An Annotated List of Websites Related to Geriatric Education for Dentists and Dental Hygienists

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An Annotated List of Websites Related to Geriatric Education for Dentists and Dental Hygienists

by: Charlotte J. Wyche, RDH, MS

Updated May 4, 2007

opportunities for continuing education credits in geriatrics

Academic Geriatric Resource Center at University of California—San Francisco:

THIS one is a real find. It seems excellent! The site requires that you register, but after registering, all course components can be accessed for free unless the learner wants continuing education credits. The CE cost for dentistry is $25 and the learner must complete all 5 modules and submit the final post-test and user evaluation.

The description below is copied from their website.

A multidisciplinary web-based curriculum in geriatrics and gerontology designed for health professionals and health professions students. The curriculum is specifically targeted to graduate, post-graduate and resident-level students in health professions schools, where an interactive experience allows for self-paced learning.

The case-based curriculum contains five core modules that were developed by a multidisciplinary team of faculty in the disciplines of dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, and social and behavioral sciences at UCSF.

The core module topics include: 1.) Demography and Epidemiology of Aging; 2.) Biology and Physiology of Aging, 3.) Socio-cultural and Psychological Aspects of Aging, 4.) Assessment of the Geriatric Patient, and 5.) Health Care Policies.

The Curriculum also includes a series of supplemental modules in the biology of aging, which review age-related changes in the major organ systems: Cardiovascular, Endocrine, Immune, Musculoskeletal, Neurological, Pulmonary, and Renal Systems.

These modules can be used as a package or integrated individually within appropriate courses for each specific health discipline. Continuing education credits are also available for health professionals from multiple disciplines who complete all five core modules.

University of British Columbia:

This site provides information about a seminar based study club in Canada that explores various aspects of geriatric dentistry. This multidisciplinary study club is open to dentists, dental specialists, dental hygienists, certified dental assistants, and other health care professionals interested in geriatrics. May not meet Michigan CE requirements.

Marquette University School of Dentistry:

A link from the university page to a “unique and innovative electronic learning environment” that provides access to continuing education. The user must register to enter this site. This takes you to a link titled “Geriatric Oral Health: The Missing Link to Comprehensive Care. Once on the learner can access a number of short written CE courses with references and assessment quizzes, videotaped lectures archived from a recent conference, and a variety of other kinds of links to educational materials related to providing dental care for older populations. Unfortunately, I could not find any indication on the site about how to obtain CE credits.

Wisconsin Geriatric Education Center:

Bills itself as the “first of its kind” geriatric oral health continuing education program but takes you to the same link described under Marquette University above—Geriatric Oral Health: The Missing Link to Comprehensive Care. Again, I could not find any indication on the site about how to obtain CE credits.

Sites potentially useful for self-education by practicing dentists and dental hygienists
American Dental Education Association:

Oral Health for Independent Older Adults: ADEA/GSK Predoctoral Curriculum Resource Guide

This resource guide, compiled by The American Dental Education Association and funded by GlaxoSmithKline is published as a booklet and as a CD. The CD is not interactive, but rather contains the same material that is in the booklet. The curriculum guide contains six themed units with learning objectives and list of suggested resource references to use in developing each theme. The package contains numerous cases with learning issues and objectives for each case. Some of the cases have complete documentation such as radiographs or odontogram. Also included are descriptions of innovative models used by dental schools to teach geriatrics in their curriculums. While intended for use by dental school programs, the module could conceivably be used by practitioners for independent study. Published in 2006--unless the guide will be updated regularly, the lists of references may become dated.
American Society on Aging:

A series of 8 teaching/training modules are based on and illustrated with data from the CDC/National Center for Health Statistics NCHS Data Warehouse on Trends in Health and Aging. The modules are designed for use by teachers in professional programs and for self-study by health professionals. Basically the modules explore the process of accessing, analyzing, and interpreting data about trends in demographics, disease, and disabilities in aging populations. The statistics are not particularly dental related, but are rather an overview of statistics related to aging. I thought that modules 7 and 8 were particularly helpful to understand the trends in chronic disease and disability and how those trends affect the aging population. Very good, but may be too in depth for many self-study situations.

Center for Aging Studies at University of Missouri—Kansas City:

On-line aging facts true/false quiz “What do you know about aging?” Can be printed off or taken on-line. Links to answers indicate the correct answer and provide a rationale for each answer that can educate the learner as they go. Fun way to educate and challenge commonly held beliefs about aging.

