Ben and Gary Show - Episode 61

Sep 05, 2019

What Are Dental Ethics?

One of our viewers got two very different diagnoses from two dentists. She asks if there are ethical standards for dentists similar to the Hippocratic Oath for doctors.

There is not a Hippocratic oath. Local dental societies and licensing boards do protect the public by requiring continuing education in ethics as a condition of licensing.

The American Dental Society (ADA) promotes five ethics principles:

Nonmaleficence - do no harm

  • This principle expresses the concept that professionals have a duty to protect the patient from harm. 
  • To us, it means don't over-diagnose or over-treat.

Beneficence - do good

  • The dentist has a duty to promote the patient's welfare. 
  • We take people out of pain, restore their teeth, and create beautiful smiles.

 Justice - be fair and nondiscriminatory

  • The dentist has a duty to treat all people fairly.

Patient Autonomy - self-governance

  • The dentist has a duty to respect the patient's rights to self-determination and confidentiality.
  • For example, a patient wants silver fillings taken out even though they cause no harm.

Veracity - tell the truth

  • The dentist has a duty to communicate truthfully. 

These principles are our core values anyway!

Perhaps we answered our viewer's question and provided standards for evaluating which dentist to choose. One of these two, or maybe get a new one.




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