Board of Directors Approves Final Joint Policy Statement

American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
Monday, December 17, 2012

December 14, 2012

Dear AADSM Members:

In November the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) and American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) posted a “Joint Policy Statement on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea” on each organization’s website.  The statement was developed in response to inquiries that both organizations have received from members seeking clarification regarding the scope of practice of the physician and dentist in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with OSA.

The release of this statement generated numerous comments from AADSM members, which were discussed last week during a meeting of the AADSM Board of Directors.  We appreciate the feedback that we received from members, and we took this input into consideration as we reviewed and revised the original statement.

It is important for members to recognize that this statement represents a combination of legal and organizational positions.  Legally, any licensed dentist can provide oral appliance therapy for patients who were diagnosed with OSA and prescribed OAT by a licensed physician.  However, it is critical to the future of the dental sleep medicine field that we promote the highest standards of patient care as the number of dentists who provide OAT rapidly increases.

Therefore, it is the opinion of the AASM and AADSM that the evaluation and management of patients with OSA should be overseen by a qualified physician trained in sleep medicine, which is defined as being licensed by a state to practice medicine and maintaining certification from the American Board of Sleep Medicine or a sponsoring sleep medicine board of the American Board of Medical Specialties.  Similarly, oral appliance therapy should be provided by a qualified dentist who completes additional education in dental sleep medicine and pursues objective verification of competency in OAT.

Currently, the two primary avenues available for us to demonstrate our expertise in dental sleep medicine are to earn board certification from the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM) and facility accreditation from the AADSM.  The Board of Directors strongly encourages all members to seek these two forms of recognition.

The final version of the joint policy statement that was approved last week by the Board of Directors is now available for your reference below.  I encourage you to review this statement and share it with your colleagues.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank you for your commitment to excellence in dental sleep medicine.


B. Gail Demko, DMD

Download Joint Policy Statement on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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