Bone Graft Policy (001)

Number: 001
(Updated)

Subject: Use of Bone Grafts in Conjunction with Apicoectomies, Extractions and/or Implants

Reviewed: December 4, 2012

Important Note

This Clinical Policy Bulletin expresses our determination of whether certain services or supplies are medically necessary. We have reached these conclusions based on a review of currently available clinical information including:

  • Clinical outcome studies in the peer-reviewed published medical and dental literature
  • Regulatory status of the technology
  • Evidence-based guidelines of public health and health research agencies
  • Evidence-based guidelines and positions of leading national health professional organizations
  • Views of physicians and dentists practicing in relevant clinical areas
  • Other relevant factors

We expressly reserve the right to revise these conclusions as clinical information changes, and welcome further relevant information.

Each benefits plan defines which services are covered, excluded and subject to dollar caps or other limits. Members and their dentists will need to consult the member's benefits plan to determine if any exclusions or other benefits limitations apply to this service or supply. The conclusion that a particular service or supply is medically necessary does not guarantee that this service or supply is covered (that is, will be paid for by Aetna) for a particular member. The member's benefits plan determines coverage. Some plans exclude coverage for services or supplies that we consider medically necessary. If there is a discrepancy between this policy and a member's plan of benefits, the benefits plan will govern. In addition, coverage may be mandated by applicable legal requirements of a state, the federal government or CMS for Medicare and Medicaid members.

Policy

Aetna considers this surgical procedure to be dental-in-nature (DIN) oral surgery. Coverage may be available for DIN oral surgery procedures under either medical or dental plans. Necessity and appropriateness will be determined through review of corresponding diagnostics and a rationale if necessary. Need for bone grafts used in conjunction with apicoectomies, extractions and/or implants will be based on a clinical scenario in which normal healing cannot be expected.

Background

Bone grafts have been used in conjunction with endodontic, oral surgery, implants and periodontal procedures for years. Studies have clearly demonstrated the potential to realize significant histological and clinical improvement following regenerative therapy. Studies have also demonstrated that the healing capacity of the body following these procedures is able to regenerate/repair lost hard and soft tissue. The use of bone grafts would not appear to be indicated in every clinical situation, depending on a variety of factors.

The vast majority of surgical sites heal without significant defects. In some situations, however, bone grafting can result in a long-term benefit. Large defects associated with apicoectomy/cyst removal extending outside of the tooth's alveolar space may benefit from bone graft-assisted regeneration. Bone grafts in extraction sockets are not routinely indicated. However, they have been shown to be beneficial in ridge preservation when implant replacement is intended.

There is also increasing evidence that bone grafting after third molar removal may be beneficial in reducing periodontal defects on the distal of second molars in a certain "high-risk" subpopulation (for example, age greater than 26 years and significant existing periodontal defects). Bone grafting may also be beneficial at the time of implant placement when the available width of bone at the site is not adequate.

Bone grafts are indicated only when they are medically necessary for the success of the procedure being performed, or when normal healing cannot be expected to eliminate the bony defect.

Ridge augmentation [code D7950] and sinus lift procedures [code D7951] are used in implant placement when sites are deficient in height or width. These codes are medical-in-nature codes and are reviewed as to medical necessity in their own right.

Codes1

D7950 – Osseous, osteoperiosteal, or cartilage graft of the mandible or maxilla- autogenous or nonautogenous, by report
D7951 – Sinus augmentation with bone or bone substitutes
D7952 – Sinus augmentation via a vertical approach
D7953 – Bone replacement graft for ridge preservation – per site
D6104 – Bone graft at the time of implant placement

See Dental Clinical Policy Bulletin 013 –
Bone Replacement Grafts for Periodontal Surgical Procedures.

Revision Dates

Original policy: September 13, 2004
Updated: February 24, 2009; October 4, 2010; January 23, 2012; December 4, 2012
Revised: December 5, 2005; March 10, 2008

The above policy is based on the following references:

1 American Dental Association. Current Dental Terminology, CDT2011-2012: 66-67.*

2 Mattout P, Mattout C. Conditions of success in guided bone regeneration: retrospective study of 376 implant sites. J Periodontol. 2000; 71: 1904-1909.

3 Position Paper, Periodontal Regeneration. J Periodontol 2005; 76:1601-1622.

4 White Paper on Third Molar Data, AAOMS, Vol. 21, Issue 1

*Copyright 2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved.

**Copyright 2012 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Effective January 1, 2013.

Property of Aetna. All rights reserved. Dental Clinical Policy Bulletins are developed by Aetna to assist in administering plan benefits and constitute neither offers of coverage nor medical/dental advice. This Dental Clinical Policy Bulletin contains only a partial, general description of plan or program benefits and does not constitute a contract. Aetna does not provide health care services and, therefore, cannot guarantee any results or outcomes. Participating health care professionals are independent contractors in private practice and are neither employees nor agents of Aetna or its affiliates. Treating health care professionals are solely responsible for medical/dental advice and treatment of members. This Clinical Policy Bulletin may be updated and therefore is subject to change.

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