With all of the changes in the 2013 CDT codes, it may be easy to overlook how to properly bill out fluoride. In the past, there were separate adult and child fluoride codes in addition to codes for varnish and desensitizing medication.
The 2013 CDT codes combine the adult and child fluoride codes into one: D1208. The new code does not specify the type of fluoride, which means the practice can use several different types of prescription strength fluoride options other than varnish—which falls under the D1206 code. The CDT code specifies that the fluoride used is designed solely for a dental practice and it is placed under the supervision of a dental professional.
In addition, the new CDT code indicates that fluoride can be placed with a variety of techniques including trays, swishing, or cotton swabs, which gives dental teams a lot of flexibility.
When practices apply fluoride varnish, the code D1206 is used. The new CDT codes no longer associate the risk for decay with the use of fluoride varnish, which will hopefully allow teams to use this type of fluoride with more patients.
However, it’s important to note that code D9910 is used when varnish is placed to treat tooth or root sensitivity. This is an easy mistake to make when billing out the service.
The new CDT codes are effective as of January 1, 2013, although many insurance companies are allowing a grace period of a few months. Make sure your team is up-to-speed with the changes, and pay careful attention to ensure you are using the fluoride codes effectively.