It’s no secret that dentistry is stressful.
Long before COVID-19 entered the scene, the American Dental Association’s 2015 Wellness Survey identified some concerning statistics about mental wellness among its members. Of those dentists surveyed, 11% were diagnosed with depression, 6% were diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and 4% were identified as suffering from panic attacks. (In comparison, the National Institute for Mental Health estimated in 2016 that about 7% of the general population experienced at least one major depressive episode.)
Emerging data suggests that the ongoing pandemic has amplified concerns about mental health. In a CDC report from June 2020 that surveyed adults across the U.S., 31% of respondents reported symptoms of anxiety or depression and 26% reported stress-related symptoms. With such significant increases in the general population, it’s fair to suggest that more members of the dental community are struggling with mental wellness, as well.
Consider some of the unique stressors of being a dental professional that existed prior to the pandemic and continue to exist now: physical strain due to bending and hunching over patients, social strain of dealing with patients and the strain ― both mental and financial ― of managing a practice. An already demanding career coupled with the turmoil and uncertainty of recent months has created a need for more awareness about mental wellness in dentistry.
The good news is that there is hope and help when it comes to your mental health. The California Dental Association is bringing together an expert panel of speakers to openly discuss the specific challenges of maintaining mental health in dentistry. Each speaker will offer positive steps you can take towards mental wellness. “Mental Health & Wellness in Dentistry” is a free, virtual event open to dentists and their practice teams on Thursday, Dec. 9, from 3 to 6 p.m. PST.
With a positive, proactive approach to mental wellness, the goals of this workshop are threefold:
Presenters include dentists, psychologists and specialists in addiction and domestic violence. Understanding the unique stresses experienced by dentists, the presenters will share a wealth of information and tools to support you in creating a safe and healthy culture in your dental practice. These will include personal mindfulness exercises you can bring back to your staff, tips for talking about well-being and guidance for recognizing crisis in friends, family and co-workers.
Speakers for the Mental Health & Wellness in Dentistry event are
While the unique stresses of a career in dentistry increase your risk for depression, anxiety, isolation and suicide, opportunities for identifying and preventing these factors do exist. Participation in this open dialogue about mental wellness in dentistry will expand your awareness of the resources and tools available to support you and your colleagues.
Register now to attend “Mental Health & Wellness in Dentistry” on Thursday, Dec.9, from 3 to 6 p.m. PST.