I. Clinical and Academic Applicants

When evaluating your prerequisites, determine whether you meet all of the requirements. If you do not meet all of the prerequisite requirements, do not submit an application. Prerequisites will be reviewed by the ABDSM. The ABDSM will send notification of prerequisite approval to applicants by January 13, 2017. The prerequisites and two-page application for the 2017 exam must have been postmarked by November 14, 2016.

Dental License with Expiration Date

Each applicant must provide a copy of their current dental license with expiration date. If the dental license expires before the examination date, a renewed copy of the dental license is required and must be submitted to ABDSM before it expires. Applicants cannot sit for the exam without proof of a current valid dental license.

Continuing Education

Applicants must submit documentation to verify that they have earned at least fifty (50) ADA CERP recognized or AGD PACE approved continuing education (CE) credits in dental sleep medicine or sleep medicine provided by a dental sleep medicine focused non-profit organization or accredited dental school in the three (3) years prior to the application deadline.**

(**The previously released certification guidelines contained new language stating that applicants must have earned the required CE hours from "a dental sleep medicine focused non-profit organization or accredited dental school." In order to provide applicants with sufficient time to prepare for this change, the ABDSM board of directors has decided to amend this requirement for 2017. Therefore, applicants for the 2017 exam may submit CE credits provided by a for-profit company, non-profit organization, or accredited dental school. Please note: CE credits provided by for-profit companies will not be accepted for the 2018 exam.)

Although applicants are encouraged to meet this requirement by attending the AADSM Annual Meeting, they may choose to earn their credits from other educational providers. A maximum of 15 CE hours may be earned between the application deadline and March 1, 2017. Therefore, documentation to verify a minimum of thirty-five (35) CE hours must be submitted with the application. Applicants who do not submit documentation of the full fifty (50) CE hours along with their application will be required to submit CE verification upon completion of each additional course, but prior to March 1, 2017. Failure to verify the remaining balance of CE hours will result in the revocation of the approved application and the applicant will not be able to sit for the exam.

Of the fifty (50) required CE credits, up to ten (10) credits may be AMA PRA Category 1 Credits in sleep medicine. All educational courses must provide objectives or a detailed agenda that clearly demonstrate that applicants are furthering their clinical knowledge of dental sleep medicine. CE credits from practice management or billing courses, regardless if they are ADA CERP recognized or AGD PACE approved, will not be acceptable credits toward the ABDSM requirement. However, if select sessions within these practice management or billing courses cover clinical aspects of dental sleep medicine or sleep medicine, applicants may provide course objectives or a detailed agenda, with these particular sessions circled, and these clinically relevant hours will be accepted.

Self-instructional and electronically mediated learning activities in dental sleep medicine that are either ADA CERP recognized or AGD PACE approved and provided by a dental sleep medicine focused non-profit organization or accredited dental school may count towards this requirement. (**See note above.)

CE verification letters or certificates from the course provider are required for each course and they must clearly show that they are either a dental sleep medicine focused non-profit organization or accredited dental school that is also an ADA CERP or AGD PACE continuing education provider. (**See note above.) Therefore, CE transcripts of any kind are not acceptable for verifying continuing education credits. The documentation must also clearly show that the courses were science-based education in dental sleep medicine or sleep medicine. Applicants must be the participant in these courses and not the instructor.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide the appropriate documentation supporting the necessary CE. ABDSM will not contact the various providers of the CE for verification on the applicant’s behalf.

Documented Time in a Sleep Center

Each applicant must spend no less than ten (10) hours at a sleep center. This is to be documented utilizing the Observation Hours Template and signed by a board-certified sleep physician associated with that particular sleep center and with whom the applicant has worked with in their community. The intention of this requirement is to document that the applicant has experienced direct observation of the operations of a sleep medicine clinic with sleep medicine physicians and medical staff. This time must include observation of at least three (3) of the following:

  • Polysomnography (PSG) preparation/set-up with a patient
  • Data acquisition of PSG
  • Scoring and interpretation of a PSG 
  • Clinical interaction of a physician or nurse practitioner with a patient 
  • Therapeutic intervention with CPAP
  • Assessment of results of therapeutic intervention. 

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must provide letters of recommendation from two (2) board-certified sleep physicians with whom the applicant has worked with in their community. Physicians must be certified in sleep medicine by the American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM) or American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Canadian applicants may submit letters of recommendation from physicians who are not board certified in sleep medicine. Letters must be signed and dated. While there is no length requirement, letters must clearly recommend the applicant to sit for the ABDSM examination.

II. International Certificant Applicants

The International Certificant status has been created to allow applicants who are not permanent residents of the United States (including territories) and Canada an opportunity to demonstrate competence in dental sleep medicine.

All of the prerequisites and application requirements for Clinical and Academic applicants shall apply to International Certificant applicants with the following exceptions:
  • Fifty (50) continuing education credits need not be ADA CERP recognized or AGD PACE approved, however they must be in dental sleep medicine education.
  • Letters of recommendation will be accepted from physicians who are not board-certified by the ABSM or ABMS.
  • Sleep studies that are read and interpreted by a designated sleep physician who may or may not be board-certified by the ABSM or ABMS will be accepted.
  • The credentials of each attending sleep physician must be documented.
Updated Nov. 16, 2016