Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2018 06 Orthodontics 1

Coding with Kyle: Billing for orthodontic retainers

June 14, 2018
It's important to submit the right dental codes to insurance companies so your practice can be properly paid for work performed. Here, dental office manager Kyle Summerford guides dental staff through the correct code for retainers.
Kyle L. Summerford, Editorial Director

This article originally appeared in Dental Office Manager Digest e-newsletter. Subscribe to this informative monthly ENL designed specifically for the dental office manager here.

For the next three months I will focus on billing for orthodontic procedures. Each of these coding articles will consist of the different steps involved when billing for ortho.

First, how do you properly bill for orthodontic retainers? Keep in mind the codes discussed will apply to orthodontic appliances, fixed and removable.

D8220–Fixed appliance therapy means

• The appliance is not easily removed by the patient,
• The device is not a day or night guard,
• The device is fixed with some type of bonding material, and
• It can be used for a habit breaking appliance for such habits as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting.

D8210­–Removal appliance therapy means

• The appliance is easily removed by the patient,
• It can be used for habit a breaking appliance for such habits as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting, and
• The device is not a day or night guard.

D8680–Orthodontic retention

• Describes fabrication of removable retainers,
• Does not include monthly active orthodontic movement billing,
• Is usually billed as final payment at the end of active orthodontic treatment, and
• Means a separate code applies for a replacement retainer (D8692).

Happy coding!

PREVIOUS CODING WITH KYLE ARTICLES
Codes 2952 and 2954
D2950 core buildup, including pins when required
D4260–osseous surgery

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About the Author

Kyle L. Summerford | Editorial Director

Kyle L. Summerford is president of Summerford Solutions Inc. Being a dental office manager, dental practice consultant, and dental coding educator has enabled him to guide his company to provide services to dental practices and their staffs nationwide. Kyle has lectured at many CE events and academic institutions—Stony Brook University, New York City County Dental Society, and Georgia Regents University. He’s authored many Dental Coding with Kyle articles. He’s the founder of Dental Office Managers Facebook Community and Dental Manager Connect. Contact him at [email protected].