Making the Most of CAD/CAM Technology

If Santa brought your dental practice a CEREC or an ED4, it’s important to keep several things in mind.

Your front office team will most likely have questions about how to bill crowns, veneers, onlays, etc. made with this CAD/CAM technology.  Do you use separate billing codes?  No.  Remember to use codes that correspond to the procedure and materials used, not the technology.  If, for example, you produce a porcelain crown or veneer with your CEREC or ED4, bill for a porcelain crown or veneer.

Next, keep in mind that some insurance companies will not pay for a crown and build-up performed on the same day.  This causes problems when you can do it all in one visit.  Some insurance companies simply require a narrative indicating the dentist is using CAD/CAM technology while other insurance companies are less understanding.  It’s important for your front team to communicate with an insurance company before the patient’s visit.

Be sure to put your first CEREC or ED4 cases at times when your schedule is more forgiving.  It’s normal for your early cases to run much longer than expected.  Avoid scheduling a CAD/CAM case near a new patient exam, do not overlap appointments expecting you will have extra time, and add at least half an hour more than you think it will take.  After you’ve completed several cases, you can tighten up your schedule.

Finally, tell your patients that you can now save them time by doing crown preps all in one visit.  This is a big selling point.

With the right preparation and approach, you can successfully integrate CAD/CAM technology into your practice.  And hopefully a year from now you will see that the technology has done more than just gathered dust in the corner.

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