Enhanced CDT | American Dental Association

Enhanced CDT

A new project to review and enhance the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT)

Enhanced CDT Code

As announced on August 26, 2021 [ADA News: ADA council creates taskforce to enhance CDT] the ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs is proceeding with a new project 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.

This site provides important information on this ongoing project and will be updated as more information becomes available. The content below was last revised on 1/19/2022.

Your Input Matters

Please submit any thoughts or comments on this project to dentalcode@ada.org.

The Enhanced CDT Taskforce will conduct two (2) virtual listening sessions on the following dates if you are interested in providing oral testimony.  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 dentalcode@ada.org.  Capacity limited to first 25 registrants.

Benefits of enhancing the CDT

We must enhance the CDT Code so that:

  1. Correct and detailed coding of services delivered to patients can be easily supported by practice software.
  2. Accuracy of records are improved through discrete codes for: a) New technology (e.g., 3-D printing of prostheses)
    b) New materials (e.g., implants; dentures; restorations)
    c) Different techniques (e.g. lasers; digital impressions)
    d) Different preventive service modalities (e.g., remineralization and regenerative procedures)
    e) Multiple distinct steps of a procedure (e.g., crown preparation; definitive crown placement)
  3. Workflows are improved through communication of more granular/specific information on dental procedures electronically to other practitioners such as dental specialists for consultations (e.g., electronic patient records)
  4. Data analytics are more efficient with structured data to support identification of evidence-based treatment protocols (e.g., differences in materials used in procedure delivery; differences in preventive modalities like remineralization, and emerging technology)

Guiding Principles

  • Current Dxxxx structure will be maintained
  • Enhancement will not affect content of claim transaction. The current claim form, the 837D v5010 allows a maximum of four modifiers applicable to single CDT code reported. Were modifiers to be introduced, only up to 4 modifiers will be identified per CDT Code. 
  • 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…”)
  • Current parsing by categories will be maintained, although continuity in code numbers as already seen in the code set, will not be guaranteed

These guiding principles are subject to change as more information is available to the project taskforce and the Council on Dental Benefit Programs.