ADA Adds New Coding Guidelines, Webinar Series Spotlights Patients with Special Needs, and Other Dental News

Receptionist at dental office wearing mask and gown for protection during the Covid-19 pandemic. She is working at the computer with patient files in the background.

The American Dental Association (ADA) adds four new coding guidelines to the Coding Education webpage. The ADA Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention will present a four-part webinar series centered on caring for patients with special needs. A dentist examines the four lessons critical to a thriving dental practice that they typically don’t teach in dental school. Read on for more dental news and insights.

New ADA coding guidelines help ensure timely reimbursement

The American Dental Association (ADA) recently added four new coding guidelines to the Coding Education webpage. The goal of this change was to simplify the CDT codes for dentists and others in the dental community.

The four updated guides are:

All CDT Code changes will go into effect January 1, 2022.

September four-part webinar series spotlights patients with special needs

Two members of the ADA Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention will be presenting a four-part webinar series in September centered on caring for patients with special needs.

Karin Arsenault, D.M.D., assistant professor and director of the geriatric dentistry program at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, and Brooke Fukuoka, D.M.D., new dentist liaison to the council who has a career rooted in serving patients with special needs, will lead the webinar series.

Sessions will focus on patients, caregivers, dental professionals, and dental educators and will range from formal lectures to open discussions. Topics will include:

Registration for all sessions is open now.

Want to learn more about working with special needs patients? Check out our course, Improving Oral Health Care for Patients With Special Needs.

What you should learn in dental school, but don’t

In a recent entry to the ADA’s New Dentist Now blog, Joe Vaughn, DDS, examines the four lessons critical to a thriving practice that, more often than not, they don’t teach students in dental school.

  • Get your money’s worth. For those in dental school it may feel tempting to coast, Dr. Vaughn says, but it’s important to take advantage of the expertise that’s available.
  • Listen well. Few qualities distinguish students more than the ability to listen. Maintaining a teachable attitude and cultivating the ability to take constructive criticism not only serves students well in dental school, but those listening skills translate well when working with patients.
  • Hand skills rarely matter. For the average patient, it’s not the technical excellence of the dental professional that sticks out in their memory of their appointment — though technical skills are certainly important! What most patients remember, and what they’ll tell their friends about, are the “softer” skills. Even if they’re not taught in dental school, patient communication and empathy are necessary to become a successful practitioner.
  • Don’t sleep on business or finance. Debt management, loan payments, budgeting, investing . . . while these topics may sound more apt to an MBA program, dental students may find great value in learning these skills before starting out into a new practice.

Read the full blog post here.

Business side of dentistry: The two most overlooked pieces of technology in your office

Eighth in the ADA’s New Dentist Now blog’s ongoing series on the business aspects of the dental profession, Dr. Sampada Deshpande, DDS, explores two simple and often unconsidered elements of a dental practice that can make a world of difference to a patient: phones and schedules.

Read the full post, along with other new and trending articles related to dental practice, here.

Explore best practices for working with nervous patients in the course, Working With Fearful and Anxious Dental Patients.

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