Dental treatment for undocumented immigrants – ethical dilemmas

It is unknown how many people have the status as undocumented immigrants, but in Sweden, the number is estimated to be 35.000 people. This group of people is reported to have more oral health problems than others. However, providing dental care to these immigrants is not always regulated by society or by the social security system. Meeting with and treating these patients may pose ethical dilemmas for the dental health care professionals. Ethical guidelines state that the dentist should act in the best interest of the patient. From an ethical point of view, undocumented immigrants have the right to receive health care, including dental treatment, on equal terms with others. But in order to fully achieve this, society needs to organize and clarify how this should be carried out.