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  • Dentists
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Assistants
Hours: 2 Contact Hours
Author(s): Toni M. Roucka, RN, DDS, MA
Peer Reviewer(s): Joseph P. Graskemper, DDS, JD
Item#: L0718
Contents: 1 Course Book (50 pages)
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Dental Ethics and the Digital Age

Reg. Price $19.95
Sale $15.95
Item # L0718
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: December 28, 2015

Expiration Date: December 27, 2018

The Hippocratic Oath provides medical practitioners with a framework for the ethical practice of medicine by professing a set of obligations to which physicians are bound.  As is evident from the language of the oath, Hippocrates believed that the practice of medicine was both an art and a privilege and that patients had rights of their own.   

Dentistry has adopted many of the ideals of the Hippocratic Oath into its current professional codes of ethics as well as the oaths that dental and hygiene students take upon graduation from dental school.  The American Dental Association Principles of Ethics and Codes of Professional Conduct (ADA Code) and the Code of Ethics of the American Dental Hygienist Association (ADHA)  are living documents and are revised periodically to address new ethical issues that arise within the profession.  The practice of dentistry is multifaceted.  Not only must dental professionals have the technical skills to treat patients appropriately and safely, they must also practice within a professional ethical framework that is sometimes more challenging than the dental procedures themselves.  

This basic-level course helps dental professionals gain a better understanding of dental ethics, professionalism, and current ethical challenges to the profession, with particular emphasis on the impact of the digital age. Dental ethics have deep roots in history and this course takes an in-depth look at the events that forged the basis of modern day ethics and professionalism in dentistry.  Our electronic world is expanding exponentially and advancing technology provides both opportunities and challenges. Dental professionals may be eager to incorporate the latest technologies into their practices and into their private lives, but must consider the ethical implications of doing so.  This course explores some of the issues in this new frontier, for example, the rise of cyberbullying and the dentist’s obligation in these cases. Using a systematic, case-based approach, this course provides dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants with the tools to recognize and navigate through the complex ethical issues that may arise in today’s practice.

AGD Subject Code: 555

Western Schools designates this activity for 2 continuing education credits. 

Course Objectives

  • Describe the evolution of healthcare ethics, including events that affected development of the principles of ethics that guide the dental profession.
  • Describe how codes of ethics and concepts of professionalism guide the dental practitioner’s relationships and obligations.
  • Identify current and emerging ethical challenges facing dental professionals.
  • Describe how ethical decision-making models help dental professionals recognize and address ethical dilemmas in practice.

Toni M. Roucka, RN, DDS, MA, is an associate professor and associate dean for academic affairs at Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine in Alton, Illinois. She is a Fellow of the American College of Dentists and current president of the American Society for Dental Ethics, a special section of the American College of Dentists. Dr. Roucka obtained her DDS degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry and master’s degree in population health – bioethics from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Dr. Roucka is a nationally recognized speaker and has written extensively on the subject of ethics in dentistry. She currently writes a regular ethics column for General Dentistry, the journal of the Academy of General Dentistry.

Joseph P. Graskemper, DDS, JD, received his DDS from The Ohio State University, Columbus, in 1977 and his JD from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego in 1987. He currently practices dentistry full-time in Bellport, New York, and is an associate clinical professor at Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine, where he teaches professionalism, ethics, and risk management. Dr. Graskemper has served as director of professional responsibility courses and editor-in-chief of the Literature Review Journal at Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine General Practice Residency Program. He has been awarded fellowships by the Academy of General Dentistry, American Endodontic Society, International Congress of Oral Implantologists, American Society of Osseointegration, American College of Legal Medicine, and American College of Dentists. Dr. Graskemper is a diplomate of the American Board of Legal Medicine and a board member of the International Dental Ethics and Law Society, American College of Legal Medicine, and the Suffolk County Dental Society. In addition, he provides practice management consulting and expert witness testimony, and he has served as a consultant to several state dental boards. Dr. Graskemper has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles, lectured and published nationally and internationally, and recently published the book Professional Responsibility in Dentistry: A Guide to Law and Ethics.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.