We Don’t Charge for a “Look See”!

Dentists recommend that a young child see a dentist for an evaluation before the age of three years old.   A very valuable service but often not charged to the parent or to the insurance because it is called a “get acquainted” visit or a “look see” that translates into a ride in the dental chair and a quick look in the mouth.

What is missing from this is that this visit could be and needs to be of true value to the child and to the parent/guardian.    Diagnostic services provided for a child under the age of three within the first six months of the eruption of the first primary tooth should include the recording of the oral and physical health history, an evaluation of caries susceptibility and the demonstration of an appropriate preventive oral healthcare routine and communication with and counseling of the child’s parent, legal guardian/ caregiver.

Because of the value of this service, the ADA has a code for the procedure: D0145

The description of the code includes the required counseling as:

  1.       Instructions for cleaning the child’s teeth and how often and with what tools.
  2.       Fluoride recommendations whether topical or by supplement.
  3.       Diet recommendations and discussions of current diet.
  4.       Recommendations to reduce transmission of bacteria.

This code can be used for an initial comprehensive exam and again for a periodic exam as long as the child is under the age of three.

A child’s dental health addressed at this age is paramount to the proper oral care and development of healthy dentition.

The code D0145 is a valid source of revenue for the practice and should be implemented in every practice that evaluates children under the age of three years old.



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