Which is more cost-effective to treat initial caries lesions — traditional restoration or noninvasive therapies?
A study in the Journal of the American Dental Association finds that several noninvasive caries therapies improve outcomes for patients and are more cost-effective for payors and clinicians.
The study, co-authored by researchers at CareQuest Institute and CareQuest Innovation Partners, a for-profit subsidiary of CareQuest Institute, compares silver diamine fluoride, self-assembling peptide P11-4, and glass ionomer sealants to traditional surgical dental restorations to treat initial caries lesions. Study results showed that per-chair profitability was 4-6 times higher with noninvasive scenarios due to increased efficiencies.
While 94% of US dentists report restoring initial lesions, “Noninvasive therapies provide a treatment option that empowers dental teams to heal the first signs of disease,” say the authors.
Dental and Medical Billing Codes for Noninvasive Therapies
According to the authors, clinical effectiveness and new billing codes are accelerating the trend towards noninvasive therapies and removing barriers to adoption. Billing codes mentioned in the article include:
- Dental (CDT) Code: D2991 Application of hydroxyapatite regeneration medicament.
- Medical (CPT) Code: 0792T Silver diamine fluoride for dental caries.
Read the cover article in the Journal of the American Dental Association (open access).
You may also be interested in:
- Non-Invasive Caries Therapy Guide, an illustrated manual on diagnostics, preventives, and therapeutics to fight dental caries without removing tooth structure.
- Minimally Invasive Care in Dentistry, Healing Tooth Decay with Brush-On Therapies, a self-paced online course that explains how minimally invasive therapies are effective in caries management.
- The Value of Minimally Invasive Care: A Provider’s Perspective, a blog post featuring a pediatric dentist who has long used minimally invasive techniques because they are safe, effective, and tolerated by children.