Reader Questions: Understand When to Report 70332 For TMJ Imaging Procedures


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Question: When going through radiology codes for TMJ, I saw different codes for imaging studies of the TMJ. Can you please tell me the difference between 70328, 70330 and 70332?

Michigan Subscriber

Answer: If the documentation indicates a TMJ x-ray in two projections of one side, one film with the mouth open, and one with the mouth closed, you should report 70328 (Radiologic examination, temporomandibular joint, open and closed mouth; unilateral). You should report the CPT® code, 70330 (…bilateral) if the documentation shows that the imaging studies of the TMJ were performed on both the sides.

You report 70332 when your radiologist performs a radiographic contrast study of the TMJ joint. Your clinician will inject contrast into the joint, and then takes x-rays in multiple projections. The contrast will allow your radiologist to see more details than a conventional x-ray.

Tip: You may report the contrast injection separately with 21116 (Injection procedure for temporomandibular joint arthrography). You should report 70332 and 21116 twice if your radiologist performs the procedure on both the right and left sides.

Note: Having separate codes for unilateral and bilateral TMJ x-rays distinguishes these services from 70336 (Magnetic resonance [e.g., proton] imaging, temporomandibular joint[s]). The term “joint[s]” in the MRI descriptor indicates that you should use this code for both unilateral and bilateral services. 

Christine Taxin
36 Abington Avenue
Ardsley New York 10502
United States of America