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Letters: Scaling and root planing

April 16, 2018

On behalf of the over 7,500 members of the American Academy of Periodontology, I would like to respond to the article, "ADA Resources Can Help Dentists With Scaling, Root Planing Claims Process" (ADA News, Feb. 5). The author cites that periodontal scaling and root planing tends to have the highest frequency of dental insurance claims denial.

Overuse or even abuse of scaling and root planing may be the reason for the high number of denials. However, it is important to recognize that a large body of scientific evidence has concluded that scaling and root planing is an appropriate and effective therapy for active periodontitis when supported by periodontal diagnosis and documentation. Following scaling and root planing, the patient should be carefully re-evaluated to assess whether the active periodontitis has been controlled and if additional, or possibly more advanced, periodontal therapy may be warranted.

As a periodontist, I would like to emphasize that the conditions for which scaling and root planing are indicated and the rationale for such treatment should be determined by the provider, regardless of third-party benefits. Providing the best possible periodontal care to the patient should be of the utmost importance.

Steven R. Daniel, D.D.S.
President, American Academy of Periodontology
Murfreesboro, Tennessee