What is a Diplomate?

Earning "Diplomate" status in the American Board of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine (ABCDSM) is an important professional achievement that signifies to patients plus dental, medical and other healthcare professionals that the dentist has met the highest standards of care as set forth by the ABCDSM. In addition, dentists who are ABCDSM board-certified abide by the ABCDSM Code of Ethics and continuously refresh their knowledge and skills by participating in the ABCP Maintenance of Certification program.

ABCDSM certification does not denote specialty status nor does it confer or imply any legal qualification, licensure or privilege in professional activities. The ABCDSM adheres to the American Dental Association Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional conduct and advises all ABCDSM-credentialing dentists to follow the code when advertising their status. It is also recommended that individual dentists consult their state or local regulatory agency and adhere to their requirements.

Diplomate, American Board of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine (ABCDSM): "Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine" is the area of dentistry that focuses on the management of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), including but not limited to snoring, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). SDB can be isolated or it can coexist with other respiratory, nervous, cardiovascular and endocrine issues. A multifactorial understanding of the nature of sleep is, therefore, essential to achieving optimal outcomes from dental management protocols that may range from extremely conservative measures of weight loss and sleep position change to variations of oral appliance therapy (OAT) or combination therapy [i.e., blending OAT with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) or blending OAT with surgery]. SDB diagnosis must be determined by a sleep physician. Management of SDB patients who are candidates for dental management with OAT (and its variations), which involves the selection, fabrication, fitting, and calibration of devices worn during sleep that reposition the mandible and/or tongue to maintain airway patency, should be performed by qualified dentists who have knowledge and experience in overall oral health care, the temporomandibular joint, plus dental occlusion and associated oral structures.

Dentists who have earned the right to use the designation "Diplomate, American Board of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine" in accordance with the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct, and their state or local regulatory agency requirements:

  • Have successfully completed the ABCDSM Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine written examination.
  • Earned at least 50 hours of dental sleep medicine related continuing education credits.
  • Completed at least 10 hours of on-site sleep medicine observation, including at least 5 hours on-site at an accredited sleep laboratory.
  • Served as the primary care provider for at least 10 sleep-disordered breathing patients, and provided documentation of treatment and case disposition that meets the requirements specified by the ABCDSM.
  • Have obtained two letters of recommendation/sponsorship from board-certified sleep physicians (i.e., MD, DO or PhD) and/or a Diplomates of the American Board of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine, Diplomates of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine or Diplomates of the American Board of Craniofacial Pain in good standing.
  • Have agreed to abide by the ABCDSM Code of Ethics.