Code on Nomenclature (CDT) Code | American Dental Association

The CDT Code

The Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (the CDT Code) assures consistency in documenting dental treatment.

CDT Code Book 2022

Announcements

Enhanced CDT Code

The ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs (CDBP) is continuing its work on this project, first announced on August 26, 2021 [ADA News]. Enhancing the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT Code) ensures that this ADA code set serves current and evolving needs for robust patient records and accurate claim submissions.

This web page provides important information on this ongoing project for all in the dental community that use the CDT Code – e.g., dentists, practice management system vendors and dental insurance companies. Periodic updates will be posted here as more information becomes available. Please “bookmark” this page and check back often.

Project Guiding Principles:

  • Current Dxxxx structure will be maintained
  • A CDT code would be complemented, as necessary, by a set of two-character modifiers
  • To be in compliance with HIPAA, four modifiers is the most that may be reported with a CDT code.
  • Modifier codes do not duplicate information that currently can be reported on a claim (e.g., area of the oral cavity)
  • Adjudication elements will not be included in code nomenclatures and descriptors (e.g., “…not to be delivered with…”)

Desired benefits of enhancing the CDT:

  1. Easier selection of correct codes to document procedures, supported by practice software
  2. Discrete codes with a more logical structure to support increased granularity of procedure information for:
    1. New technology (e.g., 3D printing of prosthesis)
    2. New materials (e.g., implants; dentures; restorations; remineralization and regenerative procedures)
    3. Different techniques (e.g., lasers; digital impressions)
    4. Multiple distinct steps of a procedure (e.g., crown preparation; definitive crown placement)
    5. More efficient and robust data analytics to support identification of evidence-based treatment protocols (e.g., differences in materials used in procedure delivery; differences in preventative modalities like remineralization, and emerging technology)

Project Update:

The Council’s advisory committee of subject matter experts (SMEs) acquired dental community input on the possible architecture, nature, scope and implementation issues of an Enhanced CDT Code in January and February of 2022 during two virtual “listening” sessions and through written comments from interested parties not able to participate in these listening sessions. This feedback was included in the SME task force’s initial findings and recommendation report to the Council.

In May 2022, the CDBP approved the recommendation to develop of a draft set of dental procedure code “modifiers” that could be reported in conjunction with a CDT code. Work is now underway on modifier structure and content. This work anticipates that the current CDT code format (“Dxxxx”) will not be changed. The outcomes will enable the Council to determine the appropriate next steps for the project.

For questions or more information –

Contact Us

Email us anytime at dentalcode@ada.org. 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.

2023 March CMC Meeting

The next annual CMC meeting is scheduled to convene at ADA Headquarters on March 9 – 10, 2023 (Thursday- Friday). More Info

ADA members benefit from free coding assistance
Free coding assistance is available to all ADA members, plus any non-member who has purchased the current manual. Please contact the Member Service Center at 800.621.8099 or dentalcode@ada.org.
Terms dentists and staff may encounter when interacting with dental benefit plans
Clinical terms encountered when selecting the appropriate CDT Code
Informational materials for CDT Code procedures and reporting
Committee meeting and process information
Request a CDT Code addition, revision, or deletion
CDT publications with misprints or omissions
Frequently reported CDT Codes with one or more possible ICD-10-CM diagnostic codes as examples
Instructions for completing the ADA Dental Claim Form
ADA news articles related to CDT Codes