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The New World of Dentistry

Why Spirituality is Needed More Than Ever

As you disinfect the office, don your PPE and prepare all the additional measures for seeing patients, a new difficulty begins. The very things that make us human are being challenged in this different environment. Much of our human spirit is created through unencumbered real-time interactions, not video, but face-to-face interactions, which are no longer available.

The needed elements of personal interaction bring forth the human spirit. That spirit that gives meaning to what it is to be human - is being squelched by the mechanical nature of today’s COVID-19 dental practice. The more sterile the environment, the greater the safety precautions, the less the human spirit is accessible.

Even during breaks, if you and the staff let down your guard with social distancing and mask-wearing, given that you are frontline workers, your chances of viral infection increases. You simply can’t take a break with safety. Besides the masks and shields, the high level of caution makes people “clam up.”

However, it has been shown by numerous studies, well-vetted studies, evidence-based studies, that the higher degree of spirituality at work, the greater sense of belonging, encouragement and connection. These studies suggest that if culture is actually king, sustaining a sense of belonging, encouragement and deep connection in Coronavirus's very mechanistic world, could occur.

But please, do not confuse spirituality with religion.

My assertion is to the same degree dentists have raised the bar on sterility and safety, effort needs to be made to bring spirituality into the enterprise.

Spirituality would decrease the rollercoaster of emotions, reduce the fear and lessen the anxiety - benefiting everyone, including families, coworkers, patients, the community and yourself.

Spirituality is not “woo-woo” stuff. It’s not “airy-fairy.” It’s not ‘head-trippin.” It’s not “bullshit.” In my hands, spirituality can be brought forth in a highly professional method and model.

Spirituality is not about our relationship with God; spirituality is about your relationship with yourself, and what gets in the way of the self you want to be.

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