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Coding with Kyle: Post and core codes

April 12, 2022
Knowing when to apply each of these dental codes can help you avoid insurance audits and fraudulent claims.

Are you using the correct post code on your dental claim form? To be sure, first you need to know the difference between these codes and how they must be applied.

D2952: Post and core in addition to crown indirectly fabricated

D2953: Each additional indirectly fabricated post—same tooth

D2954: Prefabricated post and core in addition to crown

D2957: Each additional prefabricated post—same tooth

Are you submitting the correct code?

An indirectly fabricated post and core (D2952) is usually placed when a prefabricated (out-of-the-box) post will not provide the right fit and/or stability for the tooth. It's usually custom-made and may require assistance from a dental laboratory. Be sure to report D2953 if there is more than one post to be placed on the same tooth.

prefabricated post and core (D2954) is a standard (out-of-the-box) post, and it typically comes in various sizes. A standard post will be placed if the size and fit are perfect to stabilize the tooth without the need of a dental laboratory fabrication. Most dental practices will use this method. Be sure to report D2957 if there is more than one post to be placed on the same tooth.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Either code can be used after a tooth has undergone root canal treatment.
  • Anterior teeth typically do not have post and cores placed.
  • These codes can be used for a single-unit crown or a bridge (except a pontic tooth, of course).
  • Either code can be used for a crown or bridge. An indirectly fabricated post and core (D2952) usually yields a higher reimbursement rate, but be sure to submit the correct code to avoid fraudulent claim practices.
  • To facilitate claim reimbursement, post-op x-rays should be submitted along with the claim to show the need for the post and core.

More "Coding with Kyle":

Editor's note: Originally published in 2018; updated regularly.

About the Author

Kyle L. Summerford

With more than 22 years of experience in dental, Kyle L. Summerford has a unique approach to case presentation and patient acceptance. As an OM and financial dental consultant, he leverages his knowledge to assist new and struggling dental practices. Through his education programs, Kyle empowers staff members with effective patient education skills and persuasion techniques. He has lectured at CE events and academic institutions. His expertise is further recognized through his column, Dental Coding with Kyle. He’s the founder of the Dental Office Managers Community. Visit his website at