• E-1 Due Process (1977, revised 2013)

    The American Student Dental Association endorses the concept of due process for dental students in U.S. CODA-accredited dental schools. Dental schools should develop and publicize a clear definition of its procedures for the evaluation, advancement and graduation of students to its faculty and students.

    Dental school due process procedures should encompass the following:

    1. Hearings should include student members. No student or faculty member involved in the case should be allowed to be a member of the judicial body.
    2. The accused student should be informed of charges and be given adequate time to prepare for the hearing. The content of all charges against the student should be clearly outlined.
    3. The student charged must be given the opportunity to select an advisor of his or her choice for assisting in his or her defense.
    4. The burden of proof must rest upon the party bringing the charge.
    5. The student charged must be given the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses and to hear and question adverse witnesses.
    6. All matters upon which the decision is based should be entered as evidence before the judicial body.
    7. The student has the right to appeal the decision of the judicial body. 
  • E-2 Conflict Resolution (2013, revised 2018)

    The American Student Dental Association supports student-led conflict management and resolution.

    ASDA encourages chapters to develop conflict management procedures that ensure students work through the leadership hierarchy established at their chapter. 
  • E-3 School Closings (1985, revised 1989, 1990, 1991, 1998, 1999, 2016, 2019)

    In the event of the closing of a dental school, students in their final year must be provided a proper and humane transition with a specific phase-out action to protect their rights. ASDA's position is that it is the responsibility of the school to protect its students in the following ways:
    1. Assurances that the same standards of high quality education under which students were accepted will be maintained.
    2. Assurances that the school will continue to meet accreditation standards as set by the Commission on Dental Accreditation
    3. Assurances that all reimbursements will be made by the dental school for any classes, supplies and materials paid for and not provided to the student.
    4. The ASDA President will contact the school's Dean to obtain their personal assurance that a phase-out committee will be established immediately to enforce the phase-out plan. This committee will be composed of student, faculty, and administration representatives.
    5. Assistance in transfers or relocation.
    6. Advice and support in seeking legal counsel.
    7. The immediate disclosure of pertinent closing information to the students as it becomes available.
    8. All attempts should be made to ensure students in their final year or those who meet graduation requirements are able to graduate from their matriculated institution. 
    In addition, in the event of an impending dental school closure, a letter will be sent to that state's legislators at the request of the school's delegates, to explain the health and economic impact of a dental school's closure. Chapter delegates will be provided with resources that may be available from the central office including information about the circumstances of prior school closings.

    Finally, an announcement will be sent to all first delegates requesting their assistance in:
    1. Finding temporary and permanent housing for transferring students
    2. Providing mentors to assimilate transferring students to the new academic and clinical environment; and
    3. Updating membership information so transferring students can receive their benefits and publications in a timely manner.
  • E-4 Sensitivity to Diversity (1993, revised 2002, 2014, 2017, 2019, 2020)

    The American Student Dental Association believes dental schools should ensure all students, faculty, staff and administration are sensitive to the diversity of their colleagues and patients. 

    ASDA defines diversity as ‘differences among individual characteristics, professional choices or demographics including, but not limited to: race, religion, ethnic background, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identification and gender expression.’ ASDA recognizes the unique challenges faced by these diverse populations. 

    ASDA believes dental schools should provide a safe and inclusive environment for all students, faculty, staff and administration. Sexist, discriminatory or insensitive language and practices are unacceptable. 

    ASDA supports and encourages the incorporation of diversity training and cultural competence as part of dental education. ASDA also encourages the recruitment and retention of diverse dental student populations in organized dentistry. 

    ASDA supports and encourages equity for all students within dental education, which includes equipment and facility accommodations where appropriate to ensure student safety and comfort. 

    ASDA supports reasonable academic accommodations for religious and cultural observances. 

    ASDA supports efforts to reduce barriers to care for diverse populations.
  • E-5 Sexual Harassment of Dental Students (1993)

    The American Student Dental Association condemns all forms of sexual harassment of dental students, defined as any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature including when,

    1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a student's continuing enrollment.
    2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a student is used as a basis for decisions affecting that student.
    3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with a student's performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or clinical environment.

    The American Student Dental Association believes that in addition to requests for sexual favors, sexual harassment also includes leering, intentional touching and patting, salacious gestures and other advances that invite sexual activity, as well as other verbal, physical, and environmental abuses of a sexual nature.

