do dentists take a hippocratic oathDo dentists take a Hippocratic Oath?

Have you ever wondered, “Do dentists take a Hippocratic Oath?” The Hippocratic Oath is one of the most widely known pieces of non-religious text in the world. It has survived for thousands of years and was written sometime between 500 and 300 B.C. by either Hippocrates or one of his medical students. Several revisions have taken place over the years, although the context and general content of the Hippocratic Oath are still very similar to the original text. Although the oath was written specifically for new physicians, other healthcare providers have looked to the oath for guidance and have amended it to suit their specialties.

What Is the Hippocratic Oath?

A very short summary of the Hippocratic Oath can be described as, “First, do no harm.” The oath functions as a promise made by physicians to maintain high ethical standards in their practice of medicine. In the original oath, the newly decreed physician promises to different healing gods to not harm patients, to admit his lack of knowledge and to hold his medical teachers to an equal level of respect as his parents. The physician promises not to intentionally harm, poison or otherwise cause injury. The oath involves a promise to care for anyone in need.

What the Hippocratic Oath Means for Modern Dentistry

Do dentists take a Hippocratic Oath? A concise answer is yes, but the oath has been modified to make sense for modern dentistry. Some of the modifications include honoring the achievements of past dental professionals, remembering that there is both art and science to dentistry and keeping in mind that a patient is more than his or her dental disease. The newly minted dentist is also reminded that all treatments have an impact on more than just the patient.

The Oath Taken By Dentists

The Hippocratic Oath taken by dentists promises to do no intentional harm to patients. The oath also describes the importance of sympathy and understanding throughout the care of a patient. The dental Hippocratic Oath also reminds the dentist that prevention is preferable to cure of disease. This is a good reminder for patients as well, who sometimes forget that their own actions have a considerable effect on their dental health. The Hippocratic Oath for dentists explains that following the oath will deliver everlasting respect and affection from the community and the dentist’s patients.