Scope of Practice

A dentist, as defined by the American Dental Association (ADA), evaluates, diagnoses and treats diseases, disorders or conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and the adjacent or associated structures and their impact on the human body, within the scope of his/her education, training, and experience, in accordance with the ethics of the profession and applicable law.

Dental sleep medicine is an extension of general dentistry with a specific concentration on providing treatment for adult patients who have been diagnosed with sleep-disordered breathing, including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), snoring and sleep-related bruxism. Dentists who wish to extend their practice to include dental sleep medicine must be committed to advancing their knowledge, technical expertise, and clinical skills in the specific areas of OSA, snoring and sleep-related bruxism.  Dentists who hold the designation of “Qualified Dentist” or “Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine” are deemed qualified to screen for OSA, snoring and sleep-related bruxism; obtain a detailed medical history; conduct a physical examination; and treat, educate, and provide long-term management of patients who are diagnosed by a physician with either OSA, snoring or sleep-related bruxism.  

Approved by AADSM Board of Directors on November 29, 2018
What is a scope of practice?
The term “scope of practice” generally describes what type of services a member of a health profession can provide. In the United States, a legal scope of practice is determined by each state, using state practice acts, to establish laws and regulations that stipulate what services members of the profession can legally provide as well as those they cannot provide. 
A professional scope of practice, such as this one, is developed by the profession and is a description of the services its members are trained and competent to perform.  Professional competence changes over time as the profession integrates new information and technologies into clinical practice, thus, expanding the body of knowledge and skills for the profession.
How do I use a professional scope of practice?
You should provide this scope of practice to referring physicians, patients and payers. It is a succinct description of what services you are trained in and competent to provide.
Why did the AADSM develop a scope of practice?
A professional scope of practice provides a foundation, allowing us to add new services based on the evolution of our knowledge base and the introduction of new technologies. If we look to the future, the likelihood of expanding our scope of practice is real. The key is to be sure we have the necessary education and clinical competence to expand our role. This scope of practice helps the AADSM to identify areas for future educational growth and opportunity for dentists practicing dental sleep medicine.