Ethics play an important role for aspiring dental professionals who are passionate about starting a career
in dentistry. They recognise the profound impact that ethical principles have on their practice and the
overall well-being of their patients. Dental ethics comprises a set of principles that guide dentists to
provide the highest quality dental care while maintaining honest relationships with patients, colleagues,
and society. As one of the leading dental colleges in India, we explore the importance of dental ethics
and how it contributes to the overall success of dental professionals.
➔ The significance of dental ethics
Dental ethics go beyond simply doing the right thing. It implies a comprehensive moral code that
is specifically relevant to the field of dentistry. Without a solid ethical foundation, any profession
can quickly become toxic and detrimental to those involved. Dentists occupy a position of special
trust and responsibility, because of the close proximity they have to the mouths and faces of their
patients. This proximity grants them the potential to create profound impacts, be it positive or
negative. Hence, it is important for them to let ethical principles guide their actions.
➔ Principles of dental ethics
Every profession is built on a strong ethical foundation, and dentistry is no exception. Dental practitioners
bear a significant responsibility to prioritise patient well-being and foster trust. By adhering to a set of
ethical principles, dental professionals can ensure the delivery of exceptional care while upholding the
integrity of their esteemed profession. Here are the five key dental ethics:
- Autonomy: The first principle revolves around honouring patient autonomy. It highlights the
importance of recognising and respecting a patient’s right to make informed decisions about their
oral health. Dental professionals play a crucial role in this process by providing patients with comprehensive information regarding treatment options, their associated benefits and risks, as
well as potential alternatives. This empowers patients to make well-informed choices.
- Nonmaleficence: Central to ethical dental practice is the principle of nonmaleficence, which
essentially entails the commitment to “do no harm.” Dentists must prioritise patient safety and
well-being at all times, employing necessary precautions to minimise risks. This includes
maintaining a sterile and secure environment, adhering to stringent infection control protocols,
and utilising evidence-based practices.
- Beneficence: Dentists have a moral obligation to act in the best interest of their patients and
promote their well-being. This includes providing timely and appropriate treatments, employing
cutting-edge techniques and materials, and continually seeking professional growth to refine their
- Justice: Dentists and dental professionals should strive to ensure that dental care and resources
are distributed in a fair and equitable manner. This means that all individuals should have equal
access to dental care, regardless of their background, socioeconomic status, or any other factors.
- Veracity: Dentists should prioritise honesty, truthfulness, and the communication of accurate
information. Dentists should strive to maintain open and transparent communication with their
patients. This involves providing clear and understandable explanations about diagnoses,
treatment options, and what outcomes to expect. By being truthful and providing accurate
information, dentists can establish trust with their patients and facilitate shared decision-making
in the treatment process.
➔ What is dental malpractice?
Dental malpractice can occur in several ways. Here are some of the common examples:
● Failure to diagnose: It is the responsibility of dentists to accurately diagnose dental diseases such
as oral cancer and gum infection. If a dentist fails to diagnose a dental disease and does not
inform the patient, it can be considered dental malpractice.
● Delayed treatment: When a dentist identifies a dental problem but fails to take appropriate steps
for treatment, it can be considered dental malpractice.
● Direct injury: Some cases of dental malpractice involve direct harm caused by a dentist’s failure to
follow accepted treatment methods.
Looking for the best BDS colleges in India?
Explore the BDS course by Karnavati School of Dentistry. We are committed to offering our students
exceptional education and excellent facilities to meet the highest standards in the field of dentistry. Our
faculty consists of nationally and internationally renowned experts, and our curriculum is designed to
provide a comprehensive learning experience. With diverse educational opportunities and on-campus
facilities, we strive to create a well-rounded learning environment for our students. Our goal is to provide
a platform that enhances their skills and overall personality, equipping them for success in today’s