Question

If our hygienist takes x-rays and intraoral photos, then relays the findings from her visual exam to the doctor, and the doctor reviews the intraoral photos and x-rays and calls the patient to discuss the findings, can the practice bill for the D0120?

 No. D0120 is a periodic oral evaluation by the doctor and State Dental Boards require “hands-in-the-mouth.” Check with your State Dental Board for confirmation. Also, the x-rays taken by the hygienist cannot be billed unless read by the doctor. If the hygienist is the only one to see the patient, the procedure is not billable as D0120.

Teledentistry is not intended to be utilized while the patient and doctor are in the same location; rather
the dentist would be in a different location interacting with the patient via electronic communication. It is
not appropriate to report D0120 for any teledentistry scenario. The ADA website lists possible teledentistry
evaluation codes and D0120 is not included. The ADA COVID-19 interim coding guidance is available at
www.ada.org.

Additionally, you should contact your State Dental Board to confirm that an oral evaluation can be performed via teledentistry. Some State Dental Boards require a hands-in-the-mouth, tactile evaluation by the dentist for any oral evaluation code (i.e., D0140).