How To Avoid Stress And Burnout In Dentistry

How To Avoid Stress And Burnout In Dentistry

If you’re in the dental field, you already know that it can be one of the most stressful environments. With long hours, little breaks, and dealing with difficult cases or even difficult patients, it’s an industry that can certainly lead to burnout.

What exactly is burnout?  Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress.

Do you and your dental team feel this way? If we felt burnt out before, the recent global pandemic amplified this burnout 100-fold! 2020 has been a hard year on all of us and it has even continued into 2021.

Dentistry is a very high-stress and high-risk profession.  So how can you avoid feeling burnt out and constantly stressed?

Here are some tips to help alleviate some of that stress and burnout.

  1. Communication is key. We all have days where we may not be feeling quite ourselves. When you are having one of those days, it’s ok to ask for help. Be honest and transparent with any constraints you may be feeling.
  2. Understand that prioritizing your mental health is not selfish.  You need to take care of yourself before you can begin to care for and help others and be the best you can be at your job.
  3. Reconnect with your "Why." Spend time reflecting on why you got into the dental field in the first place and reconnect with that. Remind yourself what it is you love about your job and why you do what you do every day.
  4. Check in with your team and be supportive of everyone.  When you support others they in turn will support you when you need it most.

Think of burnout as being the opposite of balance.  So balance is what we need to strive for to avoid getting burnt out.

Working in a stressful and busy environment can really take a toll on a person’s mental and physical health. One of the best things that you can do to be able to better serve your team and your patients, is to take care of yourself first. When you do this, you’ll be able to show up in the best way possible for your team and to serve your patients in the best way possible.