Traditional Track

Traditional Track

When evaluating your application, determine whether you meet all of the requirements. If you do not meet all of the prerequisite requirements, do not submit an application. Prerequisites will be reviewed by the ABDSM. The ABDSM will send notification of prerequisite approval by January 11, 2019. The prerequisites are to be submitted via an online application form that will be available October 1-31, 2018.

The application window for the 2019 exam is now closed.


Traditional Track Prerequisites

Important Deadlines
Dental license with expiration date
Business Associate Agreement
Continuing education
Documented time in a sleep center
Letters of recommendation
International Certificants and Canadian Applicants

Important Deadlines

Application submission window:                                                 October 1-31, 2018

Notification of application acceptance:                                         January 11, 2019

Deadline for withdrawal and partial refund ($395):                       January 25, 2019

Examination window:                                                                    May 5-19, 2019

Notification of examination results:                                                July 12, 2019
Deadline for submitting remaining CE documentation:                  April 5, 2019
Deadline to postmark cases for those who pass the exam:           April 30, 2020

Notification of acceptance for cases*:                                            August 31, 2020

*The ABDSM Board of Directors reviews cases as they are received and in the order in which they are received. Submitting cases in advance of the deadline is highly recommended to avoid any delays.

Dental License with Expiration Date

All applicants must provide a copy of their current dental license with expiration date. If the dental license expires before the examination date, a renewed copy of the dental license is required and must be submitted to the ABDSM before it expires. Applicants cannot sit for the exam without proof of a current valid dental license.

Business Associate Agreement

In compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), all Traditional Track applicants must sign and submit a copy of the Business Associate Agreement.  You can download a copy here:  Business Associate Agreement

Continuing Education

Applicants must submit documentation to verify that they have earned at least fifty continuing education (CE) credit hours within the 3 years prior to the application deadline. A maximum of fifteen credit hours may be earned between the application deadline and April 5, 2019.  Therefore, documentation to verify a minimum of thirty-five credit hours must be submitted with the application. Applicants who do not submit documentation of the full fifty credit hours along with their application will be required to submit CE verification upon completion of each additional course, but prior to April 5, 2019. Failure to verify the remaining balance of CE credit hours will result in the revocation of the approved application and the applicant will not be able to sit for the exam.
The ABDSM accepts only ADA CERP recognized or AGD PACE approved continuing education credits in dental sleep medicine or sleep medicine provided by a non-profit organization or accredited university. Up to 10 credits may be AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM in sleep medicine. Applicants must be the participant of all submitted courses and not the instructor. Though applicants are encouraged to participate in AADSM educational opportunities, including the AADSM Annual Meeting, this is not a requirement. To confirm that a particular CE provider is a not-for-profit organization, visit GuideStar's website at and search for their listing. All IRS-registered non-profit organizations will be listed on GuideStar. To view a list of providers and programs that meet the ABDSM CE requirement, visit the AADSM website at
To receive credit for CE, the following documentation must be submitted for each course:
1. CE verification letter or certificate issued by the course provider. CE transcripts of any kind are not acceptable for verifying continuing education credits.
2. Educational objectives or a detailed agenda that clearly show that the course was science-based education in dental sleep medicine or sleep medicine. If a course includes a mixture of applicable and non-applicable topics, circle those credit hours that do apply.

In order to demonstrate that applicants are furthering their clinical knowledge of dental sleep medicine, practice management and billing credit hours are not accepted. Temporomandibular disorder credit hours are accepted toward the ABDSM requirement only when the course objectives clearly document a prominent dental sleep medicine focus.
Self-instructional and electronically mediated learning activities in dental sleep medicine that are either ADA CERP recognized or AGD PACE approved and provided by a non-profit organization or accredited university may count towards this requirement. A maximum of 10 credits from self-instructional or electronically medicated activities are acceptable.

Documented Time in a Sleep Center

Each applicant must spend no less than ten (10) hours at a sleep center within three (3) years prior to the application deadline. This is to be documented utilizing the Observation Hours Template found at and signed by a board-certified sleep physician associated with that particular sleep center and with whom the applicant has worked with in their community. The intention of this requirement is to document that the applicant has experienced direct observation of the operations of a sleep medicine clinic or lab with sleep medicine medical staff. This time must include observation of at least three (3) of the following:
• Polysomnography (PSG) preparation/set-up with a patient
• Data acquisition of PSG
• Scoring and interpretation of PSG
• Clinical interaction of a physician or nurse practitioner with a patient
• Therapeutic intervention with CPAP
• Assessment of results of therapeutic intervention

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must provide letters of recommendation from two (2) board-certified sleep physicians (MD, DO or PhD) with whom the applicant has worked within their community. Sleep physicians must be certified in sleep medicine by the American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM) or American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Letters must be signed and dated within two (2) years of the application deadline. Letters must describe the nature of the relationship of the physician with the applicant and clearly recommend the applicant to sit for the ABDSM examination.

Prerequisites for International Certificant and Canadian Applicants

All of the prerequisites and application requirements for Clinical and Academic applicants applying via the Traditional track shall apply to International Certificant and Canadian applicants with the following exceptions:
  •  CE credits must meet all requirements except they need not be ADA CERP recognized or AGD PACE approved. 
  • The Observation Hours Template may be signed by a physician who is either experienced in sleep medicine or is board-certified in sleep medicine.
  • Letters of recommendation will be accepted from physicians who are either experienced in sleep medicine or are board certified in sleep medicine.
  • Sleep studies may be read and interpreted by a physician who is either experienced in sleep medicine or is board certified in sleep medicine.
  •  The credentials of each attending sleep physician must be documented.
Back to Top