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Dentistry in the Pandemic, an Ethical Perspective

(1HR, recorded webinar)

Being a healthcare professional comes with ethical obligations to our patients, our community, and to our profession. Among those is the duty to care. What is our duty to care and how does it relate to the pandemic? How has dentistry lived up to our obligations during the pandemic? What about vaccinations? This course will discuss what it means to be a professional and about the duty to care both legally and ethically. The goal of this presentation is to provoke expanded thinking about the meaning and obligation of duty to care and our professional obligations in the outpatient healthcare setting of dentistry during this pandemic.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe what it means to be a professional and one’s professional obligations to society.
  • Define the concept of duty to care and distinguish ethical and legal components.
  • Discuss how our duty to care and professional obligations apply to the pandemic when a vaccine is available.

Lawrence P. Garetto, PhD, FACD

Dr. Garetto is Professor Emeritus of Oral Pathology, Medicine and Radiology at Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) and an Affiliate Instructor at the University of Washington School of Dentistry.  Dr. Garetto served as a clinical ethicist for the Charles Warren Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics at IU Health Methodist Hospital. He was the founding Chair of the IUSD Professional Conduct Committee and served as an advisor to the Student Professional Conduct Committee.  He also served as the advisor to IUSD’s chapter of the Student Professionalism and Ethics Association (SPEA).  He is Past-President of the American Society for Dental Ethics and served as an ethics liaison to the Board of Regents of the American College of Dentists.  Dr. Garetto’s scholarly work centers on the ethical nature of clinical reasoning

Rod Wentworth, DDS

Dr. Wentworth is a 1981 graduate of the University of Washington School of Dentistry. He is affiliate faculty at the University of Washington School of Dentistry teaching Ethics and Professionalism and serves on the Curriculum Committee as a Thread Champion for Ethics and Professionalism. He has served as chair of the American Dental Association’s Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs, the Washington State Dental Association’s Committee on Judicial Affairs, Ethics and Peer Review, and Seattle King County Dental Society’s Ethics Committee.  He has over a dozen publications in the Journal of the American Dental Association’s “Ethical Moment” feature and has written about Ethics for the Washington State Dental Association News, ASDA’s Mouth, and the Oregon Dental Association magazine Membership Matters. Dr. Wentworth is a Fellow of the American College of Dentists and Pierre Fauchard Academy. He is also a member of the American Society for Dental Ethics and a past president of the Washington State Dental Association.

Arcora Foundation is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. Arcora Foundation designates this activity for 1 continuing education credit.

If you have questions or would like more information about this course, please contact Karen Lewis at or 206-528-7344.

Original Release Date: April 2022

Expiration Date: April 2025