  • E-6 Leave of Absence for Dental Students (1995, revised 2016)

    It is recognized that circumstances or opportunities may arise which demand or legitimately necessitate a temporary interruption in a dental student's course of education and training. Such circumstances include, but are not limited to, the recommendation of a physician or counselor providing treatment to the dental student, death, illness or infirmity of a close family member, financial distress, professional obligations, and other family tragedies.

    Under these circumstances, it expected that a reasonable attempt will be made by the dental school to approve requests for leave of absence, and that such requests will be judged by the same criteria and considered without discrimination among students. It is also expected that when necessary and appropriate, accommodations be made to facilitate a student's continued participation in the program of study, providing that the cost of such accommodations is reasonable, and do not infringe on the rights of others.

  • E-7 Supporting the Academic Success and Professional Development of Pregnant, Postpartum, and Parenting Dental Students (2016)

    The American Student Dental Association encourages all dental schools to enact written leave of absence policies and procedures for students who are pregnant, postpartum, or parenting in accordance with Title IX of the US Education Amendments of 1972 including, but not limited to:

    1. Reasonable accommodations—including but not limited to excusing absences, rescheduling exams, and extending deadlines for clinical responsibilities—as necessary for:
      1. The perinatal period and its various demands on the mother
      2. Postpartum recovery and maternal-infant bonding
      3. Paternity leave encouraging father engagement and bonding
      4. Pediatrician visits and other required and recommended health care needs for children
    2. Alternatives for students returning from leave of absence to complete any missed clinical or academic work, including options that would allow the student to be reinstated to the same status upon when the leave began, and allow the student to determine the most suitable alternative for their individual circumstances
    3. Recommendations and information about resources for postpartum and parenting students, such as lactation facilities and local child care centers
    4. Contact information for the dental school or parent institution’s Title IX Coordinator.
  • E-8 ASDA Student Code of Ethics (2002, revised in 2008, 2010, 2020)

    The pathway to professional status is obtained through knowledge, skill and experience with which students serve their patients and society. Every dentist should strive to continuously improve his/her knowledge of ethics in order to help achieve higher levels of patient care. These foundational ethical values will serve as a guideline throughout the dentist’s career, from predoctoral student fully credentialed professional.

    The American Student Dental Association recognizes the importance of high ethical standards in the dental school setting. Therefore, the Association believes students should conduct themselves in a manner reflecting integrity and fairness in both the didactic and clinical learning environments. The code outlined below relates most directly to the dental school environment. To gain a more expansive understanding of ethics in practice, please see the ADA Code of Ethics.

    The following is the ASDA Code of Ethics:

    1. Dental Student conduct
      1. All dental students are obligated to maintain high standards of moral and ethical behavior and to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. This applies to the classroom, clinic, laboratory, and other institutional facilities; externships, community service, or meetings of professional organizations.
      2. Ethical and professional behavior by dental students is characterized by honesty, compassion, kindness, integrity, fairness and charity in all professional circumstances; respect for the rights, differences, and property of others; concern for the welfare of patients, competence in the delivery of care, and preservation of confidentiality in all situations where this is warranted.
      3. All dental students are obligated to report unethical activity and violations of the honor code to the appropriate body at the school. 
    2. Patient Autonomy ("self-governance"). The student dentist has a duty to respect the patient's rights to self-determination and confidentiality.
      1. Informed Consent and Refusal
        1. Students should conduct a thorough discussion with every patient. This must be repeated whenever there are substantive changes or additions to the treatment plan.
          Discussion should include:
          1. Diagnoses
          2. Treatment Plan
          3. Prognosis
          4. Risks/Benefits
          5. Alternatives
            - The discussion should be in understandable terms and enable a reasonable patient in the patient’s position to make an informed decision regarding care, except in emergencies, when risks are unknown, commonly known or the patient waives the right of disclosure.  
        2. Students should inform the patient of the consequences of not accepting treatment. The patient has a right to an informed refusal which should be honored by the student. 
      2. Patient Confidentiality
        1. Should follow HIPAA Guidelines. 
    3. Non-maleficence ("do no harm"). The student dentist has a duty to refrain from harming the patient.
      1. Treatment plans should be determined according to patient needs as opposed to unmet requirements of the student.
      2. No procedures should be started without instructor authorization, and all procedures should be evaluated by the instructor upon completion.
      3. Referrals to residents, specialists, or staff members should be made when the complexity of the case exceeds the student’s ability to meet the standard of care. The referring student should inform the patient who will be responsible for dental maintenance and the reason for referral.
      4. Students should exercise discretion in treating family members due to problems associated with medical history disclosure, confidentiality, objectivity, and professionalism.
      5. Students must never perform dental procedures while in an impaired condition, regardless of the source of the impairment.
    4. Beneficence (“do good”). The student dentist has a duty to promote the patient’s welfare.
      1. Students are encouraged to participate in community outreach programs in order to improve the dental health of the public.
      2. Students should advocate access to care for patients who are unable to receive care due to physical or mental disability or financial hardship.
      3. Student dentists will encourage an environment that supports respectful and collaborative relationships for all those involved in oral health care and education.
    5. Justice ('fairness"). The student dentist has a duty to treat people fairly.
      1. Ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, gender identity, gender expression or infectious disease status should not influence whether or not a patient is accepted by a student to receive care. Furthermore, all patients should be treated with the same level of compassion, kindness and respect.
      2. Sexual harassment between colleagues, between health care provider and patient, and between students and faculty or residents is unacceptable and must be reported.
      3. Students must report suspected abuse/neglect of patients to an appropriate instructor.
      4. Students should exercise respect when working with human cadavers.
    6. Veracity (“truthfulness”). The student dentist has a duty to communicate truthfully.
      1. The student should not cheat, plagiarize, forge, or falsify official records, patient charts, or examinations.
      2. The student should not participate in activities involving theft and/or vandalism of school or student property.
      3. The student will conduct research in an ethical manner and abide by all guidelines set by their institution’s Institutional Review Board.
      4. Students have the responsibility of protecting the integrity of the profession by reporting any suspicions of unethical behavior.
    7. All members of the American Student Dental Association must comply with the ASDA Code of Ethics
  • E-9 Faculty-Student Interaction (1997, revised 2016)

