I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
- I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those dental professionals in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
- I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
- I will remember that there is art to dentistry as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
- I will not be ashamed to say “I know not”; nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s well being.
- I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great hu-mility and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
- I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart or a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
- I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
- I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
- If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live an re-membered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.
Edelstein, L. (1943). The Hippocratic Oath: Text, Translation and Interpretation. Baltimore: The John Hopkins Press.
Modified for use by dentists by:
Professor Lakshman Samaranayake