Research conducted by the Dental Defence Union (DDU) highlights that nearly seventy per cent of dental professionals are experiencing high levels of anxiety and stress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The DDU surveyed its members, and the data outlined that fifty per cent felt they are unable to spend a sufficient amount of time with their patients. Furthermore, forty-nine per cent feel like they are unable to do their jobs effectively, forty-seven per cent usually go to work when they don’t feel well, and sixty-seven per cent feel anxious and stressed every week.
In response to this data, the DDU has initiated new wellbeing and health e-learning courses intended to support its members in recognising the warning signs in themselves and others, as well as a number ways they can seek support.
“Dentists are experiencing a high level of stress and anxiety as a result of COVID-19.“
An emotional resilience coach and dentist, Dr Mahrukh Khwaja, stated: “As a dental community, we need to take the initiative to create safe spaces to talk about emotions and thoughts and share our vulnerabilities in the first instance."
A dentolegal advisor, DDU, Lesley Taylor, stated: “Most dental professionals are used to dealing with high-pressure situations and stressful decisions. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified these challenges to an unprecedented level. As many dental professionals prepare to return to work, they will now be faced with a new normal, and they will need to adapt to new ways of working. This may elicit a wide range of emotions and the increased pressure may take its toll on their personal mental wellbeing.”