For established dentists and dental students alike, dealing with stress is an occupational hazard. A survey conducted by the ADA in 2015 found that 75 percent of dentists experience moderate to severe levels of stress. In addition, a 2017 report from the American Psychological Association identified health care, money and the economy to be key drivers of stress among Americans overall.
Prolonged stress can lead to burnout, substance use disorders and other conditions that may impair your ability to practice competent dentistry. It is imperative that you seek assistance when stress levels become too high.
Warning signs that you may be experiencing stress include (but aren’t limited to):
- Fear and anxiety about the future
- Anger, tension and irritability
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Reduced interest in usual activities
- Loss of appetite
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Nightmares or bad memories
- Smoking or use of alcohol or drugs
Suggestions for breaking the cycle of stress include:
- Eating healthy, well-balanced meals
- Regular exercise
- Getting the correct amount of sleep
- Taking breaks during stressful activities
- Socializing and sharing problems with a parent, friend, counselor, doctor, colleague or clergy
- Avoiding drugs and alcohol
The ADA Center for Professional Success has made available a free webinar designed to help you identify stress, recognize the physical and mental impacts of stress, and manage the negative types of stress.
If you are in need of assistance, please call the ADA Health and Wellness Program Manager Alison Bramhall at 312.440.2622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, the ADA offers a Dentist Health and Wellness Program Directory that can help you connect with your state dentist well-being program. Whether you contact the ADA or your state dentist well-being program, all calls and emails are strictly confidential.
~ADA Center for Professional Success
This content is sponsored and does not necessarily reflect the views of ASDA.