Overview

The oral health professional will be faced with many choices and dilemmas as a clinician providing dental 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.