Dental Coding is the process of assigning codes to dental procedures. This is done to track and bill insurance companies for services provided. The American Dental Association (ADA) has developed a comprehensive set of guidelines for dental coding, known as CDT (Current Dental Terminology). This blog post will discuss the basics of dental coding and how to use CDT codes correctly!

The ADA’s CDT codebook is the primary source for dental coding in the United States. The codebook includes more than 200 codes covering all dentistry areas, from preventive services to oral surgery.

Why Use CDT Codes?

CDT codes are used to standardize dental billing across the country. This makes it easier for insurance companies to process claims and for dentists to get paid for their services. Understanding these codes can help in dental billing. In addition, CDT codes can be used to track trends in dental care and assess the effectiveness of dental treatments.

How to Use CDT Codes

Dentists should first consult the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT) when coding a procedure. This codebook includes a list of all CDT codes and their corresponding descriptions. Dentists should then choose the code that best describes the procedure they performed. For example, if dentists perform routine cleaning, they use CDT code 11010 (Prophylaxis – adult).

It’s important to note that some procedures may require more than one code.

In these cases, the codes should be listed in order of precedence. For example, if a dentist performs a filling and an x-ray on the same tooth, they would use CDT code 21121 (Pulp cap – primary or permanent tooth) followed by CDT code 02140 (Bitewing single film).

Dental coding can seem daunting, but it’s essential to get it right! By following the guidelines set forth by the ADA, dentists can ensure that they are correctly coding procedures and getting paid for their services. 

If you have any inquiries regarding dental codes, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our dental billing experts. We are always pleased to be of assistance.