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​Dental News and Notes

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February 3, 2020

Can I report both periodic and periodontal evaluations on the same visit?

I frequently get questions like “Can I submit for (in this case) a periodontal evaluation and periodic oral evaluation on the same day since these are two separate procedures?

The most recent inquiry was what to do when a patient comes in for a periodic oral evaluation and the dentist sees signs of periodontal disease and therefore initiates a complete oral evaluation.  So of course knowing my memory just isn’t what it used to be….I take out my handy dandy brandy new 2020 CDT book. Yup, that’s right folks…..I still look things up; especially because we now have 37 new codes, 5 revised codes, 6 deleted codes and Joan can’t remember her daughters’ names anymore. So, if in doubt, go to the videotape….I mean the CDT book.

D0180 Comprehensive periodontal evaluation – new or established patient

This procedure is indicated for patients showing signs or symptoms of periodontal disease and for patients with risk factors such as smoking or diabetes. It includes evaluation of periodontal conditions, probing and charting, evaluation and recording of the patient’s dental and medical history and general health assessment. It may include the evaluation and recording of dental caries, missing or unerupted teeth, restorations, occlusal relationships and oral cancer evaluation.

D0120 Periodic oral evaluation – established patient

An evaluation performed on a patient of record to determine any changes in the patient’s dental and medical health status since a previous comprehensive or periodic evaluation. This includes an oral cancer evaluation and periodontal screening where indicated and may require interpretation of information acquired through additional diagnostic procedures. Report additional diagnostic procedures separately.

After reviewing the descriptor language in both codes, it seems to me that D0180 includes all the components of a periodic evaluation D0120 – but also adds additional requirements for periodontal charting and the evaluation of periodontal conditions.

When a patient presents with signs and symptoms of periodontal disease, all of these components are performed, therefore I would report the D0180 code only.


Dr. Joan Monaco will be presenting on the Dental/Medical Integration on the following dates:
  • Thursday, March 19: Wall, NJ | 9AM - 12PM |
  • Wednesday, June 24: Mt. Laurel, NJ | 9AM - 12PM
Click here to register