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- Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, Speaker, Author. Dental Hygiene Coach & Consultant

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Gingivitis Code 2017

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

November 28, 2016

64009034 – dental insurance form dentist concept

This month I have written a series about the New Gingivitis Code 2017.

This is music to the dental professional’s ears because daily we see patients who need more than just a prophylaxis.

Many dental hygienists heard grief from patients who needed to return for a second prophy before their normal six-month routine hygiene appointment. These patients were possibly concerned because their insurance would not pay for a second prophy prior to six-months. There are many hygienists who admit to just scheduling their overdue “Gingivitis” patient for a six-month appointment rather than concern patients with an additional payment and one that “God forbid,” their insurance would not pay for!

Now we have a new CDT Code that we can use to bill and hopefully, receive reimbursement for this procedure.

This code is very important for hygienists to understand.

What Hygienists Need to Understand About the New Gingivitis Code 2017:

This code is dependent upon 2 factors:

  1. Diagnosis

This means that the patient has a diagnosis that is “gingivitis” and not periodontitis.

This code is based on bone height or loss of: Gingivitis or Periodontitis.

Hygienists must measure the bone height. If your patient is healthy you will measure approximately 1.5-2mms when you measure from the alveolar crest to the CEJ.

You cannot render treatment unless you have a diagnosis.

  1. Documentation

It is imperative that you document all of your findings (include your diagnosis) and this needs to be completed while your patient is in your office; not after they leave; later that day or later that week (Sorry! I see this happening too often when I am in dental offices).

This code is CDT Code D4346 and you can begin using this for the indications listed above.

I believe this will breathe fresh air into the treatment rooms of dental hygienists!

What Will Hygienists Do Differently?

First of all, for clinicians who have been concerned about payment for their patients and for those clinicians who are worn out from patients complaining “But My Insurance Won’t Pay For That!!” you have a great answer.

First of all, I hope that before any clinician picks up a curet they pick up a probe to discover what the patients’ oral condition is.

  • Does your patient have BOP?
  • Does your patient have an excessive amount of calculus (Sub and supra)?
  • Does your patient use tobacco and require more than just a routine prophylaxis?
  • Does your patient have systemic conditions that require more than a prophylaxis?

Next is to communicate with your patient: knee-to-knee and eye-to-eye before you pick up your curet to let them know what you “see” in their mouth:

  • Does everything look healthy? Can you congratulate your patient on their great homecare?
  • Is there active disease? And if there is active disease how can you show your patient what is going on in their mouth? (i.e. radiographs, pictures, intraoral photos, even a mirror, etc.)

Key here is to show your patient and talk about what is going on in their mouth before you begin your treatment- your hygiene service.

Now, you can share that you have a new insurance code and your office will bill for this service. Your office will do their very best to get reimbursement for the patients service today.

Let your patients know that insurance is a benefit, just like their vacation pay and 401k are benefits however, these benefits don’t cover 100% of the vacation or pay for their retirement when they do draw from their 401k one day in the future. No, dental insurance is another benefit and will pay only a certain amount. Tell your patients that you are doing your very best to take pictures and write copious notes to share with their insurance company so they will receive as much reimbursement as possible.

AND…. This appointment to treat the gingivitis is a great opportunity to show your patient how much you care because as dental professionals we are in the business of helping our patients live a healthier and longer life.

At today’s appointment to treat that gingivitis, you can now take extra time to share the good  news that with routine hygiene appointments and by returning in the next 1-4 weeks for a routine prophylaxis appointment, they have a much better chance to live a longer and healthier life.

Patients have no idea how good a clinician you are but they do know how you made them feel!

When you take the time to make your patients feel like they are very important and that you want to help them look and feel better, these patients will be your raving fans. These are the patients who continue returning to your office indefinitely. These are your patients who tell all their friends and family members how great you are!

Are you as excited about the new CDT Code as I am?

Please comment below and also be sure to subscribe to our YOUTUBE Channel when you watch the video message about the new CDT Code:

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE CDT CODE VIDEO MESSAGE

Gingivitis Code 2017

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

 

The New Gingivitis Code 2017

The New Gingivitis Code 2017

This month I have written a series about the New Gingivitis Code 2017.

