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Understanding Dental Code D4346

Our goal at Dentistry Support® is to provide free training to your whole office not just the front or just the dentists. So, Dental Hygienist this one is designed to help you too! This comprehensive guide on understanding and effectively implementing dental code D4346 serves as a valuable resource for the entire team, from front office staff to team leaders.

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By learning the nuances of D4346, this training equips every member with the knowledge and skills necessary to optimize production and enhance patient care, more importantly, the patient experience. From fostering clear communication with patients to ensuring seamless billing procedures, this training empowers the entire office to deliver exemplary dental care while maximizing efficiency and productivity.

In the dynamic field of dentistry, understanding the basics of dental codes is important but I think we have to take time to look deeper into codes that maybe you aren't using or talking about as frequently as you could or should. With a service based industry (dentistry) you have to be sure you are accurately billing and charging for every service done or you are just doing work and not getting paid for it. Among the codes garnering the most attention is D4346. This free training for you and your dental team aims to provide an in-depth exploration of D4346, its implications in dental practice, effective patient communication strategies, ensuring front office proficiency, and proper billing procedures.

The Basics: What is Dental Code D4346

Dental code D4346 encompasses "scaling in the presence of generalized moderate or severe gingival inflammation—full mouth, after oral evaluation." This procedure involves meticulous removal of plaque, tartar, and bacteria from tooth surfaces and beneath the gumline. It is typically employed to address significant gum inflammation, often indicative of gum disease.

Significance of D4346

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D4346's lack of frequency limitations renders it invaluable for managing extensive mouth inflammation. What I mean by this, is MOST insurances do not have a frequency limitation. THAT IS AMAZING. Unlike procedures confined to specific areas, D4346 comprehensively treats the entire mouth, making it ideal for holistic care. Furthermore, its compatibility with other services enhances its utility in addressing diverse oral health concerns. You can do this in conjunction with other services like prophy's and perio maintenance.

Effective Patient Communication

One thing that can deter some offices from using the D4346 is understanding how to talk about it. Clear and empathetic communication with patients is a must when discussing D4346. Patients should be informed that D4346 involves scaling to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from both tooth surfaces and beneath the gumline. It is performed when there's significant gum inflammation, a potential sign of gum disease. Emphasize that the 'full mouth' aspect ensures comprehensive treatment across all areas of the mouth, not limited to specific sections. Reinforce that this procedure is vital for improving gum health and preventing further complications associated with gum disease. Again, you can perform this in conjunction with other services and I would even recommend you offer this at a great quick and easy price point of $100-$250 depending on demographic if insurance is not an option. However, typically this is covered. More on this in just a few more paragraphs.

Front Office Proficiency

Front office staff plays a crucial role in patient communication and education. They should be equipped with the necessary knowledge to explain D4346 to patients when confirming appointments or presenting treatment plans. Stress the importance of tailoring explanations based on individual patient needs and comprehension levels. Whether a patient is undergoing periodontal treatment or seeking routine preventive care, ensure the front office team can articulate the relevance of D4346 to their oral health needs. It is also important your office has a 5 minute dental team huddle to go over how this service is talked about. There is nothing more cringeworthy than a team out of sync and unable to all speak the same way about services offered and recommended at your dental office.

Proper Dental Billing Procedures

Okay, back to billing. Accurate billing for D4346 necessitates meticulous attention to detail. Given potential coverage discrepancies, particularly for out-of-network (OON) practices, transparent communication regarding cost variations is essential. Educate patients about potential higher out-of-pocket expenses with OON coverage, emphasizing the benefits of comprehensive care. Your dental team should have a best practice in place that covers how you charge, how you handle insurance benefits and how you handle cash pay patients. What is your fee, what is the teams understanding on downgrades, how do you handle this if you are a fully OON dental office or group? Employ precise coding and documentation techniques to streamline billing processes and mitigate discrepancies.

Dental code D4346 stands as a cornerstone in addressing gum inflammation and promoting oral health. Its versatility, coupled with effective patient communication, front office proficiency, and proper billing procedures, ensures optimal care delivery. By embracing D4346 within our practice, we empower ourselves to provide comprehensive dental care that prioritizes patient well-being.

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We are committed to fostering professional growth within our team, which is why this comprehensive guide is provided as a free training resource. Feel free to revisit it for ongoing cross-training and proficiency enhancement. Together, let us uphold the highest standards of dental care and patient satisfaction.

Success lies in our dedication to remaining informed, communicating effectively, and delivering exceptional care at every juncture. Let us integrate D4346 seamlessly into our practice, enriching the lives of our patients and fostering enduring oral health.

For further clarification on D4346 or other dental procedures, do not hesitate to reach out. We are here to support you every step of the way.

Happy learning and treating and check us out where ever you get your podcasts, we have some fun stuff for you and your team on leadership, dentistry, and all things business.


Sarah Beth Herman


To learn more about Sarah Beth Herman, the author of all free training content you can read her bio here. These materials are intended to provide helpful information to dentists and dental team members. They are in no way a substitute for actual professional advice based on your unique facts and circumstances. This content is not intended or offered, nor should it be taken, as legal or other professional advice. You should always consult with your own professional advisors (e.g. attorney, accountant, or insurance carrier). To the extent, Dentistry Support ®has included links to any third-party website (s), Dentistry Support ® intends no endorsement of their content and implies no affiliation with the organizations that provide their content. Further, Dentistry Support ® makes no representations or warranties about the information provided on those sites. You can view our privacy policy and terms and conditions by clicking those pages in the footer of our website.

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thank you for sharing this. please keep posting.


As a dental professional, this breakdown makes it so much easier to understand and communicate with our patients. The emphasis on effective billing and patient care is a game-changer for our practice!

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