Request a Change to the Code
Request a CDT Code Addition, Revision, Deletion
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.
Request a Change to the Code
CDT Code Action Request & Copyright Form(s)
There is one form that is used when requesting any type of CDT Code action — e.g., add a new procedure code, revise a current procedure code nomenclature or descriptor. The Microsoft Word® document is intended to be downloaded to your computer, completed at your convenience and returned by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each person or entity submitting a CDT Code Action Request(s) must include properly completed Copyright Assignment Agreement. One signed agreement form will apply to all submissions from the person or entity received during a maintenance cycle.
Action requests that are not accompanied by a properly completed copyright assignment form will not be addressed by the Code Maintenance Committee.
The PDF document is intended to be downloaded to your computer, then completed (data entry areas are color shaded) and returned by email to email@example.com.
Form Completion Instructions
Each request form includes captions intended to aid completion. Highlights follow:
- A separate request is required for each desired CDT Code action.
- A rationale for the action (e.g., reasons why existing procedure code is inadequate or no longer appropriate; description of technology inherent to procedure; dental schools where taught) is required.
- The following information is required for additions – a) current CDT Code used to report the proposed procedure; b) description of the procedure or clinical condition; and c) scenario describing the patient, materials, technique, etc.
- When requesting a deletion, specify another current code (not a "999" unspecified procedure) that adequately describes the procedure. If there is no alternative or the procedure is believed to be obsolete, explain this in writing.
- Cite literature, when available, indicating extent of the procedure's or new technology's use and acceptance.
- Requirements for supporting documentation or literature are: a) if protected by copyright, written authorization to reprint and distribute must be provided; and b) all material must be submitted in electronic format.
Submission and Evaluation Guidelines
The goal of these guidelines is to maintain the best possible CDT Code. They are published to assist submitter’s preparation of a CDT Code Action Request Form. A robust code taxonomy makes it possible to prepare comprehensive, accurate, and detailed patient records, and accurate dental claim submissions.
A. Submitters should carefully review the guidelines when considering submitting a CDT Code Action Request and the justification for that request.
B. Guidelines do not preclude the submission of any CDT Code Action Request, but may influence the review of the submission by the Code Maintenance Committee.
C. Submitters may withdraw their CDT Code Action Request up to the closing date of submissions (November 1st).
- Code change request evaluation should be based on the need for documenting procedures based upon the patient’s dental needs and not on services covered by any applicable dental benefit plan.
- Procedures that are being provided to patients by dentists or other practitioners acting within the scope of their state’s laws, should have a code available for documentation.
- Procedure code nomenclatures and descriptors should be clear and unambiguous.
- Nomenclatures and descriptors address the manner in which the procedure is delivered, and should not include references to time intervals when the procedure may be reported, or limitations on reporting with other procedures.
- The alleged potential for abuse or fraudulent use of a code should not be considered as an evaluation guideline.
- Community standards of care should not limit consideration of other evaluation criteria.
Components of a Dental Procedure Code
An individual dental procedure code has at least the first two of the following three components. References to typeface pertain to the CDT Code as printed in the CDT Manual.
- Dental Procedure Code (Code)–A five character alphanumeric code that begins with the letter "D" and is followed by four numerals. Each code identifies a specific dental procedure, and is printed in boldface type.
- Nomenclature–A brief written definition of a Dental Procedure Code. Each code must have Nomenclature that is printed in boldface type.
- Descriptor–A written narrative that provides further definition and the intended use of a Dental Procedure Code. A Descriptor is optional and is printed in regular type.
Resubmission of Declined Request
A declined request may be submitted for consideration in a subsequent CDT Code review and revision cycle. The current action request form must be used for the resubmission.
NOTE: A resubmission must include new information not available when the original change request form was prepared.
Transmitting Your CDT Code Change Action Request
Via the Internet:
The action request form is a Microsoft Word © document that may be downloaded and completed at your convenience.
- All requested information in Parts 1-3 is required; limited exceptions are noted.
- Cells where information is entered have white backgrounds and will automatically expand as needed.
- Mark cells with “check boxes” (□) by moving the cursor over the box and making a “left-click”.
Completed request forms must be submitted in unprotected MSWord® format via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A submission will be returned for correction if it is: a) not an unprotected MS Word document; b) not on the current Action Request format; or c) it is missing “Required” information.
The email to email@example.com must also include: 1) your completed and signed ADA copyright assignment form; and 2) supporting information in electronic form (e.g., PDF), with permissions to reproduce when copyright protected.
- Submissions without a copyright assignment form will not be forwarded to the CMC for consideration
- Supporting material that is copyright protected without permission to reproduce will not be forwarded to the CMC for consideration.
Please direct your questions concerning code change request submission to the ADA's Council on Dental Benefit Programs staff via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via telephone (ADA Members, please use the toll-free number on the back of your membership card / Direct Dial 312.440.2500).
NOTE: Contact Council on Dental Benefit Programs staff if you do not receive an acknowledgement of receipt within 15 days of submission.