This is music to the dental professional’s ears because daily we see patients who need more than just a prophylaxis.

Many dental hygienists heard grief from patients who needed to return for a second prophy before their normal six-month routine hygiene appointment. These patients were possibly concerned because their insurance would not pay for a second prophy prior to six-months. There are many hygienists who admit to just scheduling their overdue “Gingivitis” patient for a six-month appointment rather than concern patients with an additional payment and one that “God forbid,” their insurance would not pay for!

Now we have a new CDT Code that we can use to bill and hopefully, receive reimbursement for this procedure.

This code is very important for hygienists to understand.

What Hygienists Need to Understand About the New Gingivitis Code 2017:

This code is dependent upon 2 factors:

  1. Diagnosis

This means that the patient has a diagnosis that is “gingivitis” and not periodontitis.

This code is based on bone height or loss of: Gingivitis or Periodontitis.

Hygienists must measure the bone height. If your patient is healthy you will measure approximately 1.5-2mms when you measure from the alveolar crest to the CEJ.

You cannot render treatment unless you have a diagnosis.

  1. Documentation

It is imperative that you document all of your findings (include your diagnosis) and this needs to be completed while your patient is in your office; not after they leave; later that day or later that week (Sorry! I see this happening too often when I am in dental offices).

This code is CDT Code D4346 and you can begin using this for the indications listed above.

I believe this will breathe fresh air into the treatment rooms of dental hygienists!

What Will Hygienists Do Differently?

First of all, for clinicians who have been concerned about payment for their patients and for those clinicians who are worn out from patients complaining “But My Insurance Won’t Pay For That!!” you have a great answer.

First of all, I hope that before any clinician picks up a curet they pick up a probe to discover what the patients’ oral condition is.

  • Does your patient have BOP?
  • Does your patient have an excessive amount of calculus (Sub and supra)?
  • Does your patient use tobacco and require more than just a routine prophylaxis?
  • Does your patient have systemic conditions that require more than a prophylaxis?

Next is to communicate with your patient: knee-to-knee and eye-to-eye before you pick up your curet to let them know what you “see” in their mouth:

  • Does everything look healthy? Can you congratulate your patient on their great homecare?
  • Is there active disease? And if there is active disease how can you show your patient what is going on in their mouth? (i.e. radiographs, pictures, intraoral photos, even a mirror, etc.)

Key here is to show your patient and talk about what is going on in their mouth before you begin your treatment- your hygiene service.

Now, you can share that you have a new insurance code and your office will bill for this service. Your office will do their very best to get reimbursement for the patients service today.

Let your patients know that insurance is a benefit, just like their vacation pay and 401k are benefits however, these benefits don’t cover 100% of the vacation or pay for their retirement when they do draw from their 401k one day in the future. No, dental insurance is another benefit and will pay only a certain amount. Tell your patients that you are doing your very best to take pictures and write copious notes to share with their insurance company so they will receive as much reimbursement as possible.

AND…. This appointment to treat the gingivitis is a great opportunity to show your patient how much you care because as dental professionals we are in the business of helping our patients live a healthier and longer life.

At today’s appointment to treat that gingivitis, you can now take extra time to share the good  news that with routine hygiene appointments and by returning in the next 1-4 weeks for a routine prophylaxis appointment, they have a much better chance to live a longer and healthier life.

Patients have no idea how good a clinician you are but they do know how you made them feel!

When you take the time to make your patients feel like they are very important and that you want to help them look and feel better, these patients will be your raving fans. These are the patients who continue returning to your office indefinitely. These are your patients who tell all their friends and family members how great you are!

Are you as excited about the new CDT Code as I am?

Please comment below and also be sure to subscribe to our YOUTUBE Channel when you watch the video message about the new CDT Code:

New CDT Code 2017:  Gingivitis Code

New CDT Code 2017:
Gingivitis Code

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE CDT CODE VIDEO MESSAGE

What is Your PLAN FOR SUCCESS IN 2017? Be sure to Join us and Your Colleagues for an All-Day Live Event January 6 or 13, 2017:

6 CE CREDITS, FOOD, PRIZES $50 and MORE Plus RECEPTION END OF DAY.

Dental Continuing Education

Dental Conference: January 2017, 6 CEU’s + More.

