Ethical working relationships demand that not only dental hygienists refrain from exploiting financially the patients, but that all medical practitioners do so. Vital [serial online] 7(2): 37-39. Retrieved from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, Ma Accessed December 28, 2011.6. LEGAL AND ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR DENTAL HYGIENISTS AND ASSISTANTS provides them with strong theoretical and philosophical information concerning the legal ethical and management dilemmas that face the entire dental health team. Beemsterboer wrote the leading dental hygiene textbook on the subject, Ethics and Law for Dental Hygienists. Dianne Glasscoe Watterson, MBA, RDH, provides some tips for temping as a dental hygienist. Every once in a while, a patient might get scheduled with a different hygienist in the same office. There are conditions when patients slip through the cracks, or long-term patients become so comfortable in a practice they’re allowed a great amount of autonomy, which becomes a detriment to their best interest. “Beneficence and nonmaleficence are often linked because both are found in the Hippocratic tradition, which requires the physician [dentist or hygienist] to do what will best benefit the patient.”1 It is important for the dental hygienist to consider all four ethical principles when weighing a moral dilemma regarding patients. Dental hygienists will face ethical dilemmas at some point in their careers. The three ethical dilemmas most frequently encountered in dental hygiene practice are (1) observation of behavior in conflict with standard infection control procedures (66%); (2) failure to refer patients to a specialist such as a periodontist (60%); and (3) nondiagnosis of dental disease (58%). Knowing the major principles of health-care ethics and how to use a model to solve an ethical conflict is the best way to solve a dilemma. The black, white, and very gray areas of radiology. Wentworth R. (June 2010). Linda Meeuwenberg was a 17-year-old high school student when she took a job at a general dental practice in her hometown of Fruitport, Mich. She was hired to type, file, answer the phone, and pay the bills. Cell phones are here to stay. Each situation involving human beings will be unique since each problem or dilemma will have distinguishing aspects. What are the implications of residual root sockets? For that reason, it was a surprise for me that Dental field was not the unique career which corresponds with my interest and personality type. As you read through these vignettes, consider how you would handle similar situations. really? Without following through and acting on your decision to the ethical dilemma, there will be no resolution for the patient or party affected. ETHICAL ISSUES 1 Online Journal of Health Ethics Vol. Not taking X-rays for so long is a form of nonmaleficence, and it does not benefit the patient and can harm the patient due to undetected periodontal disease, decay, pathology, and more. Beemsterboer (2001) suggests these attributes to be as follows: Step five, make the decision, is now apparent by evaluating your pro and con worksheet. The patient merely signed a release and spent the money he saved on his next vacation. . Speaking from her experience as a dental hygienist and former dental assistant, Jamie Collins, RDH, CDA, shares some tips on how to develop healthy relationships in the dental office. Yes, that is seven years without an X-ray! The dentist has a duty to treat people fairly. J Am Dental Assoc. Learn how to make sound ethical and legal decisions in practice with ETHICS AND LAW IN DENTAL HYGIENE, Second Edition. Beemsterboer recommends, “State how each alternative will affect the ethical principle or rule by developing a list of pros and cons.”1 List each principle violated while considering specific values such as supervised neglect, informed consent, paternalism, and more. But her dentist’s enthusiasm was infectious. Both these situations result in cause for disagreement between the dental hygienist and his or her employer in which an ethical dilemma will ensue.