In order to build a maintain a solid dental sleep medicine practice, many of our most successful dental sleep partners receive ongoing dental sleep medicine training in the field via our continuing education opportunities.
Just getting started or a seasoned pro in dental sleep medicine?
One of the top trending areas in dentistry today is Dental Sleep Medicine. The first step in starting or growing your dental sleep practice would be to receive education and training in the practice of dental medicine today. By doing so, dental sleep professionals not only understand the processes to screening patients but also what kind of follow up and/or therapy is necessary for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and sleep-disordered breathing.
The clinical aspect of treating sleep-disordered breathing, be it snoring or sleep apnea, requires basic skills that have been taught to dentists in their restorative dental training. The most important aspect is the academic knowledge required to become part of a team that is treating a medical disease. This involves significant education, training, and a good basic understanding of industry-based literature available via SomnoMed (view here) or the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM – view here).
A robust introduction to the field of dental sleep medicine
The first thing most interested dentist do is educate themselves via SomnoMed’s Level 1 Dental SLEEP Program. This web-based program can be accessed here and offers six sessions covering the principles of dental sleep medicine, patient examination, screening options, as well as how to begin treating OSA patients in your practice. As part of this course, dentists will also receive 6 CE’s which may be applied toward state educational requirements.
The next level in dental sleep medicine continuing education
For already established or recent graduates of our Level 1 course, we offer an event-based Level 2 Dental SLEEP program and seminar. Each event is a Friday – Saturday course taught by dentists actively involved in dental sleep medicine and board certified sleep physicians. The Level 2 program takes a strong focus on the clinical side of treating patients.
Because obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a medical disease, all diagnoses must legally be done by a physician. As a dentist, screening patients with questionnaires and physical examination — designed to identify key physical attributes that correlate with sleep-disordered breathing and/or OSA, including a large tongue or long soft palate — helps dental sleep professionals set their patients on the path of proper treatment.
For more information and upcoming dates for our Level 2 program, visit somnomed.com/level2.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to specialize in dental sleep medicine
Today, there is a huge opportunity for more dentists to specialize in dental sleep medicine. There are more than 100,000 general dentists in the United States, and every day dental professionals examine the oral structures of multiple patients. Dentists can and should be the front-line screeners for patients with untreated OSA and/or non-compliance to CPAP – and the first step is with dental sleep medicine continuing education and training.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has severe consequences not just on a person’s health, but time lost from work, industrial accidents, and automobile accidents caused by drowsy drivers. The complaint we hear most often from the sleep physicians is that they cannot find a local dentist who is well versed in the overall treatment of patients with OSA. Together we can change that, but it requires a commitment to further study in the fast-growing field of dental sleep medicine.