REGISTER HERE Early Bird Pricing Expires December 5, 2016 and Group of 6 or more save even more!

When you attend:

We are going to sit down together and create your success blueprint and then your roadmap so that you are prepared to take any loop de loops and pin curves in stride. There is an unknown economy and I will be sharing ways to grow your nP #

How to get more patients to accept your care

How to get patients back on your schedule and then the 2 important things you can do to keep them returning to your office. There is so much more to tell you so head over to our event page:

One of Dentistry Today's top dental consultants

Debbie Seidel- Bittke, RDH, BS Dental Hygiene Consultant

ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is a dental consultant, coach, speaker and author. She is also CEO of Dental Hygiene Solutions, powered by Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is a world-class leader in creating profitable hygiene departments. She is a well-known as a former clinical assistant professor at USC in Los Angeles and a former hygiene department program director. Dentistry Today recognizes Debbie as a Leader in Dental Consulting. She can be reached at (888) 816-1511. Send an e-mail to info@dentalpracticesolutions.com or go to her website: http://www.dentalpracticesolutions.com

The New Gingivitis Code

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

November 21, 2016

You probably have heard the news!

There is a new gingivitis code in 2017.

Thhe new gingivitis code is intended for patients who have moderate to severe gingivitis, inflammation and yet they do not have any signs of radiographic bone loss; no periodontitis.

Why was the procedure for “scaling in the presence of…generalized gingival inflammation” assigned a code in the CDT Code’s “D4000’s” (Periodontics) category rather than in “D1000’s (Preventive)?

Currently we have a code for healthy periodontium (D1110), codes for non-surgical periodontal therapy (D4341/D4342), a code for the maintenance of periodontally-involved patients who have undergone non-surgical periodontal therapy (D4910), and a code for gross-debridement (D4355).

We have never had a code to support insurance billing for a patient who does not fall into any of the above categories. The CMC has typically decided that gingival disease treatment should be coded using D1110 yet for many this has never made much sense.

The New Gingivitis Code 2017 is: D4346

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

The procedure is considered therapeutic for a patient in a diseased state, as noted by the following sentence in the D4346 descriptor – “It is indicated for patients who have swollen, inflamed gingiva, generalized suprabony pockets, and moderate to severe bleeding on probing.”

When a patient is diagnosed with generalized gingivitis following an oral evaluation this scaling procedure treats the generalized gingival inflammation and pseudopockets present.

In our next blog I will answer why it’s important that hygienists understand how to use this new code.

The New Gingivitis Code

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

The New Gingivitis Code CDT D4346

Dentiist and Hygienist with Dental Patient Record

You probably have heard the news!

There is a new gingivitis code in 2017.

Thhe new gingivitis code is intended for patients who have moderate to severe gingivitis, inflammation and yet they do not have any signs of radiographic bone loss; no periodontitis.

Why was the procedure for “scaling in the presence of…generalized gingival inflammation” assigned a code in the CDT Code’s “D4000’s” (Periodontics) category rather than in “D1000’s (Preventive)?

Currently we have a code for healthy periodontium (D1110), codes for non-surgical periodontal therapy (D4341/D4342), a code for the maintenance of periodontally-involved patients who have undergone non-surgical periodontal therapy (D4910), and a code for gross-debridement (D4355).

We have never had a code to support insurance billing for a patient who does not fall into any of the above categories. The CMC has typically decided that gingival disease treatment should be coded using D1110 yet for many this has never made much sense.

The New Gingivitis Code 2017 is: D4346

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

The procedure is considered therapeutic for a patient in a diseased state, as noted by the following sentence in the D4346 descriptor – “It is indicated for patients who have swollen, inflamed gingiva, generalized suprabony pockets, and moderate to severe bleeding on probing.”

When a patient is diagnosed with generalized gingivitis following an oral evaluation this scaling procedure treats the generalized gingival inflammation and pseudopockets present.

In our next blog I will answer why it’s important that hygienists understand how to use this new code.

the-new-gingivitis-code-2

 Click this link to watch video

Be sure to subscribe to the blog and our YouTube channel when you watch the video to receive future updates on this topic.

