Back to Basics: Implants

Retrofitting Dentures to Accommodate Implants

Question: When billing D5875 for the modification of existing removable dentures to accommodate new implants, is a denture reline considered part of the modification code?

Answer: According to Frank Pokorny, Senior Manager, Dental Codes Maintenance and Development for the Council on Dental Benefit Programs, “Modification refers to actions that affect the prosthesis’ structure, such as drilling space for healing caps and placement of retentive attachments. Any required reline is a separate procedure.”

Valplast® Boomer Bridge

Question: Any idea how we should code a “boomer bridge” that will be used for approximately six months to replace a maxillary anterior tooth while the implant is healing?

Answer: A “boomer bridge” is actually a partial (or “flipper”) made of Valplast® material. It may be used as an interim partial to replace an anterior or posterior tooth. D5820 should be billed when a boomer bridge is used as an interim replacement of a maxillary tooth, and D5821 should be billed when a boomer bridge is used to replace a mandibular tooth on an interim basis.

Interim and Provisional Implant Restorations

Question: We never get paid for interim and provisional restorations. Could we be billing them incorrectly?

Answer: The Implant Coding Flow Chart below will help you determine if you are billing interim and provisional restorations correctly. Although often excluded from dental plans, some will cover them if replacing an anterior tooth or if the tooth was lost due to an accident.