Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT) is a valuable resource for dental practices and is used by providers of dental billing services to ensure accuracy of the codes used. CDT codes are developed and maintained by the American Dental Association. These codes that have a consistent format (Letter D followed by 4 numbers) provide a way to accurately record and report dental treatment.
The new CDT edition for the year 2017 is designed to streamline coding and maximize reimbursement by third-party insurers. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), CDT 2017 is the most up-to-date coding resource and the only Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) recognized code set for dentistry.
Effective January 1, 2017, the American Dental Association (ADA) Code Maintenance Committee has added 11 new codes, revised five codes and deleted one code in the CDT codes list. Most of the new codes are related to medically necessary treatments. New codes are:
- D0414 – Laboratory processing of microbial specimen to include culture and sensitivity studies, preparation, and transmission of written report
- D0600 – Non-ionizing diagnostic procedure capable of quantifying, monitoring and recording changes in structure of enamel, dentin and cementum
- D1575 – Distal shoe space maintainer – fixed – unilateral
- D4346 – Scaling in the presence of generalized moderate or severe gingival inflammation – full mouth, after oral evaluation
- D6081 – Scaling and debridement in the presence of inflammation or mucositis of a single implant, including cleaning of the implant surfaces, without flap entry and closure (With regard to dental implants, D6081 is a procedure no longer performed in conjunction with D1110 or D4910)
- D6085 – Provisional implant crown
- D9311 – Consultation with medical health care professional
- D9991 – Dental case management – addressing appointment compliance barriers
- D9992 – Dental case management – care coordination
- D9993 – Dental case management – motivational interviewing
- D9994 – Dental case management – patient education to improve oral health literacy
The code “D0290” that describes posterior-anterior or lateral skull and facial bone survey radiographic image has been removed from the code list.
Dentists need to ensure that their practices are prepared for dental procedure code changes that go into effect January 1, 2017. The entire billing staff should be provided training on these latest coding updates, so that they can use the right CDT codes. A reliable dental medical billing company makes note of these additions and deletions to ensure that claims are paid appropriately. Experienced coders in such companies also make use of CDT Code Check App that makes CDT codes easily portable and searchable.