Dental Continuing Education

Dental Conference: January 2017, 6 CEU’s + More.

Do you want to have a “Team Driven” Practice? Be sure to register for our Live All-Day Events Beginning in January 2017:

REGISTER HERE Early Bird Pricing Expires December 5, 2016 and Group of 6 or more save even more!

When you attend:

We are going to sit down together and create your success blueprint and then your roadmap so that you are prepared to take any loop de loops and pin curves in stride. There is an unknown economy and I will be sharing ways to grow your nP #

How to get more patients to accept your care

How to get patients back on your schedule and then the 2 important things you can do to keep them returning to your office. There is so much more to tell you so head over to our event page:

One of Dentistry Today's top dental consultants

Debbie Seidel- Bittke, RDH, BS Dental Hygiene Consultant

ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is a dental consultant, coach, speaker and author. She is also CEO of Dental Hygiene Solutions, powered by Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is a world-class leader in creating profitable hygiene departments. She is a well-known as a former clinical assistant professor at USC in Los Angeles and a former hygiene department program director. Dentistry Today recognizes Debbie as a Leader in Dental Consulting. She can be reached at (888) 816-1511. Send an e-mail to info@dentalpracticesolutions.com or go to her website: http://www.dentalpracticesolutions.com

New Gingivitis Code in 2017

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

November 8, 2016

use-video-gingivitis

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW VIDEO

Today I will address the new gingivitis code and what it means for dental professionals and our patients.

Each week in November I will write about one area of this new Gingivitis Code i 2017.

Be sure to subscribe to our BLOG and YOUTUBE channel so you are notified when the new information is available.
This week I want to share the reason WHY this new scaling code was added to the CDT codes.

Our Current CDT codes only allow for documentation of procedures for patients with a healthy periodontium, AND – OR – patients with periodontal disease that has accompanying loss of attachment.

THE CDT D1110 CODE is primarily a preventive procedure and we have used this code for various types of patients especially when we “thought” they did not want to pay for (Or their insurance may not pay for) the necessary periodontal therapy and at times this meant alternating between a periodontal  maintenance appointment and a prophylaxis appointment.
For many years now Dental Insurance CDT Codes D4341 and D4342 are therapeutic procedures, and are indicated for patients who require scaling and
root planing due to bone loss and subsequent loss of attachment. Instrumentation of the exposed root surface to remove deposits is
an integral part of this procedure.

What we have been missing here is a CDT Code to report therapeutic treatment of patients with generalized moderate to severe gingival inflammation, with or without pseudo-pockets ——–but exhibiting no bone loss AND this is the gap filled by our new code which is
D4346.

Questions you are probably asking so let me provide a few answers in today’s video and blog:

 You may wonder…..

  • What does this code mean for our practice and our pts?
  • Can the new code D4346 procedure be appropriate to use for a “more difficult prophy pt?”
  • Can we use this new code when more time than usual is required to remove plaque, calculus and excessive staining from the tooth structures in order to control local irritational factors?
  • What if a patient is overdue for a hygiene apt and we need more time?

Answer:

The most direct answer to these questions is “No.”

The new D4346 code is used only when there is generalized moderate or severe gingival inflammation in the absence of attachment loss. In other words, the procedure is based on the diagnosis rather than intensity of treatment required.

Key Words

  • Attachment loss

This new CDT definition for gingivitis is intended for patients who exhibit moderate or severe gingival inflammation in the absence of attachment loss.

  • Diagnosis

The new gingivitis code is provided when there is a diagnosis made. This code is not intended for patients who have a more difficult prophy appointment or a patient who is healthy but slightly  overdue for a hygiene appointment.

Be sure to subscribe to the blog and our youtube channel for future updates on this topic.

Do you want to have a “Team Driven” Practice? Be sure to register for our Live All-Day Events Beginning in January 2017:

hygiene-dept-success-by-the-numbers

REGISTER HERE Early-Bird Pricing Expires December 5, 2016 and Group of 6 or more save even more!

