Course Description

Participants of this course will be presented with information that will help them better understand the oral-systemic link as it applies to cardiovascular disease. This will include the discovery of the link, common risk factors, and possible biological mechanisms by which the connection occurs as well as host response. Special emphasis will be placed on the pathways − direct invasion, platelet aggregation, immune response, inflammatory response, and oxidative stress − to help the clinician better understand the link between oral and systemic disease.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course the dental professional should be able to:

  • Recognize the risk factors associated with both oral infections and cardiovascular disease;
  • Discuss intra-individual variations that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and oral disease;
  • Understand the pathways and biological mechanisms in a way that enables dental professionals to easily communicate and educate their patients;
  • Identify how and when the oral-systemic link associated with cardiovascular disease was discovered;
  • Recognize that host response plays a role in the onset and progression of disease.


Credits: 3.00 CEU
Price: $45 for 1 year access
Topic(s): Oral-systemic Link, Cardiovascular Disease 
Course Type: Self-Instructional / Self-Study
Instructional Method: Written Course
Location: Online
Prerequisites: None
Technology Requirements: Computer (recommended), tablet, or smartphone and an internet connection
Program Provider: Today's RDH ([email protected])
Original Course Release Date: January 1, 2021
Course Expiration Date: December 31, 2023
AGD Subject Code(s): 010, 490 
AADH Course Code: AADHTDH-001-2021-01-3

Course Author

Spring Hayes Hatfield, RDH, is a graduate of Florida State College at Jacksonville. She practices clinically in Tuscaloosa, AL. She is dental hygiene board certified in Florida, Louisiana, and Alabama. Spring is also a Contributing Writer for Today's RDH and serves on the Today's RDH Advisory Board. Her passions include helping her patients better understand the oral-systemic disease connection and empowering other dental professionals in their quest to provide exceptional dental care.

Course Conflicts of Interest: None

Course Curriculum


  Important Information before Starting
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  Course Overview
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  Discovery of the Link
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  Common Risk Factors
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  Biological Mechanism
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  Host Response
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  Conclusion & References
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  Quiz
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  Course Evaluation
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Frequently Asked Questions


Does this CE course meet the requirements for my state?

  • Today's RDH is an AGD PACE provider that is recognized by all 50 states (including California). Today's RDH is also an American Academy of Dental Hygiene (AADH) approved provider of continuing education courses. This course is on-demand and is considered self-study/self-instructional. It includes a quiz that must be passed upon completion of the course to receive your CE certificate of completion.

Is this CE course considered "live" or "in-classroom?"

  • No, this course is on-demand and is considered self-study/self-instructional. You can take the course on your own time and are required to pass a quiz upon completion of the course to receive your CE certificate of completion. 

Is this course considered a "clinical" or "core" course?

  • To figure out if this course is considered clinical or core for your specific state, you need to check your state's Dental Practice Act, which gives the requirements and what is accepted. For states where this particular topic isn't a requirement, this course is still considered an elective self-study course and can be used to fulfill your elective self-study requirements.

How long will I have access to take the course?

  • You will have one full year from the time of purchase to complete this course. After one year from your original purchase date, you will need to repurchase the course if you want to take it again.

Do I have to take the whole course at once?

  • No, your progress will be saved every time you complete a module, so you are able to take breaks and complete the course at your own leisure.

Are there any additional fees beyond the course fee?

  • No, all fees are included in the price of this course! Depending on where you live, there may be sales tax, but no additional fees.

When will I be able to access this course after I purchase it?

  • You will have immediate access to take the course once you register and your payment goes through.

Are there test questions at the end of each course?

  • Yes, upon completion of the course, you will be required to take a quiz to show comprehension of the course. Upon successfully passing the quiz, you will be issued a CE certificate of completion for the course that you are able to download and save for your records.

How do I get my certificate/proof of completion? Will it be emailed?

  • Your CE certification completion will be awarded upon successfully completing the quiz at the end of the course. The certificate will be available in your account that you create upon enrolling in the course, but you are also encouraged to save this certificate on your own device. A link to access the certificate in your account will also be emailed to you (check your SPAM box), but not the actual certificate itself. However, just click the link, log in to your account, and you will have access to the certificate.

Are there refunds?

  • There will be no refunds issued once you have completed the course and received the CE certificate of completion. If you haven't completed the course and received a CE certificate of completion, you have 30 days to request a refund.

Is this course only for hygienists, or can doctors and dental assistants receive CE too?

  • This course is primarily designed for dental hygienists but can also be taken by doctors and dental assistants for CE credit.

Can Canadians receive CE credit for these courses?

  • Canada recognizes CE courses that have AGD PACE approved providers, so yes. However, we cannot guarantee, so we always recommend checking with your governing agency to confirm approval.

What devices can I take this course on?

  • You can take this course from any device with an internet or data connection, including laptops, desktops, tablets, or your smartphone.

Why aren't these CE courses free?

  • To offer CE courses at no cost, we would need to have sponsors (i.e., manufacturers or companies) pay for the expenses of creating and maintaining the courses. We have chosen to keep these CE courses free from sponsorship and focus 100% on providing objective education for our audience.

Who can I contact if I have more questions or feedback on future CE course topics?

  • You can reach us anytime at [email protected]. If you don't receive a response within 48 hours, please check your SPAM folder.