Risk of suicide amongst dentists: myth or reality?

Int Dent J. 2010 Dec;60(6):411-8.


Objectives: To analyse the scientific weight of the studies about reports of suicide rates in dentistry and decide the possible stressors caused by dental clinical activity, their consequences and their treatment.

Discussion: The previous literature treats the high suicide rate associated with the dental profession in different ways: myth for some, important statistical data which needs further research for others. The possible errors repeated in the literature as a result of not introducing certain indispensable variables are analysed and a report given of the main stressors linked to the profession. The results showed that the absence of treatment of the disorders arising from these stressors by qualified professionals along with the lack of preventative measures developed by universities and clinicians to be one of the main problems.

Conclusions: In the literature we find systematically a suicide rate among dentists higher than those of other occupations. These studies lack the correct scientific weight and new studies are required that introduce the demographic variables, the psiquiatric morbidity previous to the development of the profession, the opportunity factor, the stressors not related to work and the relative emphasis to these are necessary to for the profession to decrease the risk of suicide.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Burnout, Professional
  • Dentists / psychology*
  • Dentists / statistics & numerical data
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Marital Status
  • Middle Aged
  • Noise, Occupational
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Work Schedule Tolerance
  • Young Adult