Learning outcomes

Key topics and learning outcomes that will be assessed during the program are:

  • Understanding normal sleep physiology and the pathophysiology of various sleep disorders with emphasis on sleep-disordered breathing
  • Understanding diagnostic sleep testing for sleep disordered breathing
  • Demonstrated knowledge of oral appliance therapy for sleep disordered breathing, including other evidence-based treatments 
  • Dental sleep medicine history recording, examination and imaging for patient selection and treatment planning 
  • Oral appliance selection based on history and dental examination
  • Approaches to assess treatment effectiveness and titration of oral appliances 
  • Appropriate long-term follow-up processes for patients on oral appliance therapy 
  • Understanding diagnosis and management of paediatric sleep disordered breathing 
  • Understanding best practice principles in dental sleep medicine 
  • How to obtain informed consent and manage side effects of oral appliance therapy. 

Professional outcomes

The Fellow of Dental Sleep Medicine (FDSM) certification provides a number of professional advantages. Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a common and highly prevalent sleep-related breathing disorder. It is estimated to affect 30% of adults and is more common in men than women. If left untreated, OSA can have deleterious health consequences such as increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, declining neurocognitive health, increased risk of occupational and motor vehicular accidents and drastically decreased overall quality of life. Dental sleep medicine is a growing field of practice that is an essential component of the treatment of this prevalent and serious disorder. 

Experienced and certified dentists are needed to meet the growing demand for OSA treatment options. Through the Fellow of Dental Sleep Medicine program, patients and referring clinicians can clearly identify dentists who have a minimum standard of knowledge of dental sleep medicine and who maintain these credentials through ongoing professional development. Certification may result in increased exposure to sleep physicians and laboratories which could be advantageous for collaborations and patient referrals.

Current membership of the Australasian Sleep Association (ASA) is a requirement for ongoing certification. Fellows have access to the extensive education, training, and professional development programs of the ASA, as well as networking opportunities with other professionals working in the area. An FDSM certification demonstrates a serious commitment to excellence in sleep medicine to both patients and referring sleep physicians.

ASA is keen to understand the benefits of the FDSM for Fellows who work in public and private practice and will keep in touch with our Fellows post-certification to assess the impact of the certification on professional practice and business. 

Go to the next handbook section: Certification requirements

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