Privacy and disclosure in the consulting room
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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.