Becoming an American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM) Diplomate will be more accessible and convenient for dentists, thanks to changes to the certification guidelines for 2016. The changes to the 2016 exam and case presentation—which include the addition of convenient testing locations, expanded timelines to complete case studies, and adjusted requirements for required data were implemented to create a better experience for dentists who want to achieve Diplomate status. Registration for the 2016 Certification Exam is open from Oct 1 to Nov 16, 2015.

“The significant changes for the 2016 exam and case presentation process create a path to certification that is more accessible and convenient for those interested in growing their dental sleep medicine practice,” says ABDSM President Nancy Addy, DDS, Diplomate, ABDSM, in a release. “It is my hope that with a more convenient process, more dentists will submit an application and embark on the road toward Diplomate status.”

Dental sleep medicine is a rapidly growing segment of dentistry that focuses on using oral appliance therapy to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. While any licensed dentist can practice dental sleep medicine, successful treatment relies on acquired skills and knowledge as well as strong physician partnerships. The ABDSM exam and case presentation certifies a thorough knowledge in dental sleep medicine and is nationally recognized not only by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), but also by the physicians of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

Added Locations

The most notable change to the ABDSM certification process is the way in which the exam will be administered. Starting in 2016, the ABDSM exam will be computer-based available at hundreds of testing centers across the United States and Canada. The 2016 exam window will be April 10 to 23, 2016, allowing dentists to select a convenient testing date and providing an affordable way to take the exam at the nearest location.

Extended Timeline

Candidates also have an extended period of 15 weeks after the application deadline to complete their continuing education credits. Furthermore, candidates have 18 months from the time their application is completed to submit the required case studies.

Simplified Data Requirements

Additional changes to the certification guidelines include adjusted requirements to allow more options in gathering data from physician partners and greater flexibility in selecting sleep centers to work with on case studies. In addition, the recommended reading list has been condensed to more recent and relevant articles.

“ABDSM Diplomate certification has the power to help build a firm foundation for the ongoing success of dental sleep medicine practices,” Addy says. “Even if a dentist is not sitting for the 2016 exam, they should be aware of what the guidelines require. By treating each patient as a potential ABDSM board case the dentist will acquire the necessary number of patients for their ABDSM case presentations.”