Internet Explorer and Edge browser users:
To download Word, Excel or PowerPoint files please right-click on the file you wish to download, and select 'Save target as...'

​Tackling stress in dentistry


Our research shows that 39 per cent of community dentists and almost half of GDPs reported high levels of stress. This is compared to an average of around 15 per cent for all British workers.

We want to find out what the causes of stress are so that we can find solutions to support dentists and to help foster positive working environments.


What is the BDA doing?

Promoting wellbeing and looking at the causes of stress and burnout are key strategic aims for the BDA, and we are currently investigating the underlying reasons for low levels of morale and job satisfaction.

As part of our annual submission to the organisation that makes recommendations to Government on dentists pay (DDRB), we submit our findings on the morale and motivation of dentists on the ground, and the impact this can have on patient care.

We are currently doing a programme of research to find out the causes of stress in dental working environments and to work on providing solutions to coping with stress and burnout.

We will be investigating the perceptions and attitudes towards mental health issues in the profession, the risk factors of stress and burnout, the current provision and support for dentists who are experiencing difficulties and what other strategies might be helpful in supporting our members.



What can you do?

We are investigating the impact of stress on the different groups of our membership to get the evidence we need to call for better working lives for dentists.


We have surveyed different sections of our membership, to help us get insights in the scale and range of the problem and will be producing a report in due course.  

Please contact our research team if you have any questions.


How can we support you?

Online tackling stress course

Our free online tackling stress course is aimed to help you identify the triggers of work-related stress, how you spot the signs and how you can overcome it.


Find local BDA groups

BDA branches and sections are a great way to meet with other dentists in your area, who can help support you both professionally and personally, get in touch with your local group to find out more.


Financial support

The BDA Benevolent Fund is also available for dentists who are experiencing financial difficulties.


Further help

  • The Dentists' Health Support Programme provides dentists with free advice and support on health, alcohol, drugs and other issues. Tel: 0207 224 4671 or email

  • Samaritans provides confidential support to anyone experiencing difficulties or in distress: tel 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (ROI) - these numbers are free to call, or email

  • Dentists in Northern Ireland can access local helplines: Lifeline NI, tel: 0808 808 8000 or Samaritans Belfast, tel: 028 9066 4422 (local call charges apply)

  • ACAS: Stress at work (free advisory booklet)

Keeping up-to-date

If you'd like to be kept up-to-date on this issue:

Working for you

Through policy and campaigning work, the BDA is able to ensure that the concerns of all sections of the profession are raised and that dentists' voices are heard at a national level: Join us.