Significance of Patient Safety and Safety Culture in Dental Schools: A Systematic Review

Huda Abutayyem1, Lovely M2, Alexander Luke3, Yawar Hayat Khan4, Muhammad Muhammad5, Biji Thomas George6, *
1 Department of Orthodontics, Ras al Khaimah College of Dental Sciences, Ras Al-Khaimah, UAE
2 Department of Prosthodontics, Ras al Khaimah College of Dental Sciences, Ras Al-Khaimah, UAE
3 Department of Clinical Sciences ,College of Dentistry , Ajman University, Ajman, UAE
4 Department of Dental Materials, Riphah International University, Islamabad, Pakistan
5 Department of Dental Sciences, Riphah International University Islamabad, Pakistan
6 Departmnet of Surgery, Ras al Khaimah College of Medical Sciences, UAE

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© 2021 Abutayyem et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, RAK Medical and Health Sciences University, Al Juwais, Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates; Tel: +971-50-1163495;



This article aims to systematically review and analyze the outcome of published literature on patient safety and safety culture related to dental schools. It also aims to observe implemented changes in dental school training and curriculum that have improved patient safety and safety culture within institutions.


All studies concerning patient safety and safety culture from the period of January 2010 to May 2020 were included which were specific to dental educational institution settings. The assessment was based on the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis) checklist to ascertain that the included studies were specific to the objective of our systematic review.


The included studies were assessed for country-wise publication, type of study, and its outcome. Of the 10 studies that met the inclusion criteria, 5 articles were related to patient safety. 2 out of the 5 articles were from the United States of America (USA) 2 were from the United Kingdom (UK), followed by 1 from Mexico. For articles related to safety culture, 3 out of the 5 articles were from Saudi Arabia, and 2 were from the USA.


The analysis of the selected review articles suggests that rigorous training should be implemented in inpatient record documentation, incident reporting, and infection control protocols. The authors suggested focused training on patient safety culture and the inclusion of safety culture awareness and training to the dental undergraduate curriculum.

Keywords: Patient safety, Safety culture, Dentistry, Dental schools, Prevention, Reduction.