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 November 1st. 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)

CDT Code Action Request Form

There is one form used to request any type of CDT Code action— e.g., add a new procedure code; revise a current procedure code nomenclature or descriptor. A request may be submitted at any time, and must be on the current version of the form posted on this web page. The Microsoft Word® form intended to be downloaded to your computer, completed at your convenience and returned by email to dentalcode@ada.org.

A separate request form must be prepared and submitted for each desired CDT Code action. One fully completed Copyright Assignment Agreement must be included when submitting one or more action request forms. Requests that are not accompanied by the completed Copyright Assignment will not be addressed by the Code Maintenance Committee.

 Copyright Assignment Form

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 dentalcode@ada.org.

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; b) all material must be submitted in electronic format; and c) all supporting documentation or literature must be submitted in an unprotected password format.

NOTES:

  1. All request forms received by the CMC Secretariat will be reviewed for errors and omissions, and returned for correction.
  2. Corrected forms must be submitted, otherwise the requested action will not be placed on the CMC meeting agenda for consideration.
  3. Any request form, original or corrected, received after the November 1st closing date will be addressed in the next annual maintenance cycle.
Submission and Evaluation Guidelines

These guidelines are published to assist any interested person or organization (aka “submitter”) prepare a CDT Code Action Request Form. The Code Maintenance Committee considers these guidelines when determining whether to accept or reject an action request.

Preamble

A. A robust dental procedure code taxonomy makes it possible to prepare comprehensive, accurate, and detailed patient records, and accurate dental claim submissions.

B. Submitters should carefully review these guidelines when preparing a CDT Code Action Request and writing the rationale for the requested action.

C. These guidelines do not preclude the submission of any CDT Code Action Request, but are a factor considered by the Code Maintenance Committee during its review and decision-making process.

D. Submitters may withdraw their CDT Code Action Request up to the annual closing date of submissions (November 1st).

E. The CMC, during the course of its request review may at its discretion, amend the proposed action (e.g., nomenclature or descriptor, or both) before determining whether to accept or reject the CDT Code Action Request.

Guidelines

1. A change request must address the need for documenting services of any type delivered to a dentist’s patient.

2. 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.

3. Procedure code nomenclatures and descriptors address the manner in which the procedure is delivered and therefore must:

a) Be clear and unambiguous

b) Describe the intended outcome

and must not:

c) Cite a proprietary product or process

d) Include text or a name where a symbol such as “©” or “®” or “™” is required – except in a CDT code’s descriptor only when used as an exemplar (e.g., “…includes but is not limited to the Periodontal Screening and Recording® (PSR) system…”).

4. A request must not include nomenclature or descriptor wording that explicitly states or infers:

a) a standard of care

b) when and under what circumstances a dentist should deliver the procedure on a given date of service (e.g., time intervals)

c) whether or not the procedure is delivered with another distinct procedure on a given date of service; and

d) criteria for claim adjudication or reimbursement.

5. The alleged potential for abuse or fraudulent use of a code is not a consideration when preparing or evaluating an action request.

6. Community standards of care are not a consideration when preparing or evaluating an action request.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Nomenclature–A brief written definition of a Dental Procedure Code. Each code must have Nomenclature that is printed in boldface type.
  3. 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 a Rejected Request

A rejected CDT Code Action Request may be submitted for consideration in a subsequent CDT Code review and revision cycle. The then current action request form must be used for the resubmission.

NOTE:  A rejected action request resubmission must include new information not available when the original action request form was prepared.

   All new information must be clearly identified on the resubmission in order for the request to be on the CMC meeting agenda.

Transmitting Your CDT Code Change Action Request

Via the Internet:

Completed request forms must be submitted in unprotected MSWord® format via email to dentalcode@ada.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 dentalcode@ada.org 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. Electronic transmission via email is required
  • All supporting documentation or literature must be submitted in an unprotected password format.

NOTE: Contact CMC Secretariat staff if you do not receive an acknowledgement of receipt within 15 days of submission. 

Questions:

Please direct your questions concerning code change request submission to the CMC Secretariat staff via email via email 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.