Dr. O's Dental Consultant Coding Info
D9110 - Palliative Treatment
D9110 - Palliative (Emergency) Treatment of Dental Pain
- This is typically used when a patient is seen for an emergency dental appointment, and something is painful or uncomfortable.
- Palliative can be thought of as easing the symptoms without curing the underlying condition.
- This is not appropriate to use when the only service provided to the patient is writing of a prescription. An actual "hands on " treatment must be provided.
- Palliative treatment does not include an exam or evaluation.
- Palliative treatment does not include diagnostic x-rays.
- Although not stated in the CDT code, a narrative is helpful in determining the nature of the treatment, and documenting that it is congruent with CDT descriptor.
Examples of palliative treatment:
- Smoothing of a sharp edge on a broken tooth or restoration.
- Placing a temporary filling in a broken tooth.
- Opening an abscessed tooth to relieve pain.
- Incising an abscess.
- Adjusting occlusion on a tooth with Cracked Tooth Syndrome.
- Removal of floss or food impaction that has caused gingival irritation.
- Cleaning inflamed tissue around a partially erupted wisdom tooth.
- Applying desensitizing medicament to an exposed root surface.
- Removing only some of the decay in a very deep painful cavity, and placing a temporary filling.
- Administering local anesthetic to temporarily relieve pain.
- Applying topical medication to an intraoral burn or canker sore.
Palliative treatment code is NOT appropriate for:
- The first step of a root canal.
- Definitive treatments, such as crown preps, permanent fillings, extractions.
- Office visits for observation.
- Office visits that are regular recall visits.
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There is the good, the bad and the ugly of dental practice management, but many dentists will still tell you the probability is your dental consulting will work if you and your consultant are on the same page. It stands to reason that if a dental consultant had little value, worth or benefit that consultant could not stand up to harsh economic realities for long. A veteran dental consultant is also a "personal coach" who shold bring management wisdom based on "in the trenches" experience along with systems and protocols to that have been successfully implemented in other practices. Top dental consultants talk and network with each other. They pay attention to what systems work and don't across many dental practices.
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What gets monitored, gets managed. It is as simple as that. The only way to monitor what gets done is with daily stats especially for your weak areas. For example, one employee should be specifically responsible for calls to patients who are unscheduled, overdue for re-care or need reactivation. Other staff can and should help in coordination with the accountable employee.
What most practice owners are lack in knowledge is not how to book an appointment, but rather how to be an effective leader. The best systems in the world are useless if the staff do not comply. Good leaders know how to get staff to willingly follow through and comply.
Questions To Ask
Do you and/or your staff have to travel or does the consultant come to you?
Is the program mostly one on one consulting versus seminars or courses with multiple clients in attendance?There are advantages to both.
If the dental consulting is one on one who will actually deliver the consulting? I recommend knowing who your specific dental consultant will be prior to signing on the dotted line.
Is program based on a specific dental practice management system? You want to avoid cookie-cutter programs. Ensure the program will be tailor-made to fit your practice's specific needs.
The cost (including travel expenses and downtime) is certainly not the only factor, everything else being equal, it is still a major factor to consider. It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little.
Top Dental Practice Mangement Consultant
My name is Kevin Tighe. Consultant. Coach. Mentor.
My mission is to advise, recommend and help implement proven systems to grow your practice .
Before joining the Cambridge team I was in charge of setting up workshops for large nonprofits throughout the United States and Canada. During that time, I was fortunate to receive mentoring from several world-class business consultants, including a dental practice management guru, which led to a position at Cambridge as their seminar organizer. In time, I began crisscrossing the country delivering seminars myself for the better part of a decade. Subsequently, I moved up to senior consultant and eventually partner and now sole owner.
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