Author(s): Simmons MS, Pullinger A
Abstract Share this page
Abstract INTRODUCTION: Medical school surveys of pre-doctoral curriculum hours in the somnology, the study of sleep, and its application in sleep medicine/sleep disorders (SM) show slow progress. Limited information is available regarding dentist training. This study assessed current pre-doctoral dental education in the field of somnology with the hypothesis that increased curriculum hours are being devoted to SM but that competencies are still lacking. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The 58 US dental schools were surveyed for curriculum offered in SM in the 2008/2009 academic year using an eight-topic, 52-item questionnaire mailed to the deans. Two new dental schools with interim accreditation had not graduated a class and were not included. Responses were received from 49 of 56 (87.5\%) of the remaining schools. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Results showed 75.5\% of responding US dental schools reported some teaching time in SM in their pre-doctoral dental program with curriculum hours ranging from 0 to 15 h: 12 schools spent 0 h (24.5\%), 26 schools 1-3 h, 5 schools 4-6 h, 3 schools 7-10 h, and 3 schools >10 h. The average number of educational hours was 3.92 h for the schools with curriculum time in SM, (2.96 across all 49 responding schools). The most frequently covered topics included sleep-related breathing disorders (32 schools) and sleep bruxism (31 schools). Although 3.92 h is an improvement from the mean 2.5 h last reported, the absolute number of curriculum hours given the epidemic scope of sleep problems still appears insufficient in most schools to achieve any competency in screening for SRBD, or sufficient foundation for future involvement in treatment.
This article was published in Sleep Breath
and referenced in Journal of Sleep Disorders & Therapy