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.