A truly professional comprehensive dental exam examination (D0150 or D0180) should includemuch more than what the CDT codes delineate.
What is essential? Beyondthe obviousFMX, the charting of existing and neededdentaland periodontal conditions,and anoralcancer screening, there aremany other useful evaluations which are directly related to our services and are within our range of authority and responsibility. The Comprehensive Exam should also include measurement of vitals such asblood pressure, asleep dysfunction (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) screeningsuch as theEpworthSleepiness Scale, anutritional analysis and a carefuldiscussionof any notable items (alerts) in the patient’s med history. These things don’t need to be spelled out in the CDT code. They come with our desire to do what we know is right. .
TMJexam, facial muscle palpation, Mallampati classification (of the airway entrance)andan oxygen saturation testwill provide critical information. Any dentist/hygienist will chose how extensive they wish their dental exams to be and what should be included.
Would we be “spending too much time”in a dental exam visit?
Not if we care about our patient’s total well being, about our conscience, and about our dental license.
And is this nearly always acceptedbypatientsas hugely valuable and with appreciation? YES, it is, where the dental team shows their patients how much passion,careand skillthey have. I see it in many dental offices.The really successful ones.
A Hygienist is in a uniquely key position.
Here’s your opportunity to increase your service to your community, to create your “niche”, and to stand out in your community as a complete care-giver.
It is reported that 34% of the population has Sleep Apnea symptoms.One of the next three patients that walk thru your doors is a Sleep Apnea victim.Are you able to help them?
Does your New Patient Exam include a screening for Sleep Apnea?