Bioethics and biosafety: the use of biomaterials in dental practice

  • João Geraldo Bugarin Júnior Universidade de Brasília; Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências da Saúde
  • Volnei Garrafa Universidade de Brasília; Cátedra Unesco de Bioética
Keywords: Bioethics, Biosafety, Biomaterials, Dentistry


OBJECTIVE: To analyze the use of biomaterials in surgical procedures carried out by specialist dental surgeons, in light of the Principalist Bioethics Theory and the Individual and Collective Ethics of Responsibility. METHODS: Dental surgeons (n=95), who were registered as specialists at the Regional Dentistry Council of Brasilia as of 2002, completed questionnaires regarding the use of biomaterials in their work. Data relating to sanitary control were collated, based on these dental surgeons' responses and research at relevant organizations. RESULTS: All of the professionals in the survey used biomaterials on a regular basis; 45% believed their use to be risk-free for patients, and 48% did not classify biomaterials as drugs. About 70% of professionals trust the source of the biomaterials even though membranes and bones are the items most commonly bought from individual suppliers. Nonetheless, 96% of interviewees believed that government sanitation agencies should regulate more. More than half of the professionals (51%) pointed to little or no participation by the patient in the process of therapeutic choice. A copy of the informed consent form was provided by 12% of the dental surgeons interviewed produced. CONCLUSIONS: The results showed that the professionals use biomaterials without knowing about related risks and adverse side effects, contrary to the principle of beneficence. Government agencies and professional bodies alike do not show evidence of observing public responsibility ethics. Informed consent is not yet integrated fully into professional practice and the doctor-patient relationship in dentistry remains markedly vertical.
How to Cite
Bugarin Júnior, J., & Garrafa, V. (2007). Bioethics and biosafety: the use of biomaterials in dental practice . Revista De Saúde Pública, 41(2), 223-228.
Original Articles