Social media consist of powerful tools that impact not only communication but relationships among people, thus posing an inherent challenge to the traditional standards of who we are as dental educators and what we can expect of each other. This article examines how the world of social media has changed dental education. Its goal is to outline the complex issues that social media use presents for academic dental institutions and to examine these issues from personal, professional, and legal perspectives. After providing an update on social media, the article considers the advantages and risks associated with the use of social media at the interpersonal, professional, and institutional levels. Policies and legal issues of which academic dental institutions need to be aware from a compliance perspective are examined, along with considerations and resources needed to develop effective social media policies. The challenge facing dental educators is how to capitalize on the benefits that social media offer, while minimizing risks and complying with the various forms of legal constraint.

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Published in Journal of Dental Education, v. 79, no. 10, p. 1140-1152.

Reprinted by permission of Journal of Dental Education, Volume 79, no. 10 (Oct. 2015). Copyright 2015 by the American Dental Education Association. http://www.jdentaled.org

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Part B of this article is available in UKnowledge at http://uknowledge.uky.edu/ohp_facpub/3/

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