    It is the position of the American Student Dental Association that dental schools are responsible for promoting an atmosphere of mutual professional respect among members of the administration, faculty, and student body. ASDA believes schools should calibrate clinical faculty to uphold this faculty-student environment. In such an environment, criticism is offered constructively, in a manner that preserves individual self-respect. Care is taken to ensure that any chairside evaluation of performance is completed in a way that supports the student-patient relationship and preserves the patient’s confidence in the student.
  • E-10 Freedom to Invite Vendors/Speakers (2000, revised 2012, 2018)

    The American Student Dental Association encourages the administrators of all U.S. CODA-accredited dental schools to grant ASDA leaders the autonomy to select and invite dental supply companies and speakers to visit their school and implement programming in order to heighten their knowledge and broaden their exposure to dental products prior to venturing into dental practice.
  • E-11 Dental Resident/Fellow Work and Learning Environment (2006)

    The American Student Dental Association supports the following policy for all dental residency and fellowship programs which are:

    • Limit of 80 hours per week, averaged over four weeks, with flexibility to increase hours up to 10% if the institution can show educational/safety rationale;
    • At least one full (24-hour) day out of seven free of patient care duties, averaged over four weeks; - residents must not be on-call more often than every third night, averaged over four weeks;
    • Residents must have a 10-hour minimum rest period between duty periods; and
    • Continuous on-duty time is limited to 24 hours, with additional time of no more than 6 hours allowed for patient transfers and educational activities.
  • E-12 Sharps Exposure/Bloodborne Pathogens Policy (2015)

    The American Student Dental Association encourages all dental schools to provide a transparent and comprehensive Sharps Exposure/Bloodborne Pathogens policy including, but not limited to:

    1. A definition of exposure;
    2. A procedure to follow in case of exposure including, but not limited to:
      1. An appropriate timeframe to complete post-exposure assessment
      2. What the student should do during business hours, after-hours and/or at an off-site location
      3. Locations and protocol to obtain post-exposure assessment and follow up care;
    3. Administrative contact information, including an after-hours number;
    4. Whether the school will cover the costs of blood draw and/or antiretroviral therapy for the student, the amount covered, and how to apply for the coverage;
    5. An annual review of the policy at the start of each academic year.
  • E-13 Medicaid Patients (2016)

    The American Student Dental Association encourages all U.S. CODA-accredited dental schools to accept Medicaid at their respective clinics.
  • E-14 Professional Oaths for Dental Students (2017)

    The American Student Dental Association supports dental schools that institute a professional oath for their students during white coat ceremonies.

    ASDA recommends that dental school administrators and faculty include students in the development and periodic evaluation of the professional oath.