Dental Practice Management – Top 10 Reasons Why Dentistry Is So Stressful

Top 10 Reasons - Why Dentistry Is So Stressful & How to Tackle it ?

The Pros and Cons of Dentistry. TOP 10 REASONS – WHY DENTISTRY IS SO STRESSFUL.

How can we achieve Stress Free Dentistry for dentists?

This article is written by Dr. Laura Brenner (with author nickname – LolaBees). She has vast experience in clinical dental practice with more than 10 years of experience. She is a gifted writer who writes about her experience in dentistry and also her career after dentistry. She has also launched her own venture to help and motivate dentists for achieving a stress free dentistry career.

Don’t forget to check her complete bio – profile & contact point at the concluding slide of the article

(N.B: This post has been published along with slight additions with the permission of the author)

The Pros and Cons of Dentistry


How to achieve a stress free dentistry career

If you are a dentist, you’ll be happy to hear that US News and World Report has been crowning dentistry among the #Top 5 Best Jobs since 2014.

But Is It All “SO NICE” in reality?

It’s pretty hard to find a dentist that hates his/her job, and even if they did, would they tell you? 

In this post, we will be directly telling you about the top worst points about being a dentist. You might not like to hear the bitter truth, but it’s better to know the truth than to be in a bubble.

Bubble tends to burst …

and we will also check how to get a stress free dentistry career.

Time to face the truth 😀

Let’s Start The Top 10 MOST STRESSFUL

Points about being a dentist

Only after understanding the stressful points, we can take steps to manage them and get closer to stress free dentistry

1st STRESSFUL POINT: The Long Waiting Game

1. The Ultimate Waiting Game

There’s no question this career does allow for a solid, stable income, and there is potential to earn a phenomenal income.  But don’t be fooled… it does come with a price.  It is an extremely challenging job with a lot of responsibility.

Dentistry is the Ultimate Game Of Waiting … And Seriously it’s a long long wait 😀

Get ready for many years of school.  It’ll take at least 8 years (graduation & Post Graduation) but it’s well worth it if you enjoy the outcome.  And if you love being a student like I do, this can actually be a good thing.

But If you are not the kind who has the waiting power … then it’s going to be tough for you. You will just feel like the world, your friends are moving ahead in your career & life.

Because even after completing education, it will take some years to set up a successful practice after all the investments.

What’s the solution?
Well, stop comparing the time with other career streams! Yes, that is the only way. If you just keep on comparing the time factor, you will just add further time to the time you are already pondering over 🙂
Instead – use the time to gather updated clinical knowledge, interact with influencers who can suggest you better ways to grow in your career, and take time out for yourselves. All these will have a far greater productive outcome in the long run.

Next Stressful Point:

Spend A Lot Of Money … Are You Ready … See Next  Slide

2. A Lot Of Investment

Let me put it bluntly – Dental Education is EXPENSIVE

Dental Education Costs a Lot of Money

Graduation and Then Post Graduation collectively always costs hefty as Dentistry is an investment-oriented business (until unless you get  complete sponsorship)

Even after you complete your dental education and plan to start your own dental practice – it again requires a lot of money.

Expect to enter the real world with several hundred thousand student loans.

This situation can turn out to be daunting for many.

What’s the solution? Proper financial planning

If proper planning is not done to manage the finance then it can get very tough to get out of it.

One of the most important factors of a Dental Career is financial planning.

You need to make a list of all the expenditures that you are going to manage. Starting a dental practice involves the cost of real estate for the clinic, instruments, furnishing, and much more.

It gets very hectic planning, arranging, and managing the finance for so many things.

Don’t let this deter you, though– your income will help you pay it off eventually.  Also, if you want to stay at the top of your game, you’ll want to take continuing education every year.

This is a fun aspect of the career, but it still costs money.

So be mentally ready to invest a lot of money or to arrange the finance.

