Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT Code)

Essential information and resources for CDT Code Maintenance, Request a Change to CDT Code, CMC Meetings, Coding Education Guides, Dental Claim Form and more.
Purpose

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 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.

Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature CDT Code

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.

March 2021 CMC Meeting Report and Next CMC Meeting

The Code Maintenance Committee (CMC) convened its Annual Meeting on March 11-12, 2021 to agree upon CDT Code changes to be incorporated into the code set.  Information about the proceedings and decisions are in the Meeting Action Summary report, which includes the CMC’s rationale for changes rejected by the committee.  The report is available to review and download now:

There are 45 changes to be included in CDT 2022 – 16 additions, 13 revisions, 6 deletions and 10 editorial.  This CDT Code version is effective on January 1, 2022.

During this meeting the CMC also approved inclusion of eight new COVID-19 related procedure codes for inclusion in the code set’s current version – CDT 2021. Information about these procedures is in documents posted on the CDT’s “Coding Education” https://www.ada.org/en/publications/cdt/coding-education.

The following PDF files contains the complete Editorial and Substantive action requests as submitted, in inventory # order, to supplement the meeting summary report’s content.

2022 CMC Meeting

The next annual CMC meeting is scheduled to convene on March 10 – 11, 2022 (Thursday- Friday). Proceedings begin on March 10th at 8:30 AM.  Additional information concerning this meeting will be posted in December 2021.

  • The CMC meeting is when member organization representatives discuss and vote to accept, amend or decline each action request.
  • This an open meeting that includes public comment and discussion of any CDT Code Action Request before the committee.
  • The meeting will formally adjourn when the CMC has addressed all agenda items, which may be accomplished in less than the two days set aside.
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.