What is CDT?
CDT is a reference manual published annually by ADA and contains the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT Code). The CDT Code is a set of procedural codes for oral health and adjunctive services that are provided in dentistry. Each procedural code consists of an alphanumeric character beginning with the letter “D” (the procedure code) and a title (the nomenclature). It also includes written narratives (descriptors) for some of the procedural codes. The CDT Code categorizes codes by type of service: diagnostic, preventive, restorative, endodontics, periodontics, removable prosthodontics, maxillofacial prosthetics, implant services, fixed prosthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics and adjunctive general services. However, nothing in the CDT supports or indicates limitation of use by dentists — general dentists or specialists — to any categorical section(s) of the 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.
To learn more about CDT and dental coding visit the American Dental Coders Association (ADCA)