Wellbeing among dental professionals – from survive to thrive

07 December 2023

Ritesh Aggarwal outlines the facts and figures.

Ritesh Aggarwal outlines the facts and figures.

The backbone of any healthcare field, including dentistry – whether tied to the NHS or private – is its workforce's ability to provide exceptional patient care.

Nonetheless, tapping into job contentment, mental state, and the overall welfare of our colleagues is paramount if we want to maintain their commitment and performance.

Recent findings by Psynergy Mental Health paint a more detailed picture of the emotional landscape of UK dental team members regarding their job setting, professional relationships, and remuneration, among other aspects.

The importance of insight

Understanding these statistics and their implications is critical since dental professionals play a crucial role when it comes to the efficiency, safety, and quality of healthcare services.

Compromises in wellbeing can spill into poor job performance, an increase in treatment mishaps, and a drop in patient satisfaction.

In addition, ignoring someone’s mental and emotional state over the long term can spiral into burnout, characterised by apathy, rising absenteeism, and more frequent staff turnover.

Those suffering from burnout are more susceptible to anxiety, depression, and other distressing psychological disorders.

Therefore, proactive and constructive attention to wellbeing is indispensable – not only for the dental workforce’s health but also to uphold a dependable healthcare system for patients.

Essential statistics

Job satisfaction and confidence levels

The feedback was largely positive:

  • 83.8 per cent enjoy their job
  • 70.3 per cent feel valued in their role
  • 89.2 per cent are confident in their professional abilities
  • 83.8 per cent feel they are treated fairly in their workplace.


A mere 37.8 per cent of respondents regard their earnings as equitable given their responsibilities, highlighting a significant concern.

Workplace environment

Considerations about safety, functionality, and aesthetics prevail:

  • 94.6 per cent deem their workplace safe and suitable
  • Only 67.6 per cent like the look of their workplace.

Professional ethics

Dental professionals display a high degree of:

  • Safeguarding protocols (90.9 per cent)
  • Compliance with GDC standards of behaviour (93.9 per cent)

Nevertheless, challenges exist:

  • Team spirit and conflict resolution linger around 64 per cent
  • Fairness in handling unprofessional conduct is just 64.9 per cent

Support infrastructure

  • A notable 83.8 per cent feel backed by management, but only 62.2 per cent are sure about accessing support when necessary
  • 78.4 per cent believe they receive ample skill development support
  • Only 64.9 per cent think their wellbeing is prioritised at work.

Individual wellbeing and work-life harmony

These statistics call for urgent mental health initiatives in many practices:

  • 62.2 per cent worry about work beyond their contractual hours
  • 54.1 per cent say work impacts their sleep
  • 51.4 per cent identified work as a primary stress factor
  • 64.9 per cent show up to work even when unwell
  • 56.8 per cent experience guilt over taking annual leave.

Financial stress

Financial health is a critical aspect of overall wellbeing:

  • 65.5 per cent feel the pinch as payday nears
  • 62.1 per cent cite finances as a significant stressor.

Community contribution

On a positive note:

  • 87.9 per cent believe they serve their community well
  • 93.9 per cent believe they champion equal opportunities.

Areas to enhance

Although UK dental professionals exhibit a sense of pride and fulfilment in their roles, there is an undeniable need for improvement, particularly regarding mental health.

It is imperative that leading dental professionals recognise and tackle these issues, for the whole team to achieve and maintain vitality and prosperity.

Psynergy Mental Health stands at the forefront of revolutionising how mental health in organisational settings is understood and enhanced.

With its online tools, Psynergy gathers and analyses workplace culture data, offering practices bespoke reports. These insights are then transformed into actionable strategies and intelligent solutions, helping to drive positive change.

Leaders are equipped to foster mentally healthy environments, using tailored solutions to boost everyone's ability to thrive.


For more information visit www.psynergymentalhealth.com.


References available on request.