Over the decades, the American College of Dentists has endeavored to develop and deploy current dental ethics curricula designed to enhance students’ levels of satisfaction with different teaching approaches and to mitigate reported difficulties in learning dental ethics concepts. Our teaching materials seek to reinforce the overall aims of dental education by creating responsible clinicians who will enhance and promote the general health and oral health of the people they serve in ways which fairly and justly respect their dignity, autonomy, and individual rights.

The ultimate goal of ethics education is to help providers recognize the humanistic and ethical components of health care and to translate and integrate ethical principles into clinical practice. Our expanding ethics teaching portfolio includes various methodologies ranging from the conventional lecture format to group discussions of case studies and narratives, problem-based learning, as well as the increasingly common use of audio-visuals and video vignettes. The American College of Dentists acknowledges that there are still many challenges in the preparation and delivery of dental ethics educational materials but we are committed to the iterative development of ethics content for our practice community.

Since the inception of the American College of Dentists, ethics and professionalism have been integral to the organization and its activities. The College was founded in part “…to aid in the advancement of the standards…of…dentistry…to encourage the development of a higher type of professional spirit.”

Written by Bruce Peltier and Larry Jenson, Dental Ethics Primer is written for dental students and residents. While other readers may find it useful, its purpose is to provide a brief and clear introduction to the ethics of the profession of dentistry.

Download Dental Ethics Primer

Legacy Projects
Ethics Handbook for Dentists

A major ongoing project for the ACD Foundation, the Ethics Handbook for Dentists is designed for both dental students and practicing dentists. Over 6,000 handbooks, along with ethics wallet cards, are distributed annually at no charge to dental schools in the United States and Canada. A downloadable copy is available here.

For questions or information on ordering printed copies, contact the Executive Office in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Dental Ethics

Dental Ethics is an ever-growing collection of online courses, resources, and materials related to dental ethics and is available online at www.dentalethics.org. Dental Ethics makes available courses (CODE), activities, and resources in dental ethics and professionalism to the dental community. Other Dental Ethics resources include a program to assess the ethical climate of your practice (PEAD) as well as a newly released Dental Ethics Primer by Bruce Peltier, Honorary Fellow and ASDE member.