Support for dental practitioners is here!

Dental Practitioner Support
Health support for dental practitioners across Australia is now only a phone call or click away.

Hand holding phone with Dental Practitioner Support on the screen

Launched on 6 July 2020, Dental Practitioner Support is the first national dedicated telephone and online service that provides confidential advice and referral for dental practitioners about their health and wellbeing. 

Callers to the service have 24/7 access to an experienced team who can provide advice and referral to dental practitioners on a wide range of health and wellbeing related issues. 

The service offers support to all dental practitioners, which includes dentists, dental prosthetists, oral health therapists, dental hygienists and dental therapists. The service is also available to dental students, educators, employers, Australian Dental Council exam candidates and concerned friends or relatives. Anyone calling the service on 1800 377 700 does not have to give their name and can seek support anonymously.

Caring for yourself is key

Anthony Denham, Program Director for Turning Point, said the service was founded on the principle that prevention is better than cure.

"As well as access to immediate confidential support, the service provides dental practitioners with a wide range of free information and resources on its website which includes helpful tips and advice. 

"Being a 24/7 service means support is only a quick phone call away to help dental practitioners deal with health and wellbeing issues, especially those which may be affecting their personal lives and their work.

"These issues may include stress caused by work and workplace issues, family and relationship problems, alcohol and drug-related issues, or mental health concerns.

"I encourage any dental practitioner who needs our help to call us today — it's free. Or, put our number in your phone so it is there if you ever need it. You are not alone — help is available."

Responding to COVID-19

Development of this ongoing service has been in the works for some time but was fast-tracked in response to COVID-19. Many dental practitioners have been affected by practice restrictions and can benefit from counselling support and referral.

Dental Board of Australia Chair, Dr Murray Thomas, said the Board and Turning Point both agreed it was important to get Dental Practitioner Support operating as soon as possible.

"As the COVID-19 emergency unfolded we recognised quite quickly that the pandemic and associated practice restrictions were affecting all registered dental practitioners, which is why we brought forward the service’s start date.

"We want dental practitioners anywhere in Australia, whether they are based in a city or a rural or remote location, to be able to access health and wellbeing support if needed, especially during this unprecedented time."

Dr Thomas said the service was about reminding dental practitioners that their own health matters. 

"This service aims to destigmatise a dental practitioner calling to get support to help deal with their feelings about any stress and pressure they may be experiencing, and to give them confidence that there is support out there that’s specific to their needs."

Free, confidential and independent

The service will run independently of the Dental Board of Australia, so dental practitioners can have complete confidence in reaching out for confidential support. 

Dental Practitioner Support provides a service where dental practitioners in both metropolitan and regional areas across Australia can have an open, honest and confidential discussion about their health, and be provided with a referral to additional support and information if required. 

It is the first national service in Australia to support the health and wellbeing of dental practitioners, including those in regional and rural areas, with 24/7 support by telephone and an interactive website. 

If you would like to speak to someone call us 24/7 on 1800 377 700 or you can request support via email. If you want to know a bit more about the service before getting in contact, find out more at accessing support.