Qualified Dentist Designation

The Qualified Dentist designation is an entry-level distinction for dentists who are working toward earning certification in dental sleep medicine or becoming the dental director of an accredited facility. The criteria used to create the AADSM Qualified Dentist designation were pulled directly from the clinical practice guideline for oral appliance therapy, which was developed and published jointly by the AADSM and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). This free member benefit enables dentists to demonstrate their knowledge of dental sleep medicine to patients, referring physicians and payers.

The Qualified Dentist designation is a necessary first step that will position your practice for growth. The status will build credibility for the oral appliance therapy service that you offer in the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Plus, AADSM members who obtain the Qualified Dentist designation will receive additional recognition on the AADSM's Find-a-Dentist online directory.


Application Fee: FREE 
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Application Fee: $300 

AADSM members can apply for the designation for FREE. Not yet an AADSM member? You can apply now to join the AADSM and enjoy all the benefits of membership, including your free Qualified Dentist application. If you prefer to apply for the Qualified Dentist designation as a non-member, then simply complete and return the Non-member Qualified Dentist Designation Application along with your application fee. 

CE Providers

Application Fee: FREE 

Non-profit organizations and universities may apply to the AADSM for recognition that their organization and its courses meet the Qualified Dentist CE criteria. Download the Continuing Education Provider Application.

Who should apply?

The AADSM Qualified Dentist designation is for any dentist in need of a starting point designation to show basic competency to patients, sleep physicians and payers. It is meant to be a stepping stone that provides interim recognition for those in the process of accumulating the experience, education and case studies needed to earn board certification in dental sleep medicine.

Dentists who are currently certified in dental sleep medicine or the dental director of an accredited facility already meet the definition of a qualified dentist outlined in the Clinical Guideline and do not need this designation to substantiate their knowledge of oral appliance therapy.

What do I need to submit?

In order to submit an application, you will need to provide the following:

  1. A valid state dental license; 
  2. Proof of liability coverage; and 
  3. At least 25 hours of recognized continuing education in dental sleep medicine (e.g., American Dental Association Continuing Education Recognition Program [ADA CERP] or Academy of General Dentistry Program Approval for Continuing Education [AGD PACE]) provided by a dental sleep medicine focused non-profit organization or accredited dental school in the last two years.

CE verification letters or certificates from the course provider are required for each course, and they must clearly show that they are either a non-profit organization or accredited dental school that is also an ADA CERP or AGD PACE continuing education provider.

CE transcripts are not acceptable for verifying continuing education credits. The documentation must also clearly show that the courses were science-based education in dental sleep medicine or sleep medicine and must include objectives or a detailed agenda for each course that clearly demonstrate that applicants are furthering their clinical knowledge of dental sleep medicine. Courses that are predominantly practice management or billing based will not be acceptable.

Of the 25 required CE credits, up to 10 credits may be AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM in sleep medicine. The AADSM will also accept an unlimited number of self-instructional and electronically mediated learning activities from acceptable educational providers.

Applicants must be the participant in any submitted course and not the instructor.

How do I know if a course meets the requirements?

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is also an ADA CERP recognized provider for continuing dental education, the AADSM offers a variety of science-based educational opportunities that count toward the Qualified Dentist designation CE requirement. These include:

  • Annual Meeting
  • Courses
  • Learning Modules
  • Study Club
  • Journal of Dental Sleep Medicine

The AADSM recognizes that there are many other organizations that also meet the criteria to be a recognized CE provider. To confirm that a particular CE provider is a not-for-profit organization, visit GuideStar's website at www.guidestar.org and search for their listing. All IRS-registered non-profit organizations will be listed on GuideStar.

To help members identify recognized providers, the AADSM has developed a free application process by which other non-profit organizations and universities can apply for verification that a particular educational offering meets the Qualified Dentist CE requirement. The AADSM has verified that the following educational programs meet the CE criteria for the AADSM’s Qualified Dentist designation. Completion of any of these programs counts toward the fulfillment of the continuing education requirements for the designation:

     CE Provider: American Academy of Craniofacial Pain
     Event Title: Dental Sleep Medicine Mini Residency

     CE Provider: American Academy of Sleep Medicine
     Event Title: Sleep Medicine Trends 2018

     CE Provider: Dr. Dental, IADMD Foundation, Inc.
     Event Title: Dental Sleep Medicine Mini Residency and Pain Management

     CE Provider: Queens County Dental Society
     Event Title: Costa Rican Sleep Symposium

     CE Provider: The Pankey Institute
     Event Title: Dental Sleep Medicine

     CE Provider: Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
     Event Title: Dental Sleep Medicine: A Comprehensive Introduction
     Event Title: Dental Sleep Medicine Mini-Residency

     CE Provider: University of North Carolina School of Dentistry
     Event Title: Dental Sleep Medicine Mini-Residency

     CE Provider: University of Tennessee Health Science Center - College of Dentistry
     Event Title: University of Tennessee Dental Sleep Medicine Mini-Residency

     CE Provider: UCSF School of Dentistry
     Event Title: Dental Sleep Medicine Mini Residency

     CE Provider: University of the Pacific, Dugoni School of Dentistry
     Event Title: Dental Sleep Medicine Mini-Residency

How long can I hold the Qualified Dentist designation?

Because the Qualified Dentist designation is meant to be a stepping stone towards board certification and/or facility accreditation, the designation can be held for two years from the date the application is approved by the AADSM, without the option to reapply. If, however, a dentist submits an application to either sit for the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM) certification exam or accredit their dental sleep medicine facility through the AADSM, they will be given an opportunity to reapply for the Qualified Dentist designation for an additional two-year period.

January 2018: The “Find a Dentist” directory on the AADSM website transitioned to display contact information only for those members who have the AADSM Qualified Dentist designation, the ABDSM Diplomate Certification or are the director of an AADSM-accredited Facility.

Note: AADSM members who maintain active status as a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM) and/or director of an AADSM-accredited Facility do not need to take any additional action in order to maintain their recognition on the AADSM website.

If you have questions about the Qualified Dentist designation requirements, timeline or application process, contact the AADSM at cvick@aadsm.org.
WATCH:  The video recording of the Introduction to the Qualified Dentist Designation Webinar will introduce you to the rationale and research behind the new designation, explain which members are best suited for it, and describe how to prepare for the designation.

Qualified-Dentist-Intro Video