Geriatric Oral Health


This course addresses the vital role medical clinicians can play in promoting the oral health needs of older adults. Clinicians will learn how to perform a comprehensive oral assessment, identify and manage common geriatric oral conditions, counsel patients on effective preventive measures, and collaborate with dental professionals. Additionally, this module will address the link between oral and systemic health and review common oral side effects of medications.

Educational Objectives for the Geriatric Oral Health Course:

  • Describe how socioeconomic issues affect geriatric oral health.
  • Complete an accurate oral assessment of elderly patients.
  • Identify and manage common oral conditions in the elderly.
  • Describe oral-systemic relationships in the elderly.
  • Discuss common oral effects of medications.
  • Implement effective oral preventive measures for the elderly and their caregivers.
  • Recognize and describe the elements of effective primary care-dental collaboration.

If you are already logged in, scroll down to the Course Content and select a topic to begin this course. If you are not logged in, select the green Register for Courses link above. You can navigate through the course by pressing the "Next Page" and "Previous Page" buttons, or select each page on the left sidebar menu. The "Mark Complete" button will also automatically advance the page. If you are only completing a few pages at  a time, you may utilize the "Mark Complete" feature at the bottom to track your progress in each course. It is not necessary to mark each page to complete the course or to be eligible to take the assessment.  

This course takes approximately one hour to complete. Each clinical case takes about 10 minutes.



All authors involved in producing the content of this course have indicated they have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Course Steering Committee Author

  • A. Stevens Wrightson, M.D.

Dental Consultants

  • Pam Stein VanArsdall, D.M.D, M.P.H.
  • Robert G. Henry, D.M.D, M.P.H.

Smiles for Life Editor

  • Karlynn Sievers, M.D.
  • Melinda Clark, M.D.


  • Jennifer Brame, RDH, MS
  • Katharine Ciarrocca, DMD, Msed

The images in this course are not to be reproduced/downloaded for purposes other than personal use. Republication, retransmission, reproduction or other use of the Licensed Material is prohibited.

Last Modified: October, 2021

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Course Content

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