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The American Society for Dental Ethics (ASDE), a section of the American College of Dentists, is a non-profit organization of dental educators, practicing dentists, dental organization officers, dental hygiene faculty and organization officers, ethicists, and all others who are interested in advancing understanding or ethics in oral health.


Originally founded in 1987 as the Professional Ethics in Dentistry Network (PEDNET), the organization is dedicated to enhancing the dialogue about ethical issues in dental health care and fostering more effective ethics education in this field. In 2002, PEDNET became the ASDE and in 2007 ASDE became a recognized Section in the American College of Dentists.


ASDE conducts meetings and education periodically each year usually in conjunction with the American Dental Education Association and the American College of Dentists.

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  • To uphold high standards of integrity and honor in the dental profession;

  • To encourage and assist dentists and dental professionals in improving their competence so that they can better serve their clients and the public;

  • To foster thoughtful discussion of, encourage and provide a forum for scholarly reflection on, and stimulate and assist educational programs in the professional and ethical issues that arise in or are related to dental practice, dental education, and dental research.

Core Values

  • Leadership

  • Community

  • Education

  • Patient well-being

  • Practitioner well-being

  • Professional Integrity

  • Respect for alternative viewpoints

  • Scholarship

  • Collegiality

  • Service

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The PEDNET newsletter started in 1983 and PEDNET was formed as an organization in 1987. A group of teachers of dental ethics who had attended a workshop hosted by Muriel Bebeau at the University of Minnesota, together with other professionals who had written on the subject or were known to be teaching dental ethics, received that first newsletter. The network was declared to exist when about two dozen recipients indicated an interest in continuing to communicate back and forth.


PEDNET became a formal organization four years later when the members were invited to join the Society for Health and Human Values (SHHV), a predecessor organization of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH). The Network has conducted three meetings each year since then as well as a biennial Dental Ethics Workshop, and has provided ethics programming assistance to numerous professional dental societies.


PEDNET was renamed the American Society for Dental Ethics in 2005.

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