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Examination Administration

The examination is administered as a computer-based exam via Kryterion testing centers located around the world. Applicants whose applications have been approved to sit for the exam will receive instructions to select the Kryterion testing center of their choice. View a complete list of Kryterion testing centers.

Along with receiving notification of application acceptance, applicants will receive further information about scheduling a date and time to take the exam and other pertinent details. Be aware that testing center schedules will vary by site and may not have weekend availability.

I. Examination Content

The certification examination is comprised of two hundred (200) multiple choice and true/false questions. Applicants are allowed four (4) hours to complete the examination. The examination tests applicants on airway anatomy and physiology, basic sleep medicine, hypersomnolence and related disorders. However, most questions will focus on sleep disordered breathing including: definitions, treatments, oral appliance therapy and surgery.

Confidentiality & Applicant Conduct
The examination and all related materials are ABDSM’s confidential, proprietary and copyrighted intellectual property. Any disclosure of the contents of the examination is strictly prohibited. Applicants may not cheat, participate in any cheating incident, breach of security, misconduct or any other behavior that could compromise the integrity or confidentiality of the ABDSM certification examination. In order to sit for the examination, all applicants must carefully review and agree to abide by the terms of the ABDSM Examination Confidentiality & Applicant Conduct Policy.

II. Examination Composition

The ABDSM Board of Directors directs all aspects of the certification examination including composition.

III. Scoring

All scoring is performed without knowledge of the applicant’s identity, and all decisions concerning examination scoring are made before the matching of names and applicant code numbers. Individual scores will not be changed, with the exception of a granted appeal.

IV. Examination Results

Applicants are informed of a passing score or a failing score via mail. Actual scores, regardless of the results, will not be provided. Results are not available by telephone. Information regarding the number of applicants who passed or failed the examination will not be provided.

V. Appeal Procedure

Applicants may appeal a negative determination (rejection of prerequisites or failure of examination) by submitting a written explanation of the reason for refuting the determination with a nonrefundable appeal fee of $395. This appeal must be made within 30 days of the date of the notification letter. All materials must be submitted in writing to the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, 2510 North Frontage Road, Darien, IL 60561. All appeals are carefully reviewed, and a final decision is made by the ABDSM Board of Directors.

VI. Professional Designation

Upon successful completion of the examination and notification by the ABDSM of approved oral appliance therapy cases, individuals may use the following options to display their respective credential:
  • Diplomate, American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine
  • Diplomate, ABDSM
  • D. ABDSM 
  • International Certificant, American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine
  • International Certificant, ABDSM

Diplomate status does not denote specialty status or specialty recognition. Furthermore, it does not confer or imply any legal qualification, licensure, or privilege in professional activities as they relate to oral appliance therapy or oral surgery for sleep disordered breathing. It signifies a professional commitment to education, knowledge and experience in dental sleep medicine. It recognizes those dentists duly licensed by law who have successfully completed the board certification requirements established by the ABDSM. The AASM recognizes Diplomate status granted by the ABDSM.

VII. Disclaimer

These guidelines are not intended to supersede state dental practice acts. The ABDSM advises all dentists to contact the dental licensing board in their state to verify the approved scope of practice for their license and practice accordingly.

The ABDSM board is self-designated and does not confer recognized specialty status by any other certifying organization. Personal use of the ABDSM Diplomate and International Certificant designation shall be the responsibility of each individual. The ABDSM assumes no liability for how each individual displays their designation.

The ABDSM advises all Diplomates and International Certificants to follow to the American Dental Association Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct when advertising their status. It is also strongly recommended that each individual consult their state or local regulatory agency and adhere to their requirements. Most state licensing agencies do NOT permit advertising the credential to patients. The Diplomate designation should only be used if it does not conflict with each certificant’s state code of ethics.