Thursday, February 18, 2010

How Do I Know If My Dentist is Trained to Treat Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliance Therapy?

Many, but not all, dentists are trained in dental sleep medicine (DSM).

Members of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) can receive training in DSM year-round. There are more than 1,800 members worldwide. Find a full list of members here. You can search the list to find a dentist in your area.

The AADSM offers members post-graduate courses, study clubs, an annual meeting, and a peer-reviewed journal to keep them up-to-date on the latest research. The American Dental Association approves these educational opportunities for continuing education credits. The Academy of General Dentistry also approves them for Mastership/Fellowship Credit.

AADSM members have the option to sit for an exam that recognizes excellence in dental sleep medicine. An independent board of examiners called the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM) gives the exam. A full list of Diplomates is available here.

A dentist can be qualified in dental sleep medicine without being a Diplomate.

Oral appliance therapy is a relatively new area of dentistry. While oral appliance therapy has helped many sleep apnea patients, it is a good idea to make sure your dentist received training. Ask him or her if she is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.

Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition. It should be diagnosed at a sleep center. Oral appliance therapy is an alternative to CPAP, the standard treatment option.

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.