Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT Code)


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.

Frequent General Questions Regarding Dental Procedure Codes

When it comes to the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature, better known as the CDT Code, most dentists have similar questions about this ADA intellectual property. The questions (and answers) below, compiled by the ADA Practice Institute, are often asked by ADA members who seek a general understanding of the CDT Code, and who are interested in how their own unique questions can be addressed. Please click on the FAQ link, this information is available for anyone to download, read or view.

FAQ's Regarding Dental Procedure Codes

Contact Us

Email us anytime at You can also reach out to us from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday by phone 800.621.8099.

Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature CDT Code

Enhanced CDT Code Project – Request for Dental Community Input


As announced in the ADA News ADA council creates taskforce to enhance CDT; Task force soliciting dental community input on enhancing CDT Code the ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs is proceeding with a new project, approved by the ADA Board of Trustees, to review and enhance the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT Code) so that this ADA code set serves current and evolving needs for robust patient records and accurate claim submissions.

Information about the need for and value of this project, along with specific questions concerning an enhanced CDT Code are in the following PDF (downloadable for your use).
Enhanced CDT Code Community Input Posting

Dental Community Input

The Enhanced CDT Taskforce is seeking community comment on the project in two ways

  1. By conducting two (2) virtual listening sessions on the following dates if you are interested in providing oral testimony concerning this project. Each speaker will be provided a maximum of 3 minutes during the listening sessions.
  •  January 27, 2022 (Thursday) – Noon to 1:30 PM Central Time

  • February 22, 2022 (Tuesday) – Noon to 1:30 PM Central Time

    Register now for the listening sessions via email to Capacity for each session is limited to first 25 registrants.
  1. Through submission of written comments; the following template is provided to aid in documenting your comments.
    Enhanced CDT Code Input Template

Contact Us

Email us anytime at You can also reach out to us from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday by phone 800.621.8099.

2022 March CMC Meeting


The next annual CMC meeting is scheduled to convene at ADA Headquarter on March 10 – 11, 2022 (Thursday- Friday). Proceedings begin at 8:30 AM on the 10th.  This meeting:

  • is when committee member organization representatives discuss and vote to accept, amend or reject action requests on the agenda;
  • is an open meeting that includes, as directed by the Chair, opportunities for public (“Observer”) comment on action requests discussed by the committee; and
  • will formally adjourn when the CMC has addressed all agenda items, which may be accomplished in less than the two days scheduled.

CDT Code Action Requests on the committee’s agenda are in the hyperlinked downloadable PDF, available to any interested person or organization.

March 2022 CMC Meeting Action Requests

Public Comment

Any interested party may submit written comments on any of the action requests in the above-noted PDF prior to the March CMC meeting. Written comments must be transmitted via email to and be received no later than by Friday, February 25, 2022.

Note: Written comments must include the following information:

a) Submitter’s name and organizational affiliation

b) Inventory # of the request being commented upon

c) Commenter’s position (for / against / undecided) on the request being addressed

All comments received by February 25, 2022 will be compiled by the CMC Secretariat and forwarded to CMC member organization representatives.


Any individual interested attending this meeting in person must register with the CMC Secretariat.  Registration information, information concerning COVID-19 safety protocols (e.g., proof of vaccination; masking; social distancing), etc. for this meeting will be posted in January 2022.

Annual Review & 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 activities.

CDT Code Maintenance Timeline

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.

Date Milestone
November Closing date for submissions to be addressed during the next annual CMC meeting
March Annual CMC Meeting
April Notification of CMC decisions on action requests sent to submitter
4th Quarter Next edition of CDT Manual published
January 1st Effective date of a CDT version

NOTE: Any requests received after the November 1st closing date will be addressed in the next annual maintenance cycle.