Getting Reimbursed for CBCT Scans in a Dental Practice: A Comprehensive Guide

Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) scans have revolutionized dental diagnostics, providing highly detailed 3D images of dental structures, nerve paths, and bone anatomy. This advanced imaging technology enhances treatment planning and outcomes in various dental procedures, from implant placement to orthodontics. However, securing reimbursement for CBCT scans can be challenging due to the complexity of insurance policies and coding requirements. This blog will guide you through the essential steps to maximize your chances of getting reimbursed for CBCT scans in your dental practice.

Understanding CBCT and Its Benefits

CBCT scans offer significant advantages over traditional 2D X-rays, including:

  • Enhanced Diagnostic Accuracy: Provides detailed views of anatomical structures, aiding in precise diagnosis and treatment planning.
  • Reduced Radiation Exposure: Delivers lower doses of radiation compared to conventional CT scans.
  • Improved Patient Outcomes: Facilitates minimally invasive procedures and better treatment results.

Given these benefits, many dental practices have integrated CBCT into their diagnostic toolkit. However, the cost of CBCT scans can be a barrier, making insurance reimbursement crucial.

Steps to Secure Reimbursement for CBCT Scans

1. Verify Insurance Coverage

Before performing a CBCT scan, verify the patient’s insurance coverage. Different insurance plans have varying policies regarding CBCT scans. Some may cover it fully, partially, or not at all. Contact the insurance provider to confirm:

  • Eligibility: Determine if the CBCT scan is covered under the patient’s plan.
  • Preauthorization Requirements: Some insurers require preauthorization before the procedure.
  • Specific Criteria: Identify any medical necessity criteria that need to be met.

2. Document Medical Necessity

Insurance companies typically require proof of medical necessity for CBCT scans. Thorough documentation is essential to justify the need for the scan, including:

  • Clinical Notes: Detailed notes explaining why the CBCT scan is necessary for diagnosis or treatment.
  • Previous Imaging Results: If available, include previous X-rays or scans that support the need for CBCT.
  • Treatment Plan: Outline how the CBCT scan will influence the treatment plan and improve patient outcomes.

3. Use Correct Coding

Accurate coding is crucial for reimbursement. Use the appropriate Current Dental Terminology (CDT) and International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes to describe the CBCT scan and the associated diagnosis. Commonly used codes for CBCT scans include:

  • D0364: Cone beam CT capture and interpretation with limited field of view.
  • D0365: Cone beam CT capture and interpretation with field of view of both jaws, with or without cranium.
  • D0366: Cone beam CT capture and interpretation with field of view of the maxilla, mandible, and cranium.

Additionally, include the relevant ICD-10 codes that correspond to the patient’s diagnosis.

4. Submit Clean Claims

Ensure that all claims submitted to insurance are complete and error-free. A clean claim should include:

  • Accurate Patient Information: Verify that the patient’s details are correct.
  • Correct Procedure and Diagnosis Codes: Double-check that the CDT and ICD-10 codes are accurate.
  • Supporting Documentation: Attach all necessary documentation, including preauthorization (if required) and clinical notes.

5. Appeal Denied Claims

If a claim is denied, don’t hesitate to appeal. Review the denial reason, gather additional documentation if needed, and resubmit the claim. A well-prepared appeal letter should address the insurer’s reasons for denial and provide a strong justification for the procedure’s medical necessity.

Additional Tips for Successful Reimbursement

  • Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with changes in coding and insurance policies related to CBCT scans.
  • Educate Patients: Inform patients about potential out-of-pocket costs and the benefits of CBCT scans to garner their support during the reimbursement process.
  • Consult Billing Specialists: Consider working with certified dental billing specialists who have experience in handling complex claims and appeals.


Securing reimbursement for CBCT scans in a dental practice can be challenging, but with the right approach, it is achievable. By verifying insurance coverage, documenting medical necessity, using correct coding, submitting clean claims, and appealing denials, you can maximize your chances of getting reimbursed. Staying informed and working with billing specialists can further streamline the process, ensuring that your practice can continue to offer advanced diagnostic services without financial strain.If you offer CBCT scanning services, having a billing service that understands the nuances of this procedure is crucial. Elite Dental Medical Billing has extensive experience in CBCT billing and can help you secure the reimbursement you deserve. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you!

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