General dentistry protocols


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I'm posting here today to ask if guidelines for "general dentistry protocols" can be found here on the Internet.

The reason for asking is that one item on the statement from my dentist included "Periodic oral evaluation - est. patient."

Are there guidelines that describe the actual procedures that could or should take place with a "Periodic oral evaluation - est. patient" ?

Thanks in advance!
 
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honestdoc

Verified Dentist
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I'm not sure you can find this protocol. The procedure code is D0120. This exam will be a continuation from New Patient Exam (D0150). What I do is to review health history including medical conditions, medications taken, and drug allergies. I do exams on head & neck and inside the mouth for any unusual lesions (cancer or tumors). I exam the x-rays on your bone health, cavities, and teeth deterioration. The hygienist will probe your gums to check for any gum disease. I would go over all my findings and develop a treatment plan and recommendations. There may be situations where I refer you to appropriate providers such as your physician for consistent high blood pressure readings, TMJ specialist for TMJ pain, gum specialist (periodontist) for serious gum disease, oral surgeon for any precancerous or cancerous lesions, etc. This code is utilized in the US. I'm not sure how this is interpreted in other countries.
 
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I failed to specify "120," which was listed under "Code."

During the visit I referred to, my dentist and I got carried away talking about the pandemic, and I think he spent c. one minute in actually looking at my teeth.

Thanks!
 

honestdoc

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Did you get x-rays and a cleaning? Does your dentist tend to have elaborate conversations that make you feel short changed in your exams and procedures or is it just the one time? How likely will it be for you to change dentists? I know it is hard to change due to your attachment to him and if you're in the US, dictated by what and who your insurance covers. You should trust that he is doing a good job.
 
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Does your dentist tend to have elaborate conversations that make you feel short changed in your exams and procedures or is it just the one time?
Well, that thought did enter my mind, but "caveat emptor" also entered my mind. (The idea that perhaps an elaboration existed -- on just what a patient could expect -- provided the motivation for me to ask about "dental care protocols." )
 

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