Over three quarters of dental professionals feel stressed or anxious on a weekly basis

78% of dental members surveyed stated they feel stressed and/or anxious on a weekly basis according to new research published by the Dental Defence Union (DDU).

The DDU surveyed 396 members and also found that:

  • 45% feel they are unable to spend adequate time with patients
  • 33% feel they are unable to do their jobs effectively
  • 53% would not feel confident in raising a matter regarding their health and wellbeing
  • members were most likely to raise concerns with their family members (89%), colleagues (47%) and/or their GP (40%).

Additionally, when compared with health and wellbeing research undertaken in May 2020, the DDU found that 55% of respondents often go to work when they don’t feel well, up from 47%.

However, the number of respondents who believe they are making a positive difference to the lives of their patients increased from 72% in May 2020 to 93% in March 2021.

Moreover, 80% believed they felt supported by their colleagues while 67% believed that relationships among colleagues were positive. 55% also felt they were able to spend suitable time with patients. The same number also stated they had a good work/life balance.

Lesley Taylor, dento-legal adviser at the DDU said:

"While dental professionals have always faced high-pressure situations, the long term implications of working during the COVID-19 pandemic means that many dental professionals have felt increasingly stressed and anxious.    

"Such feelings may have been compounded by keeping up-to-date with ever-changing guidance, adapting to new working practices and managing socially-distanced patient interactions.

"While reaching out for support and advice can be daunting and difficult, dental professionals shouldn’t have to 'just deal with it’. At the DDU, we recommend dental professionals make the most of their support network to help them deal with stress, anxiety or depression."

Learn more about the sources of health and wellbeing support available to dentists.

The DDU surveyed 396 members in March 2021, a 5.65% response rate.

This page was correct at publication on 13/05/2021. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.