Explains Dental Codes: Fostering Dental Care from Behind the Scenes Explains Dental Codes: Fostering Dental Care from Behind the Scenes

Millions of dental procedures are performed each year in the United States. They range from fillings and cleanings to implant surgery and gum reconstruction. Keeping up with patients’ distinct and highly varied needs can be difficult for dental clinics and their staff members. To make matters even more complicated, each type of procedure is governed by specific codes. 

What Are Dental Codes?

Dental codes are sets of letters and numbers that distinguish different procedures. A basic explanation would be that they’re used to ensure patients’ insurance companies are billed properly for their dental care. They’re also extremely helpful for keeping matters consistent across dental offices and insurance providers. Without them, chaos and confusion would ensue.

Exploring Common Dental Procedures

Several types of dental procedures are available to patients according to and many other sources. Each one plays a key role in maintaining patients’ oral health and combating potentially dangerous dental conditions. Some procedures are far more common than others.


Fillings, or amalgam restorations as they’re known for coding purposes, are among the most common dental procedures. In fact, an estimated 175 million people receive dental fillings each year. This entails drilling away decayed portions of teeth and using a special compound to fill in the gaps left behind. This type of procedure helps eliminate unbearable tooth pain and protects the remaining dental material from further damage.


Tooth extractions are also commonplace. Some teeth just can’t be saved via fillings and other procedures. In such instances, they have to be removed. Different types of dental extractions can be performed depending on the surrounding circumstances. For some teeth that are severely decayed or otherwise damaged, a simple extraction may be in order. If the tooth has broken off at or below the gum line, a surgical extraction will probably be necessary. Applicable dental codes vary based on the type of extraction that’s performed.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are becoming increasingly common. They’re functional, permanent alternatives to dentures, bridges, and other options for replacing missing teeth. The importance of dental coding for saving teeth is particularly evident with this type of procedure. If the wrong codes are used, patients may end up being billed for services they weren’t expecting to be financially responsible for.

Gum Disease Treatment

Research indicates that almost half of adults aged 30 and older suffer from gum disease. The numbers are even higher for those over the age of 65. This condition brings about recurring gum infections and causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. It can eventually cause patients to lose their teeth if it’s not treated promptly. Codes for gum disease treatments are based on the type and extent of treatment being provided.

Helping Dental Offices Thrive

Companies like Eide Bailly are committed to helping dental offices thrive. They provide numerous resources for clinics to aid them in avoiding financial issues and discrepancies among other common problems. For startups and established clinics alike, clerical errors and their resulting financial impacts can be devastating.

To those on the outside, dental codes may seem insignificant. After all, they look like nothing more than random compilations of letters and numbers. In truth, though, they’re fundamental for dental offices, insurance providers, patients, and everyone else involved in the care chain.

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