As of July 1st, a new set of ADA codes were released for CBCT scans and interpretation. I believe these codes more accurately reflect the real word oral and maxillofacial radiology practice and provide a step in the right direction for imaging centers or private dental practices. The codes also account for proper interpretation of CBCT scans through an oral and maxillofacial radiologist. The way I see it, the next step is to get insurance companies to cover CBCT scans and interpretation. This is the current limiting step in oral diagnostic imaging and something that our academy and several of the bigger imaging centers should be pushing for.
I would also like to reiterate 2 steps that I think are necessary for the private practice field to grow.
- Academy needs to have a stronger stance on CBCT scans. Currently the wording lets any dentist basically interpret their scans. This is OK but to a certain degree only. I have yet to meet a dentist who does not think they can interpret their own scans. Even the ones who have never seen a CBCT scan prior.
- Insurance needs to provide coverage for CBCT scans and interpretation by a radiologist. It is 2013, the technology has been out long enough and it is embarrassing that this is yet to be implemented. Dentists should be pushing for this as it helps their practice and can provide a better outcome for patients.
In any case, I think these new ADA codes are a good (even if small) step. I am hoping for significant progress in the two steps listed above. These would be game changers.