Mental health review by the GDC reveals dentists do suffer an increased level of stress and burnout with litigation and regulation the main causes.

The General Dental Council (GDC) commissioned the Universities of Plymouth and Southampton, along with the Peninsula Dental School, to carry out a rapid evidence assessment of dentist’s mental health and wellbeing.

“Dentists do suffer an increased level of stress and burnout, particularly General Dental Practitioners, with litigation and regulation the main stressors.”

The review concluded that dentists do suffer an increased level of stress and burnout, particularly General Dental Practitioners, with litigation and regulation the main stressors. It also noted an increase in the number of dentists showing signs of burnout over the 14-year period. Disappointingly the review showed there is little or no research on the wellbeing of dental care professionals, even though they are an integral part of the dental team.

The GDC said “It was also reassuring to note that this review recognised the importance of “latent” or “system related” stressors, such as the contracts which NHS dentists work under, and not just in General Dental Practice, but also those managing performance targets in community, hospital, and academic settings.”

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