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Ethics in Dentistry: Part III – Ethical Decision-making


Phyllis Beemsterboer, RDH, MS, EdD, FACD

Credit Hours:

2 Hour(s)


This course will present two ethical decision-making models used in dentistry and health care. Issues in decision-making, such as moral distress, will be discussed and related to a case in the practice of dentistry and dental hygiene.

The ...

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This course will present two ethical decision-making models used in dentistry and health care. Issues in decision-making, such as moral distress, will be discussed and related to a case in the practice of dentistry and dental hygiene.

The dental health care professional will be faced with many choices and dilemmas as a clinician providing oral health care and services. Some of these choices will be simple issues of right and wrong, whereas others may be ethical dilemmas that require reflection and careful decision-making. The dentist and dental hygienist must be aware of the ethical issues that can arise in the delivery of dental care and take appropriate action when necessary. There are two overarching aspects involved in ethics: the ability to discern that a problem exists and the commitment to act appropriately on a decision. Each dental and dental hygiene student learns about ethical decision-making as part of their educational program, a requirement from the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

  • Intended Audience:

    Dentists, Dental Hygienists, Dental Students, Dental Hygiene Students

  • Date Course Online:

    Aug 1, 2018

  • Last Revision Date:

    Jan 6, 2022

  • Course Expiration Date:

    Jan 5, 2025

  • Cost:


  • Method:


  • AGD Subject Code(s):


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:

  • Describe the importance of ethical analysis in the provision of dental care.
  • Identify the goal for use of an ethical decision-making process in dentistry.
  • List the six steps provided in the ethical decision-making model.
  • List and discuss the categories of common ethical dilemmas.
  • Apply the decision-making model to a hypothetical situation.


  • P&G is providing these resource materials to dental professionals. We do not own this content nor are we responsible for any material herein.
  • Participants must always be aware of the hazards of using limited knowledge in integrating new techniques or procedures into their practice.  Only sound evidence-based dentistry should be used in patient therapy.

Please Note:

  • Iowa Dental Professionals: This course does not comply with the Iowa Dental Board for recertification in the area of Iowa jurisprudence, as established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Note:  Registration is required to take test.


Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement

  • The author reports no conflicts of interest associated with this course. She has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.
Phyllis Beemsterboer

Phyllis Beemsterboer


Dr. Phyllis L. Beemsterboer is Professor Emeritus in the Schools of Dentistry and Medicine and former Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Dentistry at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. She is an associa...

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Submission Information

Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) Submission For credit transfers to appear in your AGD account in real time, make sure to add your AGD membership number in the field provided on the “Share Your Test Score” page.

CE Broker For all states that use CE Broker for licensure, “proof of completions” are electronically reported the first of every month. If a course was taken in November, the “proof of completion” will be submitted the beginning of December.



ADA CERP Recognized Provider

The Procter & Gamble Company is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider.

ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

Concerns or complaints about a dental CE provider may be directed to the provider or to ADA CERP at

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Approved PACE Program Provider


Nationally Approved PACE Program Provider for FAGD/MAGD credit.

Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement.

8/1/2021 to 7/31/2027

Provider ID# 211886


AADH Approved Program Provider

Procter & Gamble is designated as an approved Provider by the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, Inc. #AADHPGC (January 1, 2022-December 31, 2023). Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial Board of Dentistry. Licensee should maintain this document in the event of an audit.