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New Gingivitis Code in 2017

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

November 8, 2016



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

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?


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.

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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: https://www.dentalpracticesolutions.com

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