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Medical Ethics and Behavioral Science for Dentists

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Official data in SubjectManager for the following academic year: 2019-2020

Course director

Tibor SZOLCSÁNYI (, assistant professor

Department of Behavioural Sciences

Subject data

Code of subject: OSA-EAD-T  |  1 credit  |  Dentistry |  Basic module  |  autumn

Prerequisites: -

Exam course: yes

Number of hours/semester

14 lectures + 0 practices + 0 seminars = total of 14 hours

Course headcount limitations

min. 5 – max. 999 person


Technical and ethical decisions are inseparably interwoven in dentistry, and that is why the high quality of dental care requires professionals who are aware of the ethical standards governing health care activity. Within the course, students will acquire knowledge about the most fundamental norms of modern medical ethics, and about how these norms are implemented in dental practice. In addition, during the course, students will gain practically applicable knowledge about those sociological, communicational and psychological aspects of physician-patient relationship, which have ethical relevance in dental care.


  • 1. Introduction: the relation between technical and ethical decisions in dental care. - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 2. The most fundamental norms of medical ethics and their application to dentistry. - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 3. The ethics of duties versus respect for human dignity 1. The principle of medical informed consent. - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 4. The ethics of duties versus respect for human dignity 2. Standards for informing the patients. The duty of medical confidentiality. - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 5. Science and evidence-based medicine. - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 6. The placebo effect and its significance in dental practice. - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 7. Stereotypes, prejudice and equal opportunities. - Hartung István
  • 8. The basic features of direct human communication, with special emphasis on some elements of non-verbal communication. - Hartung István
  • 9. The specific nature of physician-patient communication in dental care. - Dr. Birkás Béla
  • 10. The disclosure of medical errors. - Dr. Birkás Béla
  • 11. On how to reduce the patients’ anxiety in dental practice. - Dr. Tiringer István
  • 12. The adaptation abilities and the quality of life of elderly patients. - Dr. Tiringer István
  • 13. Case studies. - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 14. Written test exam. - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor



Reading material

Obligatory literature

World Dental Federation: Dental Ethics Manual. Introduction, Chapters 1, 2 (pp. 14-64), 2007 ISBN 0-9539261-5-X

Literature developed by the Department




Recommended literature

Lambden, P.: Dental Law and Ethics, Radcliff Medical Press, Abingdon, 2002 ISBN 1 85775 911 7
Ethics Handbook for Dentists. An Introduction to Ethics, Professionalism and Ethical Decision Making. Gaithersburg, Md: American College of Dentists; 2012. Available at:
G.G. Kent and A.S. Blinkhorn: The Psychology of Dental Care. Dental Handbooks, John Wright, 1991
Mostofsk DI, Forgione AG, Giddon DB (eds.): Behavioral dentistry, Blackwell Munksgaard, 2006.

Conditions for acceptance of the semester

Maximum of 15 % absence allowed

Mid-term exams

Written test taking place in the last class. To improve the grade, the test can be repeated two times in the first two weeks of the exam period. Oral exam is also an option for that purpose.

Making up for missed classes

According to the Code of Studies and Examinations.

Exam topics/questions



Instructor / tutor of practices and seminars

  • Dr. Birkás Béla
  • Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • Dr. Tiringer István
  • Hartung István