Smiles for Life National Oral Health Curriculum

This database is no longer actively maintained and is here for archival purposes only

Organization Type: 
Program Type: 
Standing Program
Education Level: 
Postgraduate (e.g., residency, fellowship)
Continuing Education
Technical certificate programs or certificate training programs
Educational Elements: 
Independent Study
Program Description: 

The Smiles for Life curriculum is designed to provide evidence-based interprofessional education for all members of the primary care team. Oral health education across the lifespan is provided through eight modules: (1) the relationship between oral and systemic health, (2) the oral examination, (3) child, (4) adult, and (5) geriatric oral health, (6) oral health in pregnancy, (7) oral emergencies, and (8) fluoride varnish application.

The modules utilize downloadable PowerPoint files for group education, as well as web-based learning modules for individual study. Self-assessment tools are provided, and continuing education credit is available for physicians, nurses, and physician assistants.  Additional resources include videos, pocket cards, mobile applications, and website links.

Smiles for Life is used in a large number of family medicine and pediatric residency programs as well as nursing and physician assistant training programs.  The entire curriculum has been peer-reviewed by the American Association of Medical Colleges MedEdPORTAL as well as by ten endorsing academic and practice organizations including the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Physician Assistants, American College of Nurse Midwives, and American Dental Association.

Program Results: 

The educational materials included in Smiles for Life have been evaluated in published, peer-reviewed clinical trials and demonstrated to improve knowledge acquisition and retention as well as change practice patterns.  

Targeted Professions
Family Medicine
Internal Medicine
Nurse Practitioners
Registered Nurses
Licensed Practical Nurses
Ambulatory Care
Internal Medicine
Social Work: 
Medical social work
Medical Assistants
Patient Educators
Physician Assistants
Oral Health
Self-Reported Competencies
PCPCC’s Education and Training Task Force identified 16 interprofessional training competencies critical for preparing health professionals for practicing in team-based, coordinated care models such as patient-centered medical homes. Listed below are the self-reported competencies that this program has achieved, which have been organized by the five core features of a medical home as defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Patient-Centered Care Competencies: 
Development of effective, caring relationships with patients
Patient-centered care planning, including collaborative decision-making and patient self-management
Comprehensive Care Competencies: 
Population-based approaches to health care delivery
Risk identification
Coordinated Care Competencies: 
Care coordination for comprehensive care of patient & family in the community
Interprofessionalism & interdisciplinary team collaboration
Quality Care & Safety Competencies: 
Evidence-based practice
Last updated November 15, 2013

* Please note: Information contained in this database is self-reported by representatives from each program. It does not represent an exhaustive list of education and training programs and inclusion does not constitute an endorsement from the PCPCC.


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