Question

When should root canals be reported?

Although the American Dental Association (ADA) encourages third party payers to recognize the impression date as the date of service for indirect procedures such as crowns, bridges, partials, dentures, post/cores, etc., it recommends that providers report, and third party payers pay, endodontic therapy upon completion.

ADA Policy: Eligibility and Payment Dates for Endodontic Treatment (1994:674)

Resolved, that the American Dental Association, through its Council on Dental Benefit Programs, encourages all third-party payers to recognize the date that endodontic therapy is begun as the eligibility date for coverage for endodontic therapy, and be it further

Resolved, that the Association, through its Council on Dental Benefit Programs, encourages all third-party payers to recognize the completion date as the date of service, that is, the payment date, for endodontic therapy.

Note that the ADA only “encourages” dentists and third-party payers to report and pay root canal procedures upon completion. This is because the ADA recognizes that state law and/or dental contract language could mandate otherwise.

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