The American Dental Association (ADA) Code Maintenance Committee (CMC), the body that evaluates and votes on proposed changes to the Code of Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT Code) has acted on many code change requests for CDT 2022. Effective Jan. 1, 2022, CDT has 16 additions, 14 revisions and six deletions, including eight codes adopted in March 2021 for vaccine administration and molecular testing for a public health-related pathogen. CDT 2022 also has a section on ICD-10 codes related to dentistry. As a reliable dental billing company, we stay up to