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Explore CDT 2016 at ADA 2015

September 01, 2015

By Kelly Soderlund

Washington, D.C
. — The 663 entries in CDT 2016 can be a lot to digest but two courses at ADA 2015 – America's Dental Meeting may help dentists understand how the CDT Code works and allow them a forum to express their opinions on the specifics.

Optimize Your Practice: Understanding Dental Benefits, the CDT Code and More (course 6304) is scheduled for 8-11 a.m. Nov. 6. Attendees will learn how to select the appropriate CDT codes for documenting and reporting services, prevent claim submission errors and identify and report claim adjudication issues.

Dr. Charles Hoffman, chair of the ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs, and Dr. Ronald Riggins, chair of the council's Subcommittee on Codes, will present the program There is no fee for the course and participants are eligible to receive up to three hours of continuing education credit.

The Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature is ADA intellectual property and named by the federal government as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act standard for reporting dental services on claims. The council established the Code Maintenance Committee to ensure that all stakeholders have an active role in evaluating and voting on CDT Code changes.

The CDT Code Open Forum (course 7342) is scheduled for 8-9:30 a.m. Nov. 7. This interactive program allows participants to present and discuss their thoughts on the current CDT Code and new procedure code concepts. CDBP members who are involved with the CDT Code maintenance process will moderate the forum and Dr. Richard Celko of UPMC Health Plan will represent the payer perspective. There is no fee for the course and participants are eligible to receive up to one hour of continuing education credit.

"We would encourage everybody to bring a copy of CDT 2016 so they can reference any codes being discussed," Dr. Hoffman said. "The CDT Code Workshop and the CDT Code Forum are great opportunities for people to not only learn about CDT Code changes and their use but also about the CDT Code maintenance process. They can also offer any opinions on what changes the Code Maintenance Committee might consider including in future versions."

To register for ADA 2015 and these courses, visit For more information on ADA 2015, search for #ADADC on Twitter and Facebook.

On Sept. 1, the ADA released two manuals and one smartphone app to help practices use the 2016 edition of CDT codes. The Association authored CDT 2016: Dental Procedure Codes and CDT 2016 Companion: Help Guide and Training Manual and developed the CDT Code Check app for iOS and Android.

CDT 2016: Dental Procedure Codes includes 19 new and 12 revised codes and eight codes from previous versions were deleted. The changes go into effect Jan. 1.

Chapter 2 of CDT 2016 contains details on these changes that:

  • Fill gaps arising from technological advances in dentistry (e.g., diagnostic imaging; genetic testing).
  • Enable more accurate reporting with codes that provide greater specificity (e.g., removable partial dentures; .
  • Simplify nomenclatures or descriptors to aid selection of the appropriate procedure code (e.g., grafts; anesthesia).

The publication also has a USB drive that has the book in PDF format. The book is also available as an e-book.

The CDT 2016 Companion: Help Guide includes detailed coding scenarios, answers to frequently asked coding questions and tables linking CDT codes with ICD-10 codes. The Companion is designed to help dentists train a new staff member who has never worked in a dental office and educate current staff on new codes or common coding mistakes.

The award-winning CDT Code Check app allows dental professionals to access CDT codes on the go, and also includes the 2015 codes for reference.

CDT 2016: Dental Procedure Codes (J016) is $39.95 for ADA members and $59.95 for non-members; CDT 2016 Companion: Help Guide and Training Manual (J446) is $49.95 for members and $74.95 for non-members; and the CDT Code Check app (J016i) is $19.95 for members and $29.95 for non-members.

CDT 2016 products are available to order from or by calling the ADA Member Service Center at 1-800-947-4746.

Readers can get 15 percent off CDT 2016 or any ADA Catalog products by using the promo code 15118 by Oct. 16.