Locating a Diagnosis Code in ICD-10-CM for Dental Offices

by  Christine Woolstenhulme, QCC, QMCS, CPC, CMRS

Diagnosis codes used to report with procedures are called ICD-10-CM - International Statistical Classification of Diseases. These codes are published annually in October. To find a diagnosis code in ICD-10-CM, it is important to understand how the chapters and sections are set up. Each chapter is broken down into sections and sections are further broken down to the most specific code.


Diagnosis codes are set up in chapters and sections as shown below.

A00.0 B99.9     1. Certain infectious and parasitic diseases (A00-B99)
C00.0 D49.9     2. Neoplasms (C00-D49)
D50.0 D89.9     3. Diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs and certain disorders involving the immune mechanism (D50-D89)
E00.0 E89.89     4. Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (E00-E89)
F01.50 F99     5. Mental, Behavioral and Neurodevelopmental disorders (F01-F99)
G00.0 G99.8     6. Diseases of the nervous system (G00-G99)
H00.011 H59.89     7. Diseases of the eye and adnexa (H00-H59)
H60.00 H95.89     8. Diseases of the ear and mastoid process (H60-H95)
I00 I99.9     9. Diseases of the circulatory system (I00-I99)
J00 J99     10. Diseases of the respiratory system (J00-J99)
K00.0 K95.89     11. Diseases of the digestive system (K00-K95)
L00 L99     12. Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue (L00-L99)
M00.00 M99.9     13. Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue (M00-M99)
N00.0 N99.89     14. Diseases of the genitourinary system (N00-N99)
O00.00 O9A.53     15. Pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium (O00-O9A)
P00.0 P96.9     16. Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period (P00-P96)
Q00.0 Q99.9     17. Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities (Q00-Q99)
R00.0 R99     18. Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00-R99)
S00.00XA T88.9XXS     19. Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes (S00-T88)
V00.01XA Y99.9     20. External causes of morbidity (V00-Y99)
Z00.00 Z99.89     21. Factors influencing health status and contact with health services (Z00-Z99)
U00 U85     22. Codes for special purposes (U00-U85)
A04.7 Z98.89     -/+ Deleted, Replaced, Expanded Codes

Each section is further broken down by anatomy or condition. For example, dental caries are found in diseases of the digestive system, as the mouth is a part of the digestive system in ICD-10-CM. The example below shows where it is found in Chapter 11 with the code ranges K00-K95.

Dental caries on chewing surface of tooth
K02.51   Dental caries on pit and fissure surface limited to enamel
K02.52   Dental caries on pit and fissure surface penetrated into dentin
K02.53   Dental caries on pit and fissure surface penetrated into pulp


You don't need the entire code set
For a dental practice adding medical billing, there are only a few chapters that may pertain to your practice such as the examples below. This is not all-inclusive, but these are the chapters where you will spend the most time for a dental practice. 

Locating a Diagnosis Code in ICD-10-CM for Dental Offices. (2020, September 23). Find-A-Code Articles. Retrieved from https://www.findacode.com/articles/locating-a-diagnosis-code-in-icd-10-cm-36707.html

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