Definition of Medically-Necessary Care

Definition of Medically-Necessary Care

Medically-necessary care (MNC) is the reasonable and essential diagnostic, preventive, and treatment services (including supplies, appliances, and devices) and follow-up care as determined by qualified health care providers in treating any condition, disease, injury, or congenital or developmental malformation to promote optimal health, growth, and development. MNC includes all supportive health care services that, in the judgment of the attending dentist, are necessary for the provision of optimal quality therapeutic and preventive oral care. These services include, but are not limited to, sedation, general anesthesia, and utilization of surgical facilities.

MNC must take into account the patient’s age, developmental status, and psychosocial well-being, in addition to the setting appropriate to meet the needs of the patient and family.

Dental care is medically-necessary to prevent and eliminate orofacial disease, infection, and pain, to restore the form and function of the dentition, and to correct facial disfiguration or dysfunction.

This definition was developed by the Council on Clinical Affairs and adopted in 1997. This document is an update of the previous version, revised in 2011.