Get Your Dental Mojo Back With These Simple Steps

April 11, 2022 by AACD Executive Office

By AACD Accredited Member Christian W. Hahn, DDS, AAACD

Whether it's due to the stressful and uncertain state of our profession, financial stress, or the high-pressure, care-taking, and patient-focused aspects of dentistry, more and more dental professionals are dealing with a loss of enthusiasm and satisfaction, constant fatigue, and physical symptoms like chronic back and neck pain, otherwise known as burnout. During stressful and uncertain times, it can be difficult to stay positive and remain focused on your goals. 

How can dentists avoid lapsing into burnout when things feel so out of control? And if you're already there, how can you reverse the effects of burnout? 

Here is a three-prong strategy for self-care and growth that will get you "unstuck."

1. Assess your existing goals

Making progress on goals is the key to growth, and growth is the key to avoiding burnout. Where do you stand in regard to your long-term goals as they relate to your profession. Assess where you are, and figure out how you will get to where you want to be.

2. Simplify

It's important to reduce your overhead, not just in your practice, but in life as well. Your life has an overhead. How  much do you have to work to be able to enjoy your life? Are there add-ons to your life that are not serving you any longer? This is where you dig deep to figure out where you want to simplify your life.

3. Set new goals

Staying fresh and invigorated in your career means constantly setting new goals that are directly related to the career you have chosen at this point in time. Creating and meeting challenges changes the game and sets you on the path to having fun in your work. 

The Dental Success Equation

Getting back to a track of success can be boiled down to this fairly simple equation:

(Your Gift + Passion) x Grit = Success

Let's break this down. 

Your Gift

Your gift is the thing you feel like you were born to do. This may or may not be perfectly clear to you. The thing you do when you really love to do it without having to do it is your gift. Figuring this out is critical to success. This may take some soul-searching. You may want to ask friends or family what they think your gift is.


This is the positive energy you bring toward your gift, your enthusiasm, and your optimism.


Grit is the ingredient in this equation that means you never give up. You accept failures and don't stop trying. Grit is essential for every successful person.

It's simple. You set a goal, apply the dental success equation, and you will experience success. Success breeds more success, and before you know it, you are moving forward, growing, and leaving burnout behind.

To get the full story on the dental success equation and even more resources for tackling dental burnout, view "Getting Your Dental Mojo Back," then take the quiz for CE credit. Not an AACD member yet? Join now for access to a variety of online education, networking opportunities, and practice management resources.


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