Smiles for Life National Oral Health Curriculum: Module 3. Adult Oral Health

Publication ID Published Version
9204 July 27, 2012 8


Smiles for Life Module 3, addresses how adult oral health is impacted by factors such as disease, aging, medication, and substance use. Clinicians will review risk factors and etiologies of oral conditions, as well as appropriate treatment and referral procedures. Additionally, this module will address how to effectively promote oral disease prevention, coordinate dental care for patients requiring antibiotic prophylaxis, and collaboratively manage anticoagulation in patients undergoing oral procedures.

Smiles for Life: A National Oral Health Curriculum is a product of the Working Group on Oral Health of The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine and endorsed by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Smiles for Life is the nation’s most comprehensive and widely used oral health curriculum designed for primary care clinicians. The 8 module course covers the relationship of oral to systemic health, child oral health, adult oral health, dental emergencies, oral health in pregnancy, fluoride varnish, and the oral examination.

The complete curriculum is web-based and is designed as an interactive educational tool for both individuals and groups from all aspects of the health care profession. It includes interactive online courses and clinical cases for individual and small group education, downloadable PowerPoint modules suitable for larger group presentations, instructional videos, and patient education materials. Free access to all materials is available at

The Smiles for Life (SFL) Curriculum including Module 1 The Relationship of Oral to Systemic Health has been endorsed by:

  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American Academy of Pediatrics Society of Teachers of Family Medicine
  • American Academy of Physician Assistants
  • Physician Assistant Education Association
  • Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
  • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
  • National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health
  • American Association of Public Health Dentistry
  • Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association

The SFL Curriculum has been downloaded from our website more than 140,000 times ( including:

  • 58,000 courses
  • 77,000 supplements
  • 11,000 online courses completed

The SFL Curriculum is:

  • The core oral health curriculum used in 30+ medical schools.
  • Utilized in most Family Medicine residency programs nationwide.
  • Core curriculum for National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health.

The SFL curriculum was awarded the Society of Teachers in Family Medicine (STFM) Innovative Program Award honoring excellence in development of an educational program in 2007 and received Letters of Commendation from the American Dental Association and American Academy of Family Physicians’ (AAFP) Commission on Education in 2011.


Gonsalves W, Douglass A, Wrightson A, Clark M, Deutchman M, Douglass J, Maier R, Quinonez R, Silk H, Tysinger J. Smiles for Life National Oral Health Curriculum: Module 3. Adult Oral Health. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2012. Available from:

Contains time-sensitive information that will likely be inaccurate, obsolete, or irrelevant by June 17, 2015

Contains Information Suitable for Patient Education

Educational Objectives

  1. To recognize adult caries and periodontal disease.
  2. To understand the oral effects of common medications, alcohol, and tobacco.
  3. To identify factors including chronic medical conditions that influence oral health.
  4. To identify tooth changes with aging.
  5. To discuss oral health promotion.
  6. To list indications for antibiotic prophylaxis for dental procedures.
  7. To understand management of dental procedures in anticoagulated patients.
  8. To identify common oral lesions.
  9. To describe management and appropriate referral.


  • Mouth Neoplasms, Caries, Aging, Antibiotic Prophylaxis, Lesions, Building Oral Health Capacity (BOHC) Collection, Public Health Sciences, Population Health


  • Dental
    • Periodontics
    • Preventive Dentistry


  • Knowledge for Practice
  • Patient Care
    • Promote health prevention
  • Practice-based Learning & Improvement
  • Systems-based Practice

Professional Interest

  • Curriculum Development/Evaluation
  • Healthcare Systems
  • Oral Health
  • Population Health
  • Public Health Sciences

Instructional Methods

  • Independent Learning
  • Lecture

Organ Systems

  • Gastrointestinal system

Academic Focus

  • Clinical Sciences
    • Clinical Skills/Doctoring

Intended Audience

  • Professional School
    • Allied Dental Student
    • Dental Student


  • Presentation

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ISSN 2374-8265