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CDT: Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature


The purpose of the CDT Code is to achieve uniformity, consistency and specificity in accurately documenting dental treatment. One use of the CDT Code is to provide for the efficient processing of dental claims, and another is to populate an Electronic Health Record.

On August 17, 2000 the CDT Code was named as a HIPAA standard code set. Any claim submitted on a HIPAA standard electronic dental claim must use dental procedure codes from the version of the CDT Code in effect on the date of service. The CDT Code is also used on paper dental claims, and the ADA's paper claim form data content reflects the HIPAA electronic standard.

Annual Review and Revision

The Council on Dental Benefit Programs (CDBP) has ADA Bylaws responsibility for CDT Code maintenance. To fulfill this obligation CDBP established its Code Maintenance Committee (CMC), a body that includes representatives from various sectors of the dental community (e.g., ADA; dental specialty organizations; third-party payers). CMC members, by their votes, determine which of the requested actions are incorporated into the CDT Code.

Please see Code Maintenance Committee (CMC) page for information about the CMC's members and reports of CDT Code maintenance actions taken at past meetings.

SPECIAL NOTICE: CMC Action Concerning CDT Code D9248

During the annual review and revision cycle that led to CDT 2015 the CMC accepted a request to change the D9248 nomenclature.  Seeing this change, some members of the dental community have concluded that this CDT Code now applies only when the procedure results in a moderate level of sedation.  This is not consistent with the CMC’s intent, and the committee has approved a clarifying notice. 

                   To read the notice and learn more, download the PDF.

Action Reports – Most Recent CMC Meeting

The CMC last met on March 5-6, 2015 to determine which of the CDT Code substantive and editorial action requests on the committee’s agenda will be incorporated into CDT 2016.  Official notice of the CMC’s decisions will be in the action reports scheduled to be posted on this web page by mid-April 2015.                                    

Accepted actions will be effective in CDT 2016.

Next CMC Meeting

The next annual CMC meeting is scheduled to convene at ADA Headquarters in Chicago on March 3 - March 5, 2016 (Thursday-Saturday).  Proceedings begin on March 5th at 8:30 AM in the 2nd floor Auditorium.  The meeting will formally adjourn when the CMC has addressed all agenda items, which may be accomplished in less than the three days set aside.

Request a CDT Code Addition, Revision, Deletion

CDT Change requests may be submitted at any time, and the date received determines the CDT Code version that may incorporate the requested action. The annual closing date for submissions is on the CDT Code Maintenance timeline. Any requests received after the closing date will be addressed in the next annual maintenance cycle.

Telephone: ADA Members, please use the toll-free number on the back of your membership card; Direct dial, 312.440.2500
Email: dentalcode@ada.org