Wellness Resources for Dentists

It is estimated that 10-15% of the Canadian population has an addiction to drugs or alcohol at some time during their career. This figure is no different for health care professionals, including dentists. Although the rates of substance abuse are similar to those of the general population, the fact that dentists interact with the public providing health services creates an additional concern. Contributing factors to dentists’ being susceptible to addictions include:

  • High stress
  • Unrealistic and perfectionist expectations of oneself
  • Knowledge about and access to drugs
  • Stressful environments
  • Long hours
  • Excessive professional demands

There are many barriers of shame that typically prevent dentists from seeking help. This stigma makes it harder for dentists and their families to deal with their problems and get the help they need. The profession needs to spread the word that addiction is a disease, to create a culture within dentistry where no dentist is confronted by a prevailing sense of hopelessness in the face of addiction.

There is good news though. With the right support, people with addictions can lead healthy and productive lives. The current recovery rate for health care professionals is 90% after five years.

This site has been developed by the Canadian Dental Association in conjunction with the Canadian Dental Regulatory Authorities Federation to provide a variety of resources that can assist dentists in seeking help. This includes wellness articles, self-help tools, contact numbers, and information for treatment centers tailored for health professionals.