National Suicide Prevention:
 Dial 988  •

2020 North Carolina Burnout Survey Preliminary Findings

Bill Claytor, DDS, MAGD
NCCDP Associate Director

The information below are the preliminary findings on the NC Burnout Survey through November 13, 2020. The survey is sponsored by the NC Caring Dental Professionals and endorsed by the NC Dental Society and NC Dental Society Foundation. The statistics are approximate and the final report will be in more detail at the end of the survey campaign after November 30, 2020. The final report with commentary and summary suggestions will appear in the NCCDP Caring Connections digital newsletter that will be published in the Spring of 2021.

2020 N.C. Burnout Survey Campaign
(September 22 through November 30, 2020)

Total Surveys Sent

Total Dentist & Dental Hygiene Respondents to Survey
(Through November 13, 2020)

Dental Hygiene Results
(40% of Total Responders)

General Statement for Dental Hygienists


  • Emotional Exhaustion (spiritual, physical and psychological components)


  • Depersonalization (cynicism, sarcasm, compassion fatigue)
  • Work accomplishment (slightly lower)

Burnout in N.C. Dental Hygienists:

  • 36.7%: Engaged with dentistry / life
  • 63.3%: Remain ineffective, Overextended, Disengaged or Burnout with dentistry / life.

Mismatch – Areas of Work-Life Survey (AWS)

(Indicates sources of in-office burnout)

  1. Reward (insufficient)
  2. Workload (overload)
  3. Control (lack of)

Pandemic Experiences and Perceptions Survey (PEPS)

  • 80 – 90% of respondent dental hygienists stated the pandemic affected their organization, work unit and personal life from a moderate degree to completely dominating their work.
  • 90 – 95% stated they had somewhat adequate to completely adequate PPEs, supplies and equipment, information from management, plus support staff competence and availability.
  • 60 – 70% stated minor risk due to the pandemic to yourself, your families, patients, and colleagues.
  • 85 – 90% of dental hygienists stated the leadership experience during the pandemic was sometimes to fairly often with the organizational management and their immediate supervisor(s).

NC Questions:

  1. Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic (March 2020), have you considered retiring, cutting back from work, selling or changing how you plan to practice dentistry in the future (other than following the recommended CDC guidelines)?

38%: Most likely to most definitely
30%: Definitely not
32%: To some degree to neutral

  1. In North Carolina, I feel confident that dentistry will rebound from Covid-19 and be better than ever, including practice growth and productivity.

62%: Most likely to most definitely
4%: Definitely not
34%: To some degree to neutral

  1. Personal Challenges (Top 4)

1 – Anxiety
2 – Decreased quality of sleep, worrying
3 – Weight change (gain or loss)
4 – Financial problems

  1. Practice Challenges (Top 4)

1 – Financial sustainability
2 – Concern for family and others health (tie)
2 – PPE/supply maintenance (tie)
4 – “Big dip” in hygiene schedule / production from mid-September to mid-November 2020 (tie)
4 – Planning for the future (tie)