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Data Bites: Midcareer stress among general dentists hits 35% mark

April 11, 2017
Dentists: Is stress causing you to pull your hair out—or even fall out? In this month's Data Bites, Dr. Roger Levin looks at stress in dentistry and why stress peaks in the second and third decades of practice.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and Founder, Levin Group
Dentists: Is stress causing you to pull your hair out—or even fall out? In this month's Data Bites, Dr. Levin looks at stress rates among general dentists and why stress peaks in the second and third decades of practice.

Midcareer dentists are more stressed out than their younger and older colleagues. According to an analysis of the latest Dental Economics–Levin Group Practice Survey, dentists practicing between 11 and 20 years suffer the highest levels of stress.

Figure 1: Stress and the general dentist

Source: Levin Group Data Center analysis of 2016 DE–Levin Group Annual Practice Survey

As you can see from Figure 1, more than a third of dentists (35%) reported high or extremely high stress. This is a disturbing number, but perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. Most of these dentists became practice owners in the prerecession era, a time when practice growth was easier and competition less intense. Those times are gone. This is a new era, where the business of dentistry has become more complex.

To be successful, dentists have to be savvier than in the past. And midcareer dentists are right in the thick of it, trying to grow their practices…learn new clinical techniques…increase their business knowledge…build a well-trained team…keep their hygiene patients active…pay down practice debt…maintain a good work-life balance...and on and on!

It’s not easy. No wonder so many midcareer dentists are experiencing high stress. One solution is to simplify your practice. Focus on your strengths. And for areas that prove challenging, get help from those who have more expertise.

Author's note: Need CE for 2017? Attend Dr. Levin’s upcoming “Building the Ultimate Practice” seminar in Austin, Texas, or Columbia, Maryland. Visit for more information.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental consulting firm. A nationally recognized speaker, Dr. Levin presents practice management seminars throughout the country.

RELATED: Less stress and more fun in your dental practice | By Roger P. Levin, DDS


Data Bites is a monthly column in the Apex360 e-newsletter. The column presents findings from the Levin Data Center and analysis by Roger P. Levin, DDS.

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Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Apex360 e-newsletter. Apex360 is a DentistryIQ partner publication for dental practitioners and members of the dental industry. Its goal is to provide timely dental information and present it in meaningful context, empowering those in the dental space to make better business decisions. Subscribe to the Apex360 e-newsletter here.

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About the Author

Roger P. Levin, DDS | CEO and Founder, Levin Group

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm. Founded in 1985, Levin Group has worked with over 30,000 dental practices. Dr. Levin is a sought-after speakers in dentistry and is a leading authority on dental practice success and sustainable growth. Through extensive research and cutting-edge innovation, Dr. Levin is a recognized expert on propelling practices into the top 10%. He has authored 65 books and over 4,000 articles on dental practice management and marketing.

Dr. Levin sits on the editorial board of five dental publications and has been named as one of the Leaders in Dentistry by Dentistry Today magazine for the last 15 years. He was recently named one of the 32 Most Influential People in Dentistry by Incisal Edge magazine and voted Best Dental Consultant by the readers of He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Time magazine, and is the creator of the Levin Group Tip of the Day,which has over 30,000 subscribers.

To contact Dr. Levin, visit or email [email protected].

Updated March 7, 2019