Dynamic oral health care needs, alongside a diverse demographic of patients, presents a challenge to dental clinicians as they strive to resolve the ever-increasing demand for quality oral care service. Claims have arisen that the most appropriate way of speeding up the slow change in adopting innovations within the dental practice is by updating dentists' knowledge and skills through improving the undergraduate students' curriculum.
This review compares the dental curriculum's continuing improvement processes between the North American and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
The process of analysis consisted of identifying, examining, and interpreting patterns and themes within textual data, and then determining how each of these help answer the research questions.
Efforts to implement the dental curriculum's continuous improvement processes in the North American and GCC countries are evident, but the significant barriers for the dental curriculum's continuing improvement among the North American countries include the consequences of a compressed four-year curriculum, reliance on professional regulations, insufficient focus on patient perceptions, and the lack of a more theoretically robust approach to self-reflection. Conversely, amongst the GCC countries, the available literature states that the most significant factors hindering the dental curriculum's continuing improvement include deficient leadership attributes and low research productivity.
The North American and GCC regions will benefit from the new dental curriculum and result in producing more competent dental practitioners, with improved leadership and patient-centered care. However, it has been observed that the dental curriculum’s continuous improvement processes are adopted slowly, particularly among the GCC countries.
Keywords: Dental education, Curriculum, Leadership, Patient-centered care, Professional role, Students.