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Bone graft policy (001)

Number: 001


Subject: Use of bone grafts in conjunction with apicoectomies, extractions and/or implants


Reviewed: June 20, 2023


Important note


This Clinical Policy Bulletin determines whether certain services or supplies are medically necessary, experimental, and investigational, or cosmetic. Aetna® has reached these conclusions based upon a review of currently available clinical information (including clinical outcome studies in the peer-reviewed published medical 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 practicing in relevant clinical areas, and other relevant factors).


Aetna makes no representations and accepts no liability with respect to the content of any external information cited or relied upon in the Bulletin.  The discussion, analysis, conclusions, and positions reflected in this Bulletin, including any reference to a specific provider, product, process or service by name, trademark, manufacturer, constitute an opinion by Aetna and are made without any intent to defame. 


Aetna expressly reserves the right to revise these conclusions as clinical information changes, and welcomes further relevant information including correction of any factual error. CPBs include references to standard HIPAA compliant code sets to assist with search functions and to facilitate billing and payment for covered services. New and revised codes are added to the CPBs as they are updated. When billing, you must use the most appropriate code as of the effective date of the submission. Unlisted, unspecified and nonspecific codes should be avoided.


Each benefit plan defines which services are covered, which are excluded, and which are subject to dollar caps or other limits. Members and their providers will need to consult the member's benefit plan to determine if there are any exclusions or other benefit limitations applicable to this service or supply.


The conclusion that a particular service or supply is medically necessary does not constitute a representation or warranty that this service or supply is covered (for example, will be paid for by Aetna) for a particular member. The member's benefit plan determines coverage. Some plans exclude coverage for services or supplies that Aetna considers 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. CMS's Coverage Database can be found on the following website:


Visit the CMS coverage database  




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 to address or correct the defect present (iatrogenic or pathologic).



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 majority of surgical sites heal without significant defects. In some situations, however, bone grafting may 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 volume 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.




D3428 – Bone graft in conjunction with periradicular surgery-per tooth, single site
D3429 – Bone graft in conjunction with periradicular surgery-each additional contiguous tooth in the same surgical site
D6104 – Bone graft at the time of implant placement
D7953 – Bone replacement graft for ridge preservation – per site

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; November 5, 2013, December 8, 2014; November 23, 2015; November 22, 2016; February 19, 2019; April 2, 2020; August 11, 2021; July 11, 2022; June 20, 2023
Revised: December 5, 2005; March 10, 2008


The above policy is based on the following references:


American Dental Association. CDT 2023: Dental Procedure Codes


Statements and Recommendations for Guided Bone Regeneration:Consensus Report of the Guided Bone Regeneration Symposium Held in Bologna, October 15 to 16, 2016


Implant Dentistry: August 2019 - Volume 28 - Issue 4 - p 388-399


Systematic Review And Consensus Report

Periodontal Regeneration – Intrabony Defects: A Systematic Review From the AAP Regeneration Workshop:Richard T. Kao, Salvador Nares, Mark A. Reynolds

Journal of PeriodontologyVolume 86, Issue 2S. First published: February 2015


White Paper on Third Molar Data. AAOMS. 2016. Available at:  Accessed June 20, 2023. 

Copyright 2023 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. 


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.

Legal notices

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Health benefits and health insurance plans contain exclusions and limitations.

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