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In today’s podcast, Amber Darst, Solutions Manager, Managed Outsource Solutions, discusses the CDT codes to report dental restoration procedures.

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Hey, this is Amber Darst, Solutions Manager from Managed Outsource Solutions. I’m here to discuss the CDT codes that are most often used to report dental restoration procedures.

0:14 Types of dental restorations

Dental restoration refers to a dental procedure that repairs or replaces a tooth. The tooth structure can become compromised due to decay or a fracture. Dental restorations can fix these problems. Restorative procedures may include fillings, crowns, implants, bridges, dentures, and root canals. These procedures may be done for several different reasons such as – to restore the function of the teeth, improve the appearance of the teeth, prevent further dental issues, eliminate the pain caused by infection, or to preserve the bone density.

So, let us take a deeper look at a view of the different types of dental restorations.

1:03 Crowns and bridges

First, we’re going to talk about crowns and bridges.

A crown is an indirect tooth restoration method, where a tooth-shaped “cap” is placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size, strength and appearance. A crown is typically used to cover a root canal treated tooth or to support a tooth that has a large restoration which has compromised the strength and structure of the tooth. Crowns are also used to hold a bridge or to cover a dental implant. It makes the tooth stronger and it enhances the way it looks as well as its function to the tooth. Crowns are made from different materials - metal alloys, ceramic, porcelain, porcelain fused to metal or a composite resin. During a crown placement procedure, the top part of the tooth is shaved down and the crown is placed over top. A bridge is an artificial tooth suspended between two crowns or one or more crowns splinted together to cover multiple damaged teeth. Bridges can be secured on both sides by crowns and cement it permanently into place and are made of porcelain, gold or alloy.

2:15 Fillings 

Next is fillings. Fillings are common dental restoration method where dental cavities are typically filled using an amalgam or a resin-based material. Tooth decay or dental cavities are caused by bacteria or poor oral hygiene. Left untreated, bacterial infection could spread and cause structural problems that require more complex procedures. During the procedure, the dentist will remove the decayed part of the tooth and then fill the hole with composite materials to prevent the bacteria from continuing to impact the tooth. These fillings are made of gold, silver amalgam or tooth-colored plastic and glass materials called composite resin fillings.

3:02 Implants

Next is implants. Teeth with severe decay or damaged or missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants. Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. To benefit from this procedure, the patient should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. Two methods for implant restoration are screw and retained or cemented. Screw and retain restoration has more advantages as it can be more easily repaired in the case of a problem with the crown being fractured. These implants also function as anchors for bridges and dentures.

3:42 Dentures

And then last, we have dentures. Dentures are the best replacement option if there are not enough healthy teeth in the mouth that function properly. Dentures are made of acrylic resin or can be combined with metal attachments. Three types of dentures are - conventional, immediate or over denture. While complete dentures replace all of the teeth, a partial denture is considered when some of the healthy natural teeth still remain. Removable dentures are attached to the gums via suction and implant-supported dentures are supported by dental implants.

There are several different CDT codes associated with the restorations we've discussed today. To ensure that the CDT codes are assigned correctly, it is important for the practice's billing and coding team to be up to date with the coding changes and guidelines. It's ideal to partner with an experienced dental billing company to ensure error free claims submission. For a full list of codes associated with this podcast, please refer to the attached article.

And that's all for now. Thanks for listening in!