John A. Hartford Foundation, Institute for Geriatric Nursing:

Try this: Best practices in nursing care for older adults. A series of assessment tools where each issue focuses on a topic specific to the older adult population. The content is directed to orient and encourage understanding of the special needs of older adults and the highest standards of practice in caring for the elderly.    Assessment #18 is the Geriatric Oral Health Assessment Index (GOHAI). This form is not yet on the website, buy you can obtain a hard copy by e-mailing to the address listed when you click on the link. All assessment forms available at this site can be copied and used in practice settings without copyright violation.

National Institutes for Health—NIH

Created for consumers but potentially a very useful site for educating oral health providers about issues in geriatric health as well. After clicking on the “to begin” button a main menu with a variety of topics related to aging populations is displayed. A click on a topic link takes you to a series of slides about the topic. There is also a “Frequently asked Questions” link and a link to MedLine Plus where you can access further information. A learner would have to be self-motivated to use this as a course of study but the site provides excellent basic information about a variety of topics related to aging.

New York University—The John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing:

Gerontological Nursing Certification Review Course. Access to all of the components is free, but you must register by using your e-mail address. The course consists of 4 modules organized around the concept needs of individuals as they age through stages of life (healthy, frail, institutionalized, and dying aging adults). Each module has slides about a variety of topics, a case study, and review questions. The course is approved for nursing continuing education credit, but not for dental CEUs.

Northwest Geriatric Education Center:!

The purpose of this Curriculum Module Series is to provide a set of self-study  guides to assist in developing and establishing various health promotion interventions to prevent disease and postpone further disability for older adult populations. After registering, the learner has access to modules and fact sheets on a variety of topics. The modules are formatted as downloadable PDF booklets and appear to be excellent. Fact sheets, written to educate older adults on health topics accompany some of the modules.

Ohio Dental Association – Smiles for Seniors:

A free resource designed to help educate older and semi-dependant adults, their caregivers and health professionals about issues that make oral hygiene difficult for aging adults. The site offers informational materials in print, video, CD-ROM, and PowerPoint format. Some handout materials and a PowerPoint presentation can be downloaded right from the site and the video presentation can be ordered. The materials, funded by an ADA Foundation grant and with support from GlaxoSmithKline, are not copyrighted and wide dissemination is encouraged.

Ohio State University College of Dentistry:

Geriatric and Outreach Education Resource Center. Contains videos on patient assessment and tobacco cessation and copies of PowerPoint slide presentations about demographics of elderly and diagnosis, management, and treatment planning for geriatric patients. There is a link to the table of contents for a textbook on geriatric dentistry (see citation below). The slides contain only basic outline and incomplete information, but could be used as a place to start gathering information.

On-line CEUs Directory for Nurses:

A directory of on-line geriatrics courses geared toward providing continuing education for nurses. Posted by a variety of providers, many of the courses are on-going; some are scheduled at specific times; all have a registration fee. Clinking on the course title will provide more information about providers and registering to take the specific course. Many links appear to be excellent courses from reputable providers of nursing continuing education credits. Some of these would probably be excellent self-study modules for dental providers, but dental CEUs are probably not provided.

Outreach Dentistry:

This private dentist site can be used to purchase two CDRom format educational materials and outlines of lectures on Geriatric dentistry. The website author is a private practice dentist in Canada, claims membership in the American Society of Geriatric Dentistry, and has operated a mobile dental clinic serving elderly patients in nursing home and long term care settings for 10 years. The author provides outlines for the lectures that seem appropriate, and the CD-ROMs are described as PowerPoint presentations to accompany the lectures. There is no way to determine the quality of these presentations without purchasing the materials.

Portal of Geriatric Online Education (POGOe):

An online clearinghouse that provides educators with links to a wide range of educational products to use to integrate geriatrics content into teaching. The site requires you to register and log in. After doing so, click on the “other learners” tab at the top and scroll down to click on to the “dentists” link. This will take you to a list of materials, including a description and media type. Some materials are identified as useful for self-study. Some are materials that must be purchased; some are downloadable documents or modules. Most do not seem directly targeted to dentistry, but many would be useful for general study of the needs of geriatric patients.

