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Full mouth debridement/SRP

I am having a hard time explaining full mouth debridement to new patients who really needs a full mouth scale. I know the best treatment would be to start quad scale but the patient usually wants a cleaning at this point only usually because they want to know what insurance will pay, but it turns out to be a full mouth debridement-due to calc, perio, bone loss.. etc. can you help me explain this better to the patients?

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1 Answer

Many insurance carriers won’t cover a debridement if done the same day of a doctor exam, so insurance may not even cover a debridement to begin with. It’s a good idea to get the patient’s insurance info when they make their appointment, so an insurance breakdown can be done before they even sit in your chair. This way, if you must start some sort of treatment, the patient will know what is covered and you can begin SRP instead of doing a debridement in the first place. Debridements should only be done if the patient has so much debris, material alba, etc. that a doctor cannot do a proper exam. To do a debridement to “just do something that day” is a misuse of that code.
My best suggestion is that new patients see the doctor first, then either be scheduled with you right after or on a different day. Patients should be notified that a cleaning may not be done on the same day when they make their appointment. This way the proper treatment is diagnosed and the proper treatment can be completed.

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