This study provides an insight into the career satisfaction and work-life balance of orthodontists in the UK/ROI.
The study identified those major factors which significantly affect career satisfaction and work-life balance.
Recommendations are made for measures which professional bodies could consider in order to enhance career satisfaction and work-life balance and also to continue to attract people into the profession.
Objectives To investigate factors affecting career satisfaction and work-life balance in specialist orthodontists in the UK/ROI.
Design and setting Prospective questionnaire-based study.
Subjects and methods The questionnaire was sent to specialist orthodontists who were members of the British Orthodontic Society.
Results Orthodontists reported high levels of career satisfaction (median score 90/100). Career satisfaction was significantly higher in those who exhibited: i) satisfaction with working hours; ii) satisfaction with the level of control over their working day; iii) ability to manage unexpected home events; and iv) confidence in how readily they managed patient expectations. The work-life balance score was lower than the career satisfaction score but the median score was 75/100. Work-life balance scores were significantly affected by the same four factors, but additionally were higher in those who worked part-time.
Conclusions Orthodontists in this study were highly satisfied with their career and the majority responded that they would choose orthodontics again. Work-life balance scores were lower than career satisfaction scores but still relatively high. It is important for the profession to consider ways of maintaining, or improving, career satisfaction and work-life balance; including maintaining flexibility of working hours and ensuring that all clinicians have ready access to appropriate training courses throughout their careers (for example, management of patient expectations).
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $30.71 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Zingeser L . Career satisfaction and job satisfaction: What ASHA surveys show. The ASHA Leader 2004; 9: 4–5.
Kaliski B S . Encyclopaedia of Business and Finance, Second edition. p 446. Detroit: Thompson Gale, 2007.
Robbins S P, Judge T A . Organizational behaviour, Fifteenth edition. Essex, England: Pearson, 2011.
Clark S C . Work/family border theory: A new theory of work/family balance. Human Relations 2000; 53: 747–770.
Korman A K, Mahler S R, Omran K A . Work ethics and satisfaction, alienation, and other reactions. In W B. Walsh and S H. Osipow (Eds.) Handbook of vocational psychology. Vol. 2. pp 181–206. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1983.
Friedman S D, Christensen P, DeGroot J . Work and life: The end of the zero-sum game. Harvard Business Review 1998; 76: 119–130.
Mullins J L . Management and organizational behaviour, Ninth edition. Pearson Education Limited: Essex, 317, 2010.
Newton J T, Thorogood N, Gibbons D E . The work patterns of male and female dental practitioners in the United Kingdom. Int Dent J 50: 61–68, 2000.
Luzzi L, Spencer A J, Jones K, Teusner D . Job satisfaction of registered dental practitioners. Aust Dent J 2005; 50: 179–185.
Ayers K M, Thomson W M, Newton J T, Rich A M . Job stressors of New Zealand dentists and their coping strategies. Occup Med 2008; 58: 275–281.
Ayers K M, Thomson W M, Rich A M, Newton J T . Gender differences in dentists' working practices and job satisfaction. J Dent 2008; 36: 343–350.
Gilmour J, Stewardson D A, Shugars D A, Burke F J T . An assessment of career satisfaction among a group of general dental practitioners in Staffordshire. Br Dent J 2005; 198: 701–704.
Denton D A, Newton J T, Bower E J . Occupational burnout and work engagement: a national survey of dentists in the United Kingdom. Br Dent J 2008; 205: E13.
Oweis Y, Hattar S, Eid R A, Sabra A . Dentistry a second time? Eur J Dent Educ 2012; 16: e10–e18.
Roth S F, Heo G, Varnhagen C, Glover K E, Major P W . Job satisfaction among Canadian orthodontists. Am J Orthod Dentofac Orthop 2003; 123: 695–700.
Roth S F, Heo G, Varnhagen C, Glover K E, Major P W . Occupational stress among Canadian orthodontists. Angle Orthod 2003; 73: 43–50.
Collins J M, Cunningham S J, Moles D R, Galloway J, Hunt N P . Factors which influence working patterns of orthodontists in the United Kingdom. Br Dent J 2009; 207: E1.
Collins J M, Hunt N P, Moles D R, Galloway J, Cunningham S J . Changes in the gender and ethnic balance of the United Kingdom orthodontic workforce. Br Dent J 2008; 205: E12.
Davidson S, Major P W, Flores-Mir C, Amin M, Keenan L . Women in orthodontics and work-family balance: challenges and strategies. J Can Dent Assoc 2012; 78: c61.
Soma K J, Thomson W M, Morgaine K C, Harding W J . A qualitative investigation of specialist orthodontists in New Zealand: Part I. Orthodontists and orthodontic practice. Aust Orthod J 2012; 28: 2–16.
Soma K J, Thomson W M, Morgaine K C, Harding W J . A qualitative investigation of specialist orthodontists in New Zealand: part 2. Orthodontists' working lives and work-life balance. Aust Orthod J 2012; 28: 170–180.
Bateman L E, Collins J M, Cunningham S J . A qualitative study of work-life balance among specialist orthodontists in the United Kingdom. J Orthod 2016; 43: 288–299.
Cook C, Heath F, Thompson R L . A meta-analysis of response rates in web-or internet-based surveys. Educ Psychol Measurement 2000; 60: 821–836.
Leigh J P, Kravitz R L, Schembri M, Samuels S J, Mobley S . Physician career satisfaction across specialties. Arch Int Med 2002; 162: 1577–1584.
Leigh J P, Tancredi D J, Kravitz R L . Physician career satisfaction within specialties. BMC Health Serv Res 2009; 9: 166.
Van Ham I, Verhoeven A A, Groenier K H, Groothoff J W, De Haan J . Job satisfaction among general practitioners: a systematic literature review. Euro J Gen Pract 2006; 12: 174–180.
Scott J, Clery E . Gender roles: an incomplete revolution. British social attitudes: the 30th report. pp 115–128. London: NatCen Social Research, 2013.
Many thanks to all of the orthodontists who took the time to complete the questionnaire and without whom this study would not have been possible. We would also like to thank Dr Dirk Bister and Professor Tim Newton for their advice when developing the questionnaire and Ann Wright (BOS) for distribution of the questionnaire and for her assistance in dealing with our questions.
If any readers wish to have a copy of the questionnaire, please contact the authors directly.
About this article
Cite this article
Al-Junaid, S., Hodges, S., Petrie, A. et al. Career satisfaction and work-life balance of specialist orthodontists within the UK/ROI. Br Dent J 223, 53–58 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.585
Key determinants of health and wellbeing of dentists within the UK: a rapid review of over two decades of research
British Dental Journal (2019)
Dental Update (2018)