… See Next Slide …

Next Stress Point 

Be Ready For A Lot Of Responsibility

3. High Responsibility

You are in charge of someone’s health.

Administering anesthesia, prescribing drugs, and essentially performing surgery on teeth are all great responsibilities that are to be taken seriously.

On top of that, many times you will need to manage patients who are having underlying systemic conditions like diabetes, heart problems, blood disorders, etc.

Whenever you are doing some treatment you have to take into consideration all these factors.

It’s a high-stress situation and it puts a lot of responsibility on you as a dental surgeon.

When things go wrong, which they do– even when you do everything properly– it’s your responsibility.

It’s definitely challenging to deal with this responsibility. But again this takes its toll on your health and peace of mind.

4. Stress n Stress

We saw in the last slide -Dentistry deals with a high level of responsibility. You might be up for it but eventually, you will come under stress.

All jobs have stress but handling someone’s health is a lot more stressful.

With the high responsibility comes the high stress.  Not only is someone’s health in your hands, but this is similar to a customer service industry.

You have to keep the patient happy and manage all his/her fears.  If you do the right thing, this will generally work itself out, but sometimes there are patients that can never be pleased no matter what you do.

“Shit !!! It’s Too Much Stress !!! I don’t like it “

The pressure is on to do your best work in a limited amount of time, keep the customer happy, and manage your business.

The worst part is if you are not able to handle the pressure, it will eventually affect other aspects of your life as well.

Next Point of Stress

It’s Money All Over Again …

5. Costs Again !!!

It’s Always About Money!

In slide 2 we discussed that dentistry needs a lot of investment. But the money point comes again.

It’s no doubt that a lot of financial investment is needed to open a decent clinic & practice. The expenditure of

The expenditure of

Finding a proper place + Paying Rent

Purchasing the required instruments

Interiors and more added expenditures with Monthly maintenance.

It’s expensive just to open the doors to your practice.

 But do You Know … What’s Even More Frustrating ???

Seeing The Patients Reaction on Hearing The Treatment Price !!!

“Its Too Costly Doc

Patients may never understand that dental fees are high for a reason.

Because its costs us dentists a fortune to open a patient friendly clinic. A dentist is in a perpetual state of not being understood.

Next Stress Point

Be Ready To Report On Duty AnyTime

6. Being On Call

“Reporting On Duty … Sir !!!”

(Sir = Patient) 😀

Yes, it’s true that being a dentist gives you flexible timing.

You are at liberty to decide your timings and are not answerable to anyone.

But it’s not always true.

Yes, you are still not answerable to anyone.

But if you are a new dentist in the market then you don’t have the luxury to close your clinic on a whim.

In fact, you might need to open your clinic on weekends just because of the fact other clinics might be closed.

Being on call on the weekends. Some people don’t mind this, but I hated it.

For me, my weekends were a break from my stressful week, and this “violated” that personal time.

But you must accept it because it is part of the job description.

Dentistry is not like other company based jobs where you just work for fixed hours and get a salary.

So if you are completely into clinical practice then it’s much more stressful as there is no support of the monthly salary or grade pay.

As a new entrant to dentistry, you don’t have the luxury to enjoy your weekends.

You are a soldier, ready for action at any moment.

Next Stress Point

Handling Annoying Patients

See Next Slide …

7. Really Annoying Patients

In Dentistry … Don’t ever think that you are the only deciding factor.

That’s like lying to yourself.

Your work & success is always viewed through external agents.

Here Agents = patients.

And You can think yourself as Neo.

No matter how great you want your work to be, you are not the only determining factor here. If a challenging patient makes it difficult for you to do your best work, chances are – the results might not be up to your expectations.

Few Irritating Questions from Annoying Patients:

“Why this Root Canal Is So Costly ?”

“Can’t you reduce some money for extraction ?”

“Sorry Doc … I know I have an appointment & you are waiting, but I can’t come today ?”

“Dentistry seems to be an easy work. Then why it’s so costly ?”

