Dental Codes D9110 & D9911: How To Use Them In Your Practice

Posted by Square Practice on Jan 16, 2019 10:46:25 AM
There are 2 procedure codes that are underutilized in most dental practices! If used, and used correctly, they could provide better reimbursements and increase production in your dental practice. Dental Code D9110 is a Palliative procedure code that should be used for emergency visits. Dental Code D9911 is the application of desensitizing resin for cervical and/or root surface, per tooth. This code should be a procedure that you are offering to patients. If you aren't, it's a great way to add services to your practice and increase production with a great clinical result for patients. Let's dive into each code and breakdown what they are and how they can be best used in your practice.

What is Dental Code D9110?

Jan-Mar19 Insta_Know Your copy 8Dental Code D9110 is for palliative care (minor procedures) on emergency visits. However, many dentists use code D0140 for these procedures. The problem with using D0140 is that is an emergency exam code which goes against your patient's allowable exam benefits for the year. If a patient comes in for an emergency visit with tooth pain 3 months after their 6-month routine visit, insurance is likely to deny you. So, now you have denied insurance claim and and you're left either writing off or trying to collect the entire payment from the patient which is frustrating for everyone. This is why it's important to have a practice policy in place for the moments when patient emergencies occur. Using code D9110 will get you more favorable outcomes with insurance because it is the proper code to use when performing non-definitive procedures and won't get mixed up with the limitations of D0140.

You can't use D9110 in conjunction with definitive procedures because that procedure already has a code.  Use this code on emergency visits when you're most likely performing one of the following palliative procedures, according to Dr. Charles Blair & Associates, Inc.:

  • Smooth sharp corner of tooth
  • Adjust occlusion for pain relief
  • Remove decay, IRM placed
  • Desensitize tooth
  • Open tooth (partial debridement) or lance abscess for pain relief
  • Partial heavy calculus debridement (only with patient complaint of discomfort)
  • Aphthous ulcer relief
D9110 is one of the least-reported codes but a very useful and impactful one. Just make sure you explain the reasoning for the D9110 code in your narrative with insurance. You should consider billing the following way since it’s a variable fee. If it takes longer to preform the minor pain or discomfort relief you should bill accordingly.
  • D9110.1 - Palliative 1 Unit (10min)
  • D9110.2 - Palliative 2 Units (20min)
  • D9110.3 - Palliative 3 Units (30min)
The other benefits to using D9110 is that it's allowed up to 2-3 times per year and x-rays are ok. You just can't report any other treatment on the same visit. It's important to note that it is not a "take-back" code, and generally not subject to a deductible according to Dr. Charles Blair & Associates, Inc.

What is Dental Code D9911?

Dental Code D9911 is the application of desensitizing resin for cervical and/or root surface, per tooth. Using Code D9911 allows you to expand your service offerings and increasing same-day procedure production. Generally this code isn't reimbursable by many insurance plans, however, it's still a service many patients would opt-in for...given 1-in-8 adults deal with some form of tooth sensitivity according the the Journal of the American Dental Association
There are many types of services you can offer your patients for immediate sensitivity relief while they're visiting you. Have you considered a ceramic based resin instead of traditional fluorides and resins? Ceramic based resins have nano-particle fillers to seal and provide long-lasting relief for your patients without the need to apply any composite material. When the patient is in the chair and they have a sensitive tooth or two, consider providing an instant, longer-term option immediately. That increases your production with unplanned production for the day, thus increasing revenue and relieving a patient's discomfort.
A great product for this application is Admira Protect. It offers:
  • No hypersensitivity for up to two years
  • Biocompatible ORMOCER matrix – no glutaraldehyde
  • Significant reduction of stimulus transfer through intensive deep sealing of exposed root dentin
  • High wear resistance through special nano filler technology
  • High bond strength 


Final Thoughts

Using both dental codes D9110 and D9911 will help increase reimbursements, providing relief to your patients. Both codes can increase your bottom line and help you reach your goals for the year with minimal changes. With D9110, you are potentially doing palliative procedures on emergency visits. In those instances, you just aren't getting reimbursed because of unknown codes available to you. One simple fix gives you a whole new revenue stream for work you're already doing! How easy is that? Then, just adding in the procedure of dealing with tooth sensitivity, with a solution that you can do immediately, adds a great service with minimal effort. These are just a couple of coding tips to help you reach your goals.  What other coding corrections have you discovered that have saved or have earned you income? Let us know in the comments below and make sure to follow our dental blog for more tips and resources to optimize your practice.

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Topics: Grow Dental Practice, Dental Case Acceptance, Dental Practice Goals