Take that, and party: the new issue of Oral Health is here to help you blow any negativity away

Have you received your copy of the September/October issue of Oral Health yet?

The reality of a situation – and how it holds up compared to how people perceive it – can be a funny old thing.

Take dentistry, for example. The public perception of it is often all-too negative. From film characters to the national news, dentistry – and dental professionals – isn’t usually seen in the best light. When the last time you saw something positive about the dental profession in the media?

We know how far removed from the truth that picture is – yet still the perception persists.

At best, it’s a shame. At worst, it’s a real problem: practice life already comes with significant amounts of stress, which can lead to depression and anxiety and, in extreme cases, substance abuse, marital problems or suicide risk.

I don’t think people outside of the dental profession can really appreciate how lonely dentistry can be. Despite being surrounded by others (team members as well as patients), working in practice can leave you feeling isolated and alone. The picture of dentistry painted by society does nothing to dispel that feeling!

Against that backdrop, it’s easy to see why emotional stress and depression are rife in the profession.

But it doesn’t need to be that way. When you look into it, there are so many positives to counteract these negatives. (There must be, otherwise there wouldn’t be any dental professionals practising in the UK!)

A helping hand

We all need a helping hand sometimes – and there is usually always someone there ready to offer it, providing we ask for it.

As Charlotte Wake writes in her article in the issue, ‘you don’t graduate knowing all the top tips, but by admitting that you are struggling with something give others the opportunity to say “try this, it worked for me”.’

The key to overcoming loneliness is communication. Simply talking about something often makes everything better: in fact, if you were to single out one thread that runs through the entire September/October issue of Oral Health, it’s that message.

With better, more efficient communication, we are more engaged and empowered.

That’s not just true about those of us who practise dentistry. The same applies for patients too, as I’m sure everyone reading this will know. Accordingly, we’ve tried to bring you some tips for communicating with patients in this issue too, whether you’re trying to tackle behaviour change or help phobic patients.

So, the next time you’re feeling a little down in the dumps, why not reach out and find your friends? You never know where it might lead.

This issue

The September/October issue of Oral Health also includes article on:

If you’ve not yet received the latest issue, and would like to get your hands on it, call 01923 851771 or visit the website.

Siobhan Hiscott

Siobhan Hiscott

Author at Oral Health

Editor of Oral Health, Siobhan joined leading dental publisher FMC more than 10 years ago. Email: siobhan.hiscott@fmc.co.uk Tel: 01923 851758 Twitter: @FMC_Siobhan

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