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Dental Resources: Ethics

Why Ethics?


One of the greatest issues facing dental education today is the ethical and professional behavior of its students. In recent years, the news media has been inundated with stories of cheating scandals and impropriety within dental schools. Institutions and organizations within the profession have made significant attempts to put an end to the cheating, yet despite the valiant and commendable efforts on the part of these bodies, widespread misconduct still remains. Ethics is the foundation upon which the profession of dentistry is based, and due to the integrity of the profession, certain privileges and rights are afforded to us as professionals. Those privileges and rights can be taken away if we do not maintain proper stewardship over those that we care for.


ASDA White Paper on Ethics and Professionalism in Dental Education


In order to properly define and summarize the issue of ethics in the dental profession, ASDA created a White Paper on Ethics and Professionalism in Dental Education. The purpose of the white paper is to provide an overview of the state of ethics in dental education today, as well as offer solutions on how our profession can rectify this dilemma. This publication was sent to our constituent organizations, including the ADA, state and specialty societies, student dental groups, as well as to each dental school dean. Our goal is that this paper be used as a tool to better the ethical climate in dental education and the profession.


Student Professionalism and Ethics Association (SPEA)


The Student Professionalism and Ethics Association in Dentistry is a national, student driven association that was established to promote and support students’ lifelong commitment to ethical behavior in order to benefit the patients they serve and to further the dental profession.

The objectives of the Association are:

  • Act as a support system for students in strengthening their personal and professional ethics values by:

  1. Providing a resource for ethics education and development.

  2. Fostering a non-punitive, open-forum environment for ethics communication

  3. Promoting awareness of ethics standards and related issues within dentistry

  • Collaborating with leadership of the dental profession to effectively advocate for our members

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