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Bone replacement grafts for periodontal surgical procedures (013)

Number: 013


Subject: Bone replacement grafts for periodontal surgical procedures


Date: 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.


Each benefits plan defines which services are covered, which are excluded and which are subject to dollar caps or other limits. Members and their dentists will need to refer to 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.


Visit CMS's Coverage Database




We consider 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.




Bone replacement grafts for dentoalveolar bone defects may be necessary for various reasons. Bone defects are most often present in conjunction with pathology that is associated with the teeth in periodontal disease. Bone grafts are generally used in an attempt to restore normal architecture to the bone that supports the teeth, increasing stability of the affected tooth/teeth.


Periodontal loss of bone can occur in either a vertical or horizontal manner on either the mesial or distal aspects of the roots. With advanced cases of localized or generalized periodontitis, loss of bone may be demonstrated within the furcation of the molar teeth. The furcation is defined as the anatomic area of a multi-rooted tooth where the roots diverge.


Review of recent literature related to bone grafting of bone defects describes the success or failure of bone replacement grafts within various furcation defects. Class 2 furcation defects located on the buccal of maxillary and mandibular molars and on the lingual of mandibular molars often respond favorably to bone replacement procedures. However, palatal Class 2 furcation defects on maxillary molars and any Class 2 furcation defect on maxillary first bicuspid teeth usually respond less favorably to bone grafting procedures. Class 3 furcation involvement (through and through from buccal to lingual and mesial to distal) do not respond well to bone replacement grafts and have fair to poor long-term prognosis.


Medical necessity for osseous grafts is based on radiographic evidence of vertical (intrabony) osseous defects and/or the millimeter pattern of periodontal pocket measurements provided on a six-point-per-tooth chart. In areas where there is radiographic evidence of horizontal bone loss and minimal pocket depth determinations, a graft placement may not be considered medically necessary.




D4263 - Bone replacement graft - retained natural tooth -  first site in quadrant
D4264 - Bone replacement graft - retained natural tooth -  each additional site in quadrant


See Dental Clinical Policy Bulletin 001 -
Use of Bone Grafts in Conjunction with Apicoectomies, Extractions and/or Implants


Revision dates


Original policy: November 22, 2005
Updated: February 22, 2010; August 8, 2011; September 10, 2012; November 5, 2013; December 8, 2014; November 23, 2015; November 22, 2016; May 21, 2018; April 2, 2020; August 11, 2021; July 11, 2022; June 20, 2023
Revised: November 1, 2006; February 4, 2008; February 24, 2009


The above policy is based on the following references:


Avila‐Ortiz G,  Buitrago JG, Reddy MS. Periodontal regeneration – furcation defects: a systematic review from the AAP Regeneration Workshop. Journal of Periodontology. 2015 February; 86(2S):S108-S130. Accessed June 20, 2023.


Americal Dental Association. CDT 2023 Dental Procedure Codes.


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.

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Health benefits and health insurance plans contain exclusions and limitations.

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