University of Iowa—Iowa Geriatric Education Center:

This website contains tabs that provide links to numerous resources related to geriatric education. Some learning opportunities, such as a lecture series and on-line coursework, require registration as a student or institutional member. But the site has several resources that are available to all users. Of note are the geriatric assessment tools (including 2 oral health assessment surveys) and a series of Info-Connect information pamphlets available by clicking on the “Publications” tab. These brochures provide references and information for nursing home practitioners on key clinical topics. Notable among the topics covered using downloadable PDF format, are two that are related to providing palliative oral care for residents in nursing homes and oral hygiene care for persons with dementia. Both pamphlets seem very good.

Programs providing certificates/degrees in Geriatrics

Center on Aging Studies at University of Missouri—Kansas City:

Gerontology Certificate offered at Graduate level (12 hours including practicum) or as a minor + certificate at the Undergraduate level (18 hours including practicum). Not online.

Duke University Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development:

Fellowship in Geriatric Dentistry. A 2 year fellowship that includes clinical, educational, and research components. Not on-line.

Harvard School of Dental Medicine:

Geriatric Dental Fellowship. Offered within the Department of Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology. Program is 3 years (2 if candidate holds a prior MPH degree). Not on-line.

Marquette University School of Dentistry site:

Graduate certificate in Geriatrics. A 12 credit hour, 2 semester program for licensed professionals. Appears to be on-site rather than on-line.

University of Florida: Geriatric Care Management Online: This professional development certificate program is an entirely self paced course with an instructor of record who is available to answer any questions you have about the course material. Lectures for this program are pre-recorded and are viewed using Microsoft power point flash. After reviewing the lectures participants are required to complete a set of assigned readings and upon completion of reviewing all the lectures and assigned readings each participant will complete a multiple choice final exam. The certificate is designed to require 60 contact hours to complete and upon completion participants are awarded a certificate and 6 CEU units. The course has an open enrollment period so you can register at any time. The course is approved by the Florida State Board to provide CE credits for nurses and mental health professionals.
University of Utah Center on Aging:

Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program offers both graduate and undergraduate certificates. Both are 15 credit hours. A master degree is also offered that includes 15 graduate credit hours plus a Thesis or Master’s project. Not on-line program.

Association for Gerontology in Higher Education:

The website for this organization, devoted primarily to gerontological education , provides links to information such as publications, conferences, information about career opportunities, curriculum development resources. Many publications are available for purchase. The organization is involved in developing education and training initiatives for learners on many levels. A good source for information, but the website itself is not a training site.

Baylor College of Medicine, Huffington Center on Aing:

Provides features and resources to support learning, research, and patient care of elderly populations. Contains a link to “Aging 101” cited as the first in a series of general information articles on aging that school teachers and their students can use in a variety of courses. Basic information at a lower level than healthcare professionals would find necessary.

National Academy for Teaching and Learning about Aging:

Linked to the University of North Texas Center for Public Service. Provides a list of recommended on-line sources for information about aging as well as a group of “age share” documents that provide information about a variety of topics related to aging. The documents could be used to provide background information about aging, but is not a comprehensive curriculum.

Tufts OpenCourseWare site:

Geriatric dentistry course website. Provides course objectives and list of topic areas for a course in geriatric dentistry offered to dental students at Tufts University. Slid links on the site do not allow access to lecture slides, but one topic—geriatric endodontisc does have a “full text” link that supplies a brief lecture outline. Supplemental materials link includes a copies of some forms used during student rotations. Not useful for self- or online education.

University of Southern California School of Dentistry:

Catalogue of geriatrics courses taught in the dental school. Not useful for self- or online education.

University of Texas:

Curriculum designed for use by K – 12 teachers who want to bring geriatrics into their science curriculum. Not intended for healthcare professionals, but some of the units and related activities are really good.

useful textbook and journal article citations
Mohammad, AR: Geriatric Dentistry, 4th ed. Wisconsin Geriatric Education Center, 2005.

This book is accompanied by a CD-ROM containing an atlas of common oral conditions in the elderly. Price of Book and CD-ROM including shipping within the US is $52.00.

Check must be made payable to GERIATRIC DENTISTRY 4TH ED.

The WGEC is now offering Dr. Mohammad's book and CDs. Please contact the WGEC to obtain these resources. Wisconsin Geriatric Education Center (800) 799-7878

Morreale, JP: The forgotten discipline of dentistry. J Can Dent Assoc. 1998; 64 (3);195-199. (Available at, accessed April, 2007).

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