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Code Maintenance Committee offers public opportunity for input

February 04, 2013

By Kelly Soderlund, ADA News staff

Discussion point: Dr. Norman Nagel, representing the American Association of Orthodontists, makes a point at the February 2012 Code Maintenance Committee. At right is Dr. Ronald Hunt, representing the American Dental Education Association.
The Code Maintenance Committee is offering dentists, third-party payers, dental specialty organizations or any other member of the public the chance to share their passion on changes to the CDT Code.

The CMC is holding a three-day meeting Feb. 28-March 2 at ADA Headquarters to review 90 change requests. The first day will be an open session for public discussion and comment on the requests, a mix of additions, revisions and deletions to the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature.

On March 1-2, CMC members will review and discuss the comments and change requests and vote to accept or decline each one. Observers are welcome to these proceedings.

“Dentists use the CDT every day in their practices,” said Dr. Jim Richeson, CMC chair. “It’s an aspect of dental practice that everyone should be familiar with and have a stake in. The CMC recognizes that and wants to give dentists and others who work with the Code the opportunity to weigh in on how it’s crafted.”

Change requests can come from anyone but they typically come from individual dentists, dental specialty organizations, the ADA and third-party payers. View a list of the requests and other information on the CMC, visit Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature.

The CMC is a 21-member group that studies, discusses and decides on all changes to the CDT Code. It’s a multi-stakeholder committee comprised of representatives from the ADA, third-party payers, specialty and general dentistry organizations and dental education.

The CMC was originally named the Code Advisory Committee until the Council on Dental Benefit Programs changed its name last year to recognize that the CMC is a decision-making body. The CMC’s work supports annual CDT Code review and revision.

The purpose of the CDT Code is to achieve uniformity, consistency and specificity in accurately reporting dental treatment by dentists. 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. In federal regulations published under authority of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the CDT Code is named as the sole standard for reporting dental procedures on electronic claims and the ADA is recognized as the owner responsible for its annual review and maintenance.

CDT 2013: Dental Procedure Codes (J933) is available through the ADA Catalog. It offers 35 new, 37 revised and 12 deleted dental procedure codes and seven changes to subcategories and their descriptors. It also includes a searchable CD-ROM to find the most frequently used dental codes faster.

It’s $39.95 for members and $59.95 for nonmembers. The CDT 2013 e-Book (J933D-epub format) is $29.95 for members and $44.95 for nonmembers. Visit or call 800.947.4746 to purchase.

There is also a new 2013 CDT Code Check app for iPhones and iPads and Android-powered mobile phones and tablets. It’s available for $19.99 in the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play.