Troy Williams, ADIA Chief Executive Officer.

The ADIA Code of Practice is underpinned by the concept that good health incorporates the quality use of therapeutic products which is based on genuine consumer health needs and supported by the ethical conduct of all parties.

The quality use of therapeutic products is a concept that enjoys widespread support across Australia's healthcare sector and means that dentists and dental professionals must: select treatment options wisely based on the best available evidence and the patients' needs; choose suitable therapeutic products if this is considered necessary; and use therapeutic products safely and effectively.

"Insofar as the new ADIA code is concerned, the quality use of therapeutic products principle obliges the dental industry not to engage in a promotional activity that influences a dentist's or allied oral dental professional's selection of diagnostic or treatment options in a manner that preferences one treatment pathway over another," Williams said.

The new ADIA Code of Practice was approved by members in November 2014 and comes into force on 1 July 2015. Its origins stem from a 2010 Australian Government initiative to align the codes that exist across the medicines and medical devices sectors.

"From the dental industry's perspective this is a landmark document that aligns its activities with the approach that is common across most other parts of the healthcare sector," Williams said.

Recognising the challenges that a new code presents the dental industry, there are transitional provisions in place which support businesses in meeting the requirements of the new code. ADIA is also convening information sessions to be held nation-wide which allow businesses across the dental industry both understand and comply with the new code.

A copy of the current ADIA Code of Practice and supporting information can be found online at