Why Is It Important to Have a Dentist That Is Board-Certified in Dental Sleep Medicine?

dental sleep medicine

Why Is It Important to Have a Dentist That Is Board-Certified in Dental Sleep Medicine?

In the same way that you want your cardiologist to be board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, you should only be treated for sleep apnea, snoring, and breathing problems by a dentist board-certified in sleep medicine by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine or the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. Keep reading to find out why.

What It Means to Be Board-Certified in Dental Sleep Medicine

There is a significant difference in going to a general dentist to treat your sleep apnea versus a dentist that is board certified in dental sleep medicine. If your doctor or sleep specialist advised you to consult a  dentist about your snoring, sleep apnea, or sleep-disordered breathing, you will want to find a dentist  that specializes in dental sleep medicine. General dentists don’t go through the same rigorous training that an AADSM/ABDSM credentialed dentist does.

AADSM/ABDSM-certified dentists must complete a demanding set of requirements, spend many lab hours in a sleep clinic, pass an exhaustive exam, and submit detailed case studies to demonstrate their proficiency, knowledge, and understanding of sleep medicine and dental therapies. And if they want to become an ABDSM Diplomate, the highest credential a dentist can earn in dental sleep medicine, they must pass a written exam as well. 

The Significance of Being AADSM-Credentialed

Being credentialed signifies several things for a Qualified Dentist (those who have AADSM/ABDSM credentials) or Diplomate.

  • Patients and other doctors and dentists can trust them and their practice to perform oral appliance therapy that is safe and FDA-approved.
  • They’re continuing their education to stay up to date on the latest developments in the field of dental sleep medicine.
  • They have experience working with board-certified sleep specialists and are aware of the danger that untreated sleep-related disorders pose to patients. And they understand the language of sleep medicine and can work with your sleep specialist to determine the right treatment for you.
  • The level of dedication it takes to receive this certification signifies their commitment and desire to help improve the quality of sleep, and thereby overall health, of their patients.

Dr. Amy Hartsfield, American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine Diplomate, American Board of Orofacial Pain

Dr. Amy Hartsfield is one of the only doctors in Alabama who has completed over 450 hours of Orofacial Pain and Dental Sleep Medicine and was one of seven dentists in the United States appointed to serve on the board of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine from 2020–2022.

After years of suffering from migraines, TMJ disorder, and a sleep-breathing disorder, she left general dentistry after 14 years to become a specialist in Orofacial Pain and Dental Sleep Medicine to find the answers and proper treatment she needed and help others like her.

If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, snoring, or other sleep-related disorders, contact us. We want to help you get back to a good night’s rest and finally wake up feeling refreshed and energized! Schedule your appointment by phone or online.