Dental sleep medicine is a branch of specialty dentistry which centers on the craniofacial and physiological link with sleep breathing disorders. Upper airway resistance syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, and bruxism is major concerns for dentists, who are balanced at chairside to recognize risk factors for these specific sleep disorders as fast as possible. Dentist together with physicians has worked for so many years to treat people suffering from sleep breathing disorders. The arrival of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is still recommended as gold standard for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Although, in recent studies, it shows that oral appliance therapy (OAT) have excellent compliance and effectiveness rates, which includes oral appliances, snoring mouthpieces, and the combination of both oral appliance therapy and continuous positive airway pressure. Technology has greatly improved the therapeutic options for patients as previously before the introduction of continuous positive airway pressure and oral devices, a patient only had one choice which was radical (tracheotomy). Though dental sleep medicine has been present for about three decades, people only recently considered working with a dentist to handle their sleep breathing problems.

Now a “Mastery program” will be launched in September this year by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM). It will be a well-rounded educational program makes sure that dentists have the needed training and skills to provide oral appliance therapy (OAT) to patients with sleep-related breathing disorders, including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea says according to the AADSM. With the increase in the number of Americans being diagnosed with sleep apnea, the need for dentists who are highly experienced in dental sleep medicine is growing says AADSM president Harold A Smith. The dentist will be ensured to have the needed training and education requirements as a standard education program will be created to prove that they are experts in this field and capable of providing best patient care.

The Mastery Program will have a total of 65 hours of learning divided into different sessions (Mastery I, Mastery II, and Mastery III). A session will have 2.5 days of in-person courses and will be provided with 20 ADA CERP (American Dental Association Continuing Education Recognition Program) hours. Five continuing additional hours will be offered in Mastery I, due to the academic requirement that attendees must complete ahead of time. Dentists will have to finish clinical work between courses in addition to the in-person courses. When the Mastery I is completed, the Qualified Dentist Designation will be earned by attendees. This Mastery Program also provides a new pathway for the dentist to attain the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM) Diplomate status. If all three mastery sessions are completed by a person, he or she will be eligible to sit for the ABDSM certification examination. The dentist can fulfill the needed requirements with the help of this new program to accomplish the Diplomate designation.

This course is to be taken only by licensed dentists. For Mastery course I, it is the first course of a three-part program created for dentists with enthusiasm in treating snoring and obstructive sleep apnea with the use of oral appliance therapy, whether they have minimal or no background. This initial course studies essential concepts and practical techniques needed to incorporate OAT into a general or specialty dental practice. AADSM practice protocol will be taught to the students, and clinical guidelines are necessary to carry out the proper patient screening, record acquisition, and examination to start with treatment with competence and certainty. Assessment of competence with a small exam will be done following the course. For Mastery course II, it is necessary to complete Mastery I. It builds on the knowledge and clinical competency attained in Mastery I with a continued focus on skill development. Oral appliance selection will be participated by the students and create a prescription for a laboratory to make an oral appliance. Lectures are made to develop a more in-depth understanding of natural sleep and the result of poor quality sleep, also together with phase delay circadian rhythms in adolescents.

Exploration of secondary treatments like surgery and continuous positive airway pressure will build a foundation for directing patient decision making and expecting combining therapies for best outcomes. Clinical proficiency and confidence together with delivery and titration will be spoken about with further development in Mastery III. As for Mastery course III, the dentist will need to have completed mastery I and Mastery II, this is the final informative step in the Mastery program, and Mastery III gives the participant the competence to manage a broad spectrum of cases and severities of obstructive sleep apnea. Titration goals will be concentrated on and also understand maximum medical improvement and how to manage side effects equip practitioner confidence and improve optimal patient care.

The AADSM belongs to ADA CERP recognized service provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to help dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. Approval or endorsement of individual courses or instructors is not done by ADA CERP, neither does it imply acceptance of credit hours by the boards of dentistry. The AADSM assigns the Mastery program for 65 continuing education credits. Registration of this program is quite limited. In other to get in please endeavor to register on time. Letters of confirmation will be sent to the applicant through email in one week of receipt of registration form and payment. On-site registration is not allowed, so attendees have to preregister. If a person buys an airline ticket before receiving confirmation of registration for a course, the AADSM will not be held responsible.

If registration is to be canceled, written notification must be submitted to the AADSM. If cancellation is made postmarked on or prior to the cancellation deadline, an administrative fee of one hundred and fifty dollars will be withheld. If a person fails to show up, refunds are not provided. If conditions warrant it, the AADSM has the right to cancel a course and give a full refund.

AADSM to Launch “Mastery Program” in Dental Sleep Medicine – Elly Mackay. (2018). Retrieved from
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