May 2019 Volume LIV Number 3


Coding Corner

November 2018 Volume LIII Number 6

CDT 2019 Revisions and Additions

The Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT) is updated annually. The American Dental Association (ADA)’s Code Maintenance Committee (CMC) meets early each year to review the code change requests that are submitted, and votes to either accept, deny, or table each request. New and revised codes pertinent to pediatric dentists become effective Jan. 1, 2019.

Before reviewing the new codes, it is important to remember a few key facts about CDT. First, the primary purpose of CDT is to provide dental teams with a standardized language to report dental procedures. This standardized language allows doctors to:
  • Clearly communicate with patients about proposed dental procedures.
  • Accurately document all dental services performed.
  • Appropriately bill patients for services.
  • Accurately report dental procedures to third-party payers.

The existence of a code does not necessarily mean that it will be reimbursed. Payers are required to recognize current CDT codes when submitted on claims, but they are not obligated to pay for them. Furthermore, different payers may start providing reimbursement for new procedure codes at various times, depending on when they update their plan document. Despite this fact, it is vital to always report the most accurate, current CDT code to describe the procedure performed. The more frequently a code is reported, the more likely that it will be reimbursed in the future.

See full list of revisions and additions in the PDF below.

Click here for a PDF version of this article.