Turn your phone off and give yourself a proper holiday, Alun Rees says.

The opening words of psychiatrist Scott Peck’s book, The Road Less Travelled are: ‘Life is difficult’ and the dental life can be.

I don’t subscribe to the work-life balance theory; it’s just life with work as a significant part of it.

It provides an income, fulfilment and, hopefully, pleasure.

That so many dentists insist on making it harder for themselves is another matter.

Stress

The job itself is difficult.

Clinical dentistry is an exacting, precise task performed in an environment that is poorly lit and restricted, using materials that require sympathetic handling for best results.

Whilst patients understand the benefits of dentistry they would still rather be elsewhere.

In order for their experience to be optimal they need to be handled sympathetically.

Add the pressure of either running, or being an integral part of, a business where time and money pressures are a consideration.

It’s a stressful job.

The burnouts testify to that.

Smart phones

Sadly, dentistry contains many control freaks who can’t stop.

It’s summer, a time when those with families take the opportunity to go on holiday, the one time in the year when you should relax and leave your worries behind you, a chance to stop being ‘on’ all the time.

Yet all over the country practice managers will be getting calls from fretting principals: ‘Is everything OK?’, ‘Have there been any problems?’

When the reply is negative there comes the interrogation: ‘Are you sure? What about Mrs X?’

Madness is thinking you can influence post-surgical events from the poolside.

Ten years ago saw the launch of the iPhone, and millions of us have become wedded or welded to our smart phones.

Steve Job’s creation has grown to be the stressor in your fist or handbag.

Take the opportunity, get off the grid, turn off and have a proper holiday.