Dental Hygiene Consultant

Dental Hygiene Consultant

ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is a dental consultant, coach, speaker and author. She is also CEO of Dental Hygiene Solutions, powered by Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is a world-class leader in creating profitable hygiene departments. She is a well-known as a former clinical assistant professor at USC in Los Angeles and a former hygiene department program director. Dentistry Today recognizes Debbie as a Leader in Dental Consulting. She can be reached at (888) 816-1511. Send an e-mail to info@dentalpracticesolutions.com or go to her website: http://www.dentalpracticesolutions.com

Check out the Free 3-Part Hygiene Department Training: http://www.dentalhygiene.solutions

 

 

Get Your Dental Patients to Say “Yes” to Your Care

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

November 3, 2016

Do you wonder how you can get more patients to say “YES” to your care?

In this week’s blog I share three tips to get more patients to say “Yes” to your care. There are more but I will share three today.

TIPS TO GET DENTAL PATIENTS TO SAY “YES”

  • Build rapport

This begins with new patients when they first call your office.

For routine patients it begins with the first 2 minutes that you have them in your office.

What exactly does rapport building mean?

Wikipedia defines rapport as:

“A close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well.”

In context of rapport with your dental patient this can mean taking time to understand what is important to them. For example: time, anxiety about the dental office or money.

  • Find a unique connection.

This means that you discover something important to your patient in their life. It can be a new grandchild or maybe they are graduating from college. Really take some time (it should take about 2 minutes to find out what this is) to inquire about your patient; asking them about their life. It can be something as simple as what they did over the weekend.

It is possible that you like a dress they are wearing, a purse they carry or their hairstyle.

The point I am making is to acknowledge something important that you believe will be important to your patient. What brings harmony to a stressful situation?

(I say “stressful” because the dental office for many can be exactly this!)

  • My third tip today is to create a partnership with your patient.

Say things like; “Mrs. Jones let’s look together. Let me show you what I see.

Actually take a mirror and when possible an intraoral camera, to show patients what you see in their mouth. Let them be part of the decision making process.

When you follow just these three tips you will be more likely to hear more dental patients say “YES” to your care.

Let me know how it goes in your office when you use these three tips. I would love to hear from you!

Get Your Dental Patients to Say “Yes” to Your Care

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

how-you-you-get-pts-to-say-yes

 

CLICK THIS LINK TO WATCH VIDEO

Do you wonder how you can get more patients to say “YES” to your care?

In this week’s blog I share three tips to get more patients to say “Yes” to your care. There are more but I will share three today.

TIPS TO GET DENTAL PATIENTS TO SAY “YES”

  • Build rapport

This begins with new patients when they first call your office.

For routine patients it begins with the first 2 minutes that you have them in your office.

What exactly does rapport building mean?

Wikipedia defines rapport as:

“A close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well.”

In context of rapport with your dental patient this can mean taking time to understand what is important to them. For example: time, anxiety about the dental office or money.

  • Find a unique connection.

This means that you discover something important to your patient in their life. It can be a new grandchild or maybe they are graduating from college. Really take some time (it should take about 2 minutes to find out what this is) to inquire about your patient; asking them about their life. It can be something as simple as what they did over the weekend.

It is possible that you like a dress they are wearing, a purse they carry or their hairstyle.

The point I am making is to acknowledge something important that you believe will be important to your patient. What brings harmony to a stressful situation?

(I say “stressful” because the dental office for many can be exactly this!)

  • My third tip today is to create a partnership with your patient.

Say things like; “Mrs. Jones let’s look together. Let me show you what I see.

Actually take a mirror and when possible an intraoral camera, to show patients what you see in their mouth. Let them be part of the decision making process.

When you follow just these three tips you will be more likely to hear more dental patients say “YES” to your care.

Let me know how it goes in your office when you use these three tips. I would love to hear from you!

Dental Hygiene Consultant

Dental Hygiene Consultant

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is a dental consultant, coach, speaker and author. She is also CEO of Dental Hygiene Solutions, powered by Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is a world-class leader in creating profitable hygiene departments. She is a well-known as a former clinical assistant professor at USC in Los Angeles and a former hygiene department program director. Dentistry Today recognizes Debbie as a Leader in Dental Consulting. She can be reached at (888) 816-1511. Send an e-mail to info@dentalpracticesolutions.com or go to her website: http://www.dentalpracticesolutions.com

Check out the Free 3-Part Hygiene Department Training: http://www.dentalhygiene.solutions