Defining debridement

We read with interest your article, "Debridement = Scaling and root-planing plus" in the May 1999 issue of RDH. According to the Current Dental Terminology CDT-2 published by the American Dental Association, the definition of code #04355 is "full mouth debridement to enable comprehensive periodontal evaluation and diagnosis."

Dear RDH:

We read with interest your article, "Debridement = Scaling and root-planing plus" in the May 1999 issue of RDH. According to the Current Dental Terminology CDT-2 published by the American Dental Association, the definition of code #04355 is "full mouth debridement to enable comprehensive periodontal evaluation and diagnosis."

As this is the only mention of debridement in the insurance codes, we are concerned that some confusion may arise. Some practitioners may use a code for a prediagnosis procedure to describe a treatment procedure.

If debridement as described is documented using this term in treatment records, but is coded as "scaling and root planing" in the patient`s treatment record, we feel that this also may be the cause of potential misunderstanding between the dental practice and the insurance provider.

Shirley Gray, RDH

Samuel I. Barr, DMD

Oneida, New York

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