The American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, or ABDSM, is a board of examiners for those who hold a dental practice license and treat sleep disorders relating to breathing disorders such as sleep apnea.
Who Is the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine
The Sleep Disorder Dental Society was established in 1998. It later changed its name to the Certification Program of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, or AADSM. Significant changes occurred in 2004 and at that time, the organization evolved into the current ABDSM.
This organization is an independent board. The goal of the board is to establish specific guidelines and standards for dental sleep medicine. Those who practice dental sleep medicine help treat people who have breathing difficulties during sleep. This includes conditions such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
If you decide to work with a provider who is part of the ABDSM, you know that this person has had proper training and education. You also know that they have the necessary experience to provide quality services. This has assurance through membership in this organization.
There is no licensing or special legal qualification for an individual who is a member of this organization. Rather, the organization recognizes those who have completed the board certification requirements required by the ABDSM. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recognizes the status of those who are members of the ABDSM.
Becoming Part of the ABDSM
Not just anyone can be part of the ABDSM. Individuals must meet stringent requirements of the ABDSM in order to qualify for membership. The qualification process is limited to ensure only those who have extensive training and education may be a member of this group.
- Individuals may only be permanent, legal residents of the United States or Canada. Others must obtain International Certificates. These certificates are available through the ABDSM for qualified candidates.
- Individuals must apply for membership only after meeting the licensing requirements. All applications must hold a dental degree (such as a D.D.S. or D.M.D) or its equivalent and must have an unrestricted license to practice dentistry in their state.
- A certification examination is required and is available in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the AADSM.
- Those who wish to be members must have worked with sleep physicians at accredited sleep centers. They are also required to present letters of recommendation from sleep physicians and be able to provide patient case presentations.
Those who are qualified to apply for application with the ABDSM can do so by visiting the Application Process Website offered by the organization.
Continuing Education Requirements
As with many professional medical and dental licensing requirements in order to remain a Diplomat in status with the ABDSM, individuals must meet specific requirements on an ongoing basis.
- Individuals must attend one annual meeting every two years or may submit documentation of 25 hours of ADA CERP continuing education credit. This credit received must be in relation to dental sleep medicine. Only 10 hours of approved self-study, courses in dental sleep medicine will receive approval.
- A membership payment is a requirement each year.
How You Can Utilize ABDSM Members
There are currently more than 150 members of the ABDSM. These highly trained professionals are proficient in helping individuals to improve their sleep quality through dentistry. You can and should consider working with these providers whenever possible.
If you are struggling with these types of sleep problems, contact a family doctor first, to ensure that the problem is severe enough to warrant the need for additional help and treatment. If so, contact any of the members of the ABDSM. You can find a listing of those available to help at the ABDSM website.
Those who are part of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine maintain a high level of professional standards in dental sleep medicine. These individuals often have the latest information and resources available to them, as well. Working with them may help you feel more confident about the options you have for improving sleep quality.