J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2019 Jun;43(2):100-108. 10.11149/jkaoh.2019.43.2.100.

A study on dentist and dental hygienist burnout

  • 1Department of Dentistry, The Graduate School, Seoul National University School of Dentistry, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Dentistry, BS-DDS Combined Course, Seoul National University School of Dentistry, Seoul, Korea. baobob0225@naver.com


Dentists and dental hygienists undergo high levels of stress due to various factors and the burnout of health-care personnel is very important in the context of personal and social problems. Therefore, empirical research reflecting the social, cultural, and special circumstances of the medical environment is necessary. Here, we explore the causes and outcomes of burnout in dentists and dental hygienists and present ways to prevent burnout.
A cross-sectional research design was used to measure burnout of 141 dentists and 61 dental hygienists. A structured questionnaire containing the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) was administered from May to June, 2018. Data were analyzed using SPSS 25.0, descriptive statistics, t-test, Mann-Whitney test, Kruskall-Wallis test, and multiple regression analysis.
Each participant's MBI was measured in three aspects (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment). The MBI scores of dentists with regards to their emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment were 24.8%, 34%, and 48.2%, respectively. Alternatively the scores of dental hygienists were 45.9%, 44.3% and 52.5%, respectively, for the same parameters. While the factors affecting the burnout of dentists and dental hygienists were different, it had a negative impact on the professional performance of both.
According to the results of this study, Korean dentists and dental hygienists experience high levels of work-related burnouts. This can have adverse impacts on their personal health and that of their patients. Therefore, stress management is necessary in dentists and dental hygienists.


Burnout; Dental hygienist; Dentist
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