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South African Dental Journal

versão On-line ISSN 0375-1562
versão impressa ISSN 0011-8516


MOTLOBA, DP; MOIPOLAI, PD; MTOLO, TM  e  MPUNGOSE, SK. To extract or not to extract -Felicific calculus to the rescue. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2022, vol.77, n.8, pp.504-508. ISSN 0375-1562.

Contestations about the most appropriate clinical Intervention and preferred treatment modality remains a serious challenge in dental practice. Dentists must straddle a delicate line between coercion, medical paternalism and respecting patient's interests and concerns. This paper explores a moral debate using a dental extraction case study, and felicific calculus as a tool for joint decision-making. We argue that this instrument offers an invaluable opportunity for building rapport and mutual engagement. Additionally, recognition of patient's preferences must also be considered in the proposed clinical intervention to inculcate a sense of ownership of the interventions proposed for and by the patient. It is argued that, this will instill a sense of shared-decision making in the interaction between the patient and the clinician.

Palavras-chave : utilitarianism; hedonism; felicific calculus; dental extraction; ethics; shared decision-making.

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