This dental procedure code refers to the administration of time-released antibiotic to clear infectious bacteria from areas below the gumline.
When plaque and tartar builds up along the crown of the tooth, and is not removed through regular profylaxis, it can migrate below the gumline and gather around the root's outer surface known as cementum. This hardened shell is not designed to combat these bacteria as is the enamel that surrounds the crowns of our teeth, so its existence on the cementum is a serious threat to one's overall tooth, bone and gingival health. Additionally, because in reaching the cementum, this tartar has progressed below the gumline, it serves as an irritant to the gums that our immune system attempts to counteract via inflammation – gingivitis.
This procedure represents the action taken to eliminate any remaining bacteria left below the gumline after a periodontal scaling and root planing procedure, and can be done at the same time as the scaling and root planing, or at a later date.
In this procedure, antibiotic is inserted into the periodontal pocket (a widening of the gumline that has pulled away from the tooth), after it has first been cleared of plaque and tartar build-up. Since these medications are time-released, they will self-activate in anywhere from 24 hours to over a period of 10 days. Your dentist will then instruct you about how to care for your mouth during this healing period as well as what steps will follow once the antibiotics have run their course.
To look up and find more cdt dental codes from the American Dental Association, please visit our complete Dental Procedure Code Library.