ADA Dental Terminology Licenses: Licensing for Commercial Users

CDT Code Set

American Dental Association (ADA) developed and maintains two Code Sets as a standardized language to help dentists and other members of the healthcare industry communicate effectively. They are the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT Code) and the Systematized Nomenclature of Dentistry (SNODENT). These ADA Code Sets are revised and updated every year. Using these Code Sets, the ADA has developed three dental terminology licenses that serve as tools to aid in utilization, simplification, and transparency for documenting and reporting dental codes.

The ADA is the exclusive copyright owner of CDT, the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT Code), and the ADA Dental Claim Form. Except as permitted by law, all use, copying or distribution of CDT, or any portion thereof (including the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature) in any product or services (including works prepared for clients by consultants and other professionals), whether in printed, electronic or other format, requires a valid commercial user license from the ADA. ADA owns all right, title and interest in and to the SNODENT code set including, but not limited to, the entire exclusive copyright and all other intellectual property rights, and except as otherwise provided by law, all rights of commercialization, rental or sales of the SNODENT code set or any part thereof, all rights to make derivative works of the SNODENT code set, and all rights to distribute the SNODENT code set and copies thereof.

Consumer-Friendly CDT Dental Terminology License

Consumer-Friendly CDT uses simple sentences and straightforward language to convey information, helping promote understanding and price transparency so that patients are more comfortable reading their description of services.
File available to licensees annually in June.

3-way Map: SNODENT→ICD-10-CM →CDT 2025 Dental Terminology License

Connects the SNODENT and ICD-10-CM pairs to relevant CDT procedure codes offering a comprehensive, accurate resource for clinical documentation and diagnosis reporting.
File available annually in October. Licensees must have all 3 licenses: SNODENT, CDT, and 3-way Map.

2-way Map: SNODENT→ICD-10-CM Dental Terminology License

Connects SNODENT concepts for dental-related disorders and findings to ICD-10-CM disease classification codes offering a comprehensive, accurate resource for clinical documentation and diagnosis reporting.
File available annually in October. Licensees must have 2 licenses: SNODENT, and 2-way Map.


License Agreement

The ADA will provide a template license agreement that reflects the appropriate terms, conditions and royalty fees for your product or service. These terms and conditions were developed to protect the ADA intellectual property and ensure that organizations bundling the CDT Codes within their products or services are treated fairly and equitably regardless of organizational size, industry or mission.

To obtain a license, commercial users must complete and return a CDT License Application to the ADA. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant for completion. For further questions regarding CDT Licensing, please contact the ADA at Please note it typically takes 2-4 weeks for the ADA to process a CDT License Application, but in some cases the process can take as long as two (2) months.

License Types

The ADA strives to make CDT widely available at a reasonable cost to the entire healthcare community, including commercial users. Because there are a number of ways to bundle the CDT Codes with your product or service, the ADA has a number of different license types including, but not limited to: software, published materials (print or digital), seminars/webinars, consultants, benefit plans or TPAs.

With commercial use, you must bundle the Codes with other assets in your product or service and redistribution of the CDT Codes alone is not permitted. Bundling of the Codes in your product/service includes access, use, extraction, interpretation or manipulation of the Codes in or into your product/service to produce or enable output (patient records, data, reports, claims, analytics, books, training materials or the like) that could not be created without the CDT Codes embedded in the product/service even if the CDT Codes may not be visible or directly accessible.