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Survey reveals dentists’ lack of confidence in dental profession

The results of a recent survey indicated stress and anxiety among dentists in the UK. (Photograph: Tyler Olson/Shutterstock)

Tue. 17 September 2019


OSWESTRY, UK: The Confidence Monitor survey has recently examined the mental health status of dentists working in the NHS and the private sector. The findings indicated that a large proportion of the dentists believed that their current role has a negative effect on their psychological well-being and that they were uncertain about where to seek advice and support regarding their mental health issues.

The survey was run by Practice Plan and included over 400 participants. The results showed that 84% of NHS dentists thought that their role had negatively affected their mental health, compared with 51% of private dentists. To make matters worse, when feeling overstressed or worried, 72% of all study participants said they did not know what organisation to contact for support.

The survey also inquired into the Dental Contract Reform Programme in England. The data showed that 88% of NHS and 83% of predominantly private dentists felt that they lacked knowledge about the reform and that 86% of NHS and 48% of private dentists questioned their ability to meet the General Dental Council’s standards. Moreover, the majority of both NHS and private dentists said that they felt that the reform would increase their workload but not their profitability and that it would mostly benefit the government rather than patients and dental professionals.

The survey also highlighted the dentists’ lack of confidence in those who are in authority in the dental profession. Only 9% of NHS dentists and 8% of private dentists believed that a complaint filed against them would be handled appropriately. “The survey results paint an unsurprising but still saddening picture of what it’s like to be a dentist in 2019,” said Nigel Jones, Sales and Marketing Director of Practice Plan. “It suggests deep feelings of dissatisfaction and mistrust of those who are responsible for running and regulating dentistry.”

“The statistics and comments around mental health are particularly dismaying as it seems stress and anxiety continue to be a common symptom of a career in dentistry,” he continued. Jones believes that more work still needs to be done to identify and subsequently treat mental health issues among dentists and has called on those in positions of authority to take urgent action.

More information about the survey can be found here.

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