Application of Desensitizing Medicament - Dental Procedure Code Description

Individuals suffering from tooth sensitivity not caused by decay or pulpitis, but rather exposed root areas, may opt for the application of a topical desensitizing agent to help lessen the sensitivity. This dental procedure code has to do with the application of these medicaments to the tooth's exposed root surface.
There are a few different types of medications that can be used in this process, including: 

  • GLUMA® desensitizer, which “seals” the tooth's pores along the exposed cementum
  • Potassium nitrate
  • Fluoride gel or varnish.
 Fluoride has the added benefit of helping to slow the progress of tooth decay by increasing the rate of enamel mineralization, and decreasing its demineralization. Mineralization refers to the process whereby essential minerals that support a hardened, healthy enamel, are resupplied to the tooth after loss caused by acid erosion. Acids from direct food consumption, and those created as a by-product of Streptococcus mutans feeding on carbohydrates in our mouths contribute to this erosion.
When the demineralization of teeth progresses without regular remineralization, the pores within the tooth enamel become larger, increasing sensitivity, and allowing more acids to penetrate the surface, which can result in decay.  Fluoride helps arrest this decay cycle by proactively remineralizing the enamel.
The process of applying the medication used in this dental code is simple. After ruling out any further complications that might be contributing to your sensitivity, the teeth in question are be isolated to avoid getting the desensitizing agent on any surface where it is not wanted. Then, the medicaments are layered onto the tooth's cementum using a small brush and allowed to air dry. Occasionally, hyper-sensitivity might require a topical anesthetic first, but most individuals do not require this step. Once the solutions have air-dried, the area will be rinsed with water and the isolation barriers removed.  Upon completion of your examination, your dentist may suggest you use a desensitizing toothpaste as well to maintain the desensitized environment you are seeking in your mouth.

To look up and find more cdt dental codes from the American Dental Association, please visit our complete Dental Procedure Code Library.