The profession of dentistry ought to serve interests including, but moving beyond, narrow self-serving concerns. Changes are taking place in the profession of dentistry which are eroding the sense of purpose and meaning dentists in the past have derived from their professional existence. The profession of dentistry is granted a virtual monopoly to practice dentistry as a result of the respect society has in the profession’s promise to make patients and society oral health its primary purpose. Two factors are potentially diminishing the meaning and purpose in dentistry. Firstly, an increasing number of dentists are coming to understand dentistry as primarily a business. Secondly, dentists are abandoning the many individuals in society, such as the handicapped, the elderly, immigrants and the socially disadvantaged, who are in need of care but lack the economic wherewithal to pursue care in the marketplace of dentistry as a business. Providing the highest quality of care possible and also empathizing with patients while providing for their oral health, will permit dentists to live their lives with a larger sense of purpose and to leave a genuine legacy.