BACKGROUND: The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in 2019, has shocked the entire world. As an effort to control the disease spread, the Indian government declared a nationwide lockdown on March 25th, 2020. As dental treatment was considered high risk in the spread of COVID-19, dentistry became one of the most vulnerable professions during this time. Dental professionals had to face job layoffs, salary cuts in professional colleges, closure of private clinics resulting in huge psychological, moral, and financial crises. Studies during the previous and present pandemics have shown mental issues among health care workers necessitating institutional reforms, along with early care and support. A balance in the work-life amongst professionals is the key to better efficiency and, was majorly affected during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown due to sudden unexpected changes. Hence this study was conducted to understand the changes they underwent both at home and professional front with a hypothesis that physical and mental health, activities, relationship status, and workplace influence the work-life balance. METHODS: A pre-validated questionnaire survey was done on dentists across India. Structural Equation Modelling and path analysis were applied to the data collected. RESULTS: The results of the study supported the hypothesis that factors like physical and mental health, activities, relationship status, and workplace influenced the work-life balance directly. A significant imbalance was seen amongst the female dentists. CONCLUSION: The present study proved the unpreparedness among dental professionals. Hence an evolutionary phase in every field with better working protocols, robust mental health support, and a focus on strategies to face future such emergencies is required.
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