Scope of PracticeA 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-related breathing disorders, 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 skills and competency in clinical knowledge; patient care; learning and improvement; professionalism; and interpersonal and communication skills. Dentists are considered “qualified dentists” when they are an American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM) diplomate, AADSM qualified dentist, or an ABDSM international certificant. At a minimum, these designations require successful completion of either all or certain components of the AADSM Mastery Program. Qualified dentists have been trained to screen for OSA, snoring and sleep-related bruxism, complete a comprehensive dental sleep medicine examination, discuss various treatment options, educate patients, collaborate and communicate with other health care providers, initiate oral appliance therapy (including selection, fabrication and delivery of the device), manage treatment side effects, calibrate the device as needed, provide follow-up care and replace the device, as needed.
What is a scope of practice?
The term “scope of practice” generally describes the services a member of a health profession can provide. In the United States, state laws and regulations establish the legal scope of practice in the state and stipulate what services members of the profession can legally 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?
This professional scope of practice is a succinct description of the services qualified dentists are trained and competent to provide and can be used to inform referring physicians, patients and payers.