It’s the ultimate test of your patience

Your reaction In front of the patient – you are like this good boy

After the annoying patient leaves the clinic Your Reaction

Control … Control … Doctor 😀

8. The Yuck Factor

You might try to avoid this point but its a fact.

A fact like the fact that the sun rises in the east.

In developed countries, where the dental awareness in much higher, most of the patients visiting clinic have a decent enough oral hygiene.  (I mean most, not all)

But in developing countries like in South Asian Countries & India – it’s a yucky scenario.

The majority of the population (Urban + Rural) have the habit of pan chewing.

It’s a terror treating such patients.

Some patients are rude or idiot enough to consume kilos of onions, garlic in lunch before coming for their dental appointment.

What are they thinking !!!!!!

You might have to deal on a regular basis with bad breath, stinky people, and some really gross mouths.

When you’re used to practicing, the gross-out factor is pretty rare,

but time will come when you would almost throw up :O … Yuck …

See Next Stress Point

Are You Ready For The Stress & Ache?

9 & 10. Physical Stress and Risks

Dentistry can take a serious toll on your body.

You are trying to see and work in a very small space and often have to contort your body for long periods of time.  You have to be ready for the back pain.

The constant high-pitched buzz of the dental drill may lead to hearing loss.

And chances are good you will accidentally poke yourself with a needle or dental instrument, potentially leaving you exposed to a blood-borne illness.

The body aches can be counteracted with daily exercise and splurges such as massages.

The potential of hearing loss can be prevented with earplugs.  And the risks of getting HIV or Hepatitis are extremely low, but when it happens, it can lead to some unnerving emotions.

See Next Final Stress Points

The Last Points … See The Final Slide

The Last Points


The points described in the slides before try to bring forward some of the reasons that might make dentistry a tough career for many.

All the points that were mentioned are the points that are faced by dental practitioners in their day to day practice.

Initially, some points are difficult to adjust, but with time you get used to many of them.

But, it does take a toll on our mind & body. So, in order to be pursuing dentistry for long years, we need to be very fit – both physically and mentally so that we are in the correct frame to adjust with all the demands of Dentistry as a profession.

But again you pick up any profession, there are always some problems associated with it.

Every profession has good points and some bad points.

But in most cases, the bad points are experienced only after joining the profession :D.

So it’s the case of being too late to change the profession. 

But we need, to be honest, to admit the practical problems associated with dentistry.

And then we can try with proper planning to counter & overcome them.

That concludes the article.

But you will also love to read another article on dental life by the same author.

Check the articles below


If so, you’ll be happy to hear that US News and World Report recently crowned the dentist as the #1 best job of 2013 . It’s pretty hard to find a dentist that hates HIS/HER job, and even if they did, would they tell you?



When we were kids … we all had dreams of becoming something when we grow up. Something big, something famous. Something that fascinated us. I sometimes had the thought of becoming an army man defending my country. Some-days I dreamed of becoming a Prime Minister and give all the exotic foods to everybody.

This article is written by Lolabees.

(And has been published here with the permission from the author)

I have come across many articles that talk about pros and cons of dentistry. But to state the truth I was never much convinced with any of those articles. Reason being none of the articles were close to what I personally felt about the profession. But then I came across this blog by  “Lolabees” .

She is a former dental professional who worked as a dentist for 10 years. But after a decade of dedicated dentistry, she decided and has ventured in to new profession. I came across her blog accidentally and soon I stopped being surprised at the large number comments from her readers. She has written some of the most relevant articles  on dentistry but in a very fun manner. She also writes about healthy food habits in her blog. 

We thank her for sharing her interesting thoughts and writings here at DentalOrg.Com. 

You can visit her blogs here


Dr. Laura Brenner aka Lolabees is a Dental Practioner (DDS) with 10 years of clinical experience. In this blog she shares her experiences on dentistry & career after dentistry.

You can also connect with her at her Facebook page

Lolabees | Facebook

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