Often times I am asked by dentists involved in dental sleep medicine if they should get their diplomate status with the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine or not. This is my opinion on the subject.
Diplomate status indicates that you have put in the time to learn the skills necessary in dental sleep medicine. It involves going further than just learning about the appliances. To be a diplomate you need to understand how sleep labs work, what sleep physicians do, and about all the alternative treatments for obstructive sleep apnea.
It is not easy to obtain dilomate status with the ABDSM. If it was easy then there would be little respect for it in the medical communities it would not be taken serious. There are other associations that make it easier, but they do not have the ties to the American Association of Sleep Medicine and the credibility that caries. Still it is worth perusing Diplomate status even with other groups because it does give you a credential to market.
The diplomate status is good to open doors within the medical community. Unlike general dentists medical doctors have a required residency. To them diplomate status means everything in their profession. When you have that status they see you as having completed a residency and they give you a slight bit more respect.
There are some people advocating to the medical insurance companies that a diplomate status is important in sleep, and thus want to see payments going only to those with the diplomate status. I do not see this going anywhere, but it is still being discussed.
I like to teach people that they should be working towards their diplomate status starting day one treating obstructive sleep apnea. The means making sure to have a good sleep study, prescription and photos prior to the appliance, and a follow-up study after the appliance. Treat each case like a board case. Go to http://www.abdsm.org to learn about the requirements for diplomate credentialing.