Derived from Greek word
ethos meaning “character or
Used interchangeably with
moral which is derived from
Latin word mores meaning
“customs or habits”.
Ethics, as a branch of philosophy, is the
systematic study of what is right and
good with respect to character and
Branch of philosophy, which deals with
the examination of human conduct.
Personal ethics might also be called
morality, since they reflect general
expectations of any person in any society,
acting in any capacity.
Dental ethics is defined as:
“The moral duties and
obligations of a dentist towards his/her
patients, professional colleagues and
Dental ethics applies moral principles
and virtues to the practice of dentistry.
Principles of Dental Ethics
These principles help in choosing the right course of
actions in certain difficult decision making
The principles of ethics are as under:
To do good
To do no harm
To do Good (Beneficence)
Attributes to Hippocrates.
Beneficence refers to the principle
of promoting or doing good.
Should always think about the
welfare of the patient.
Put the patient’s best interests as
To do no Harm (Non-maleficence)
Hippocrates has laid an emphasis on
The dentist has a duty to refrain from
harming the patient.
Keeping knowledge and skills
Should inform the patient who may
have been exposed to blood borne
pathogen or other infectious
Use of unsterilized instruments, under-
filling or overfilling, carelessness in
handling hard and soft tissues can
harm the patients.
The dentist should educate the
patient to his/her best regarding
Treat the patient according to
Information given should be easily
In case of minors, parents or guardians
can grant the consent for care.
Respect the patient’s right to self-
determination and confidentiality.
Dealing with people justly and
delivering dental care without
Treating people fairly without
discrimination of socio-economic
status, race, creed, color, sex or
Truthfulness or Veracity
Patient doctor relationship based on
The dentist has a duty to
Dentists shall not represent the care
being rendered to their patients in a
false or misleading manner.
Patient expect the dentist to be
truthful about the information given ,
treatment rendered and the
There should be understanding
b/w dentist and patient.
Any information revealed by
the patient to the dentist will
not be divulged without the
Except the situation where
disclosure is needed to protect
others, the patient itself and
To consider dear to me, him who
taught me this art, and to consider
my goods with him;
I will use those dietary regimens
which will benefit my patients
according to my greatest ability
and judgment and I will do no harm
or injustice to them.
I will pass my life and practice my
art with full purity and holiness.
I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the
disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be
performed by practitioners/specialist in this art.
I will give no deadly medicine to anyone, nor suggest
any such counsel.
In every house where I come I will only enter for the
good and benefit of my patients, keeping myself far
from all intentional ill doing and all seduction.
Whatever I see or hear in the lives of my patients,
which ought not to be spoken of outside, I will keep
secret, as considering all such things to be private.
If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and
practice my art, respected by all men and in all times;
but if I swerve from it, may the reverse be my lot.
Codes of Ethics
Primarily developed for patient’s
Represents principles of
professional conduct, rules and
responsibilities by which the
dentist must aspire to fulfill their
responsibilities to patients,
colleagues and society.
Vary from country to country or
within the same country.
Duties Towards Colleagues
Cherish a proper pride in your
colleagues and treat them as
brothers and sisters.
Should not make disparaging
comments of the procedures
or qualification of colleagues.
Honor mutual arrangements
Duties Toward Colleagues
On no account do anything harmful to the interest of
the members of fraternity.
Retire in favor of the regular dentist, after the
emergency is over.
Institute correct treatment at once with the least
Regard it as a pleasure and privilege to render
gratuitous services to another dentist, his immediate
Duties Toward Patients
The best recommendation for a dentist should be
his/her personal reputation, professional ability and
The welfare of the patient should be the top priority.
Be courteous, sympathetic, friendly and always be
ready to the call of patients.
Observe punctuality in fulfilling appointments.
Duties Toward Patients
Race, Religion, Nationality or Relation should not
interfere in providing the best available services.
Provide high quality of care to the patient.
Keep knowledge current and strive for new for better
treatment of patient.
maintain accurate dental and medical records of
Keep all personal information regarding a patient
Duties Towards Community
To participate in community affairs
Educate the public in promotion of health
To be trustworthy and honest
To provide for his needs/welfare
To honor his parents
To respect the property of others
To follow community laws
To use the social services provided
To take a leadership role in community and
Elevate the esteem of profession
Practice by unregistered persons employed by the
Represent itself in a manner that is false or misleading
and representing their fees in deceptive manner.
Issuing any certificate signed by the dentist which is
untrue, misleading or improper.
Use of bogus diplomas, allowing or accepting
Non referral, in case treatment beyond the dentist skill.
Performing unnecessary services for purpose of
Emerging consultation during temporary absence of
patient’s dentist, and patient is not sent back.
Dentist advertising whether directly or indirectly, for
purpose of obtaining patients.
Cut for Stone: means surgical removal of stones i.e
gallstone, kidney stone etc.
Regimens: Any regulation or remedy which is
intended to produce beneficial effects by gradual