Dental insurance codes: D0120, D0140, D0145

By | April 5, 2016

Dental insurance code D0120 – A Periodic Oral Evaluation serves several important purposes. For one, it allows your dentist or dental assistant to regularly keep tabs on the condition of your oral health, as well as any previous surgical work done – such as fillings or root canals. The Periodic oral evaluation also maximizes their professional ability to gauge whether you have any new dental conditions that might require attention – such as cavities, gingivitis, and other forms of tooth decay. Unfortunately, fillings only last so long, and typically within 5-10 years (unless you have gold fillings) it’s more than likely that they will need to be replaced. No matter which dentist you go to, honoring your (typically every 6 months) periodic oral evaluation is critical to both your health and dental hygiene future, especially as you grow older.


Dental service code D0140 – A Limited Oral Evaluation is typically outside of any conjunction with regular appointments, such as involving direct trauma or serious emergencies and oral symptomology of conditions that require immediate attention. The limited oral evaluation is problem-focused, and can serve as an approach to address any acute infections or emergency. While an Emergency Room (ER) visit can be used to similarly address such issues, it is substantially cheaper to go this route as it, in most instances, will only be a fraction of the cost for treatment – may it be to your insurance, out of pocket, or both (such as co-payments). In rare instances, a limited oral evaluation might be needed to address recent or post-op issues, although, most dentists and oral surgeons are not available outside of normal business hours, which again limits this form of appointment and treatment.

Dental procedure code D0145 – An Oral Evaluation for a Patient Under 3 years old is a very specialized appointment, often requiring the use of a licensed and experienced dentist who’s focus is in adolescent dentistry, surgery, and treatment. However, most family dentists are also qualified and have experience in treating youth under 3 years of age. Though, much like an adult oral evaluation, this can be as basic as developing a patient’s chart, a brief check-up, x-rays, and other treatment, medications, or forms of therapy as-needed. Depending upon the nature, and condition of a patient under 3 years old, a follow-up evaluation by a specialist, or additional measures may be necessary.

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