In contemporary healthcare settings, ensuring patient safety must be an underlying principal through which systems, teams, individuals and environments work in tandem to strive for. The adoption of a culture in the NHS where patient safety is given greater priority is key to improvement. Recent events at Mid-Staffordshire hospitals among others have brought patient safety into the minds of the public and it increasingly demands attention from clinicians, the press and governments. However, much of the work into patient safety has been completed in the secondary care field with very little work completed in primary care settings. In primary care dentistry, improving patient safety is a relatively new concept with a distinct lack of evidence base. In this article, we discuss what patient safety is and debate its relevance to primary care dentistry. We also look at previous work completed in this field and make recommendations for future work to address the current lack of research.