Over half of dental professionals feel uncomfortable raising a matter regarding wellbeing

More than three quarters of dental professionals feel anxious or stressed every weekMore than three quarters of dental professionals feel anxious or stressed every week.

This is according to a new survey carried out by the Dental Defence Union (DDU).

The research reveals that 78% of dental members stated that they feel stressed and/or anxious on a weekly basis.

Work-life balance?

The findings also found:

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

On the other hand, the number of dental professionals who feel they are making a positive difference jumped from 72% in May 2020 to 93% in March 2021.

Additionally, 80% revealed they felt supported by colleagues, with 67% reporting positive working relationships. And 55% felt they could spend an appropriate amount of time with patients.

Finally, 55% also reported a healthy work-life balance.

Daunting and difficult

Lesley Taylor is a dentolegal adviser at the DDU. She said: ‘While dental professionals have always faced high-pressure situations, the long-term implications of working during the COVID-19 pandemic mean 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 is daunting and difficult, dental professionals shouldn’t have to “just deal with it”.

‘At the DDU we recommend that dental professionals make the most of their support network to help them deal with stress, anxiety or depression.’

The study analysed data from almost 400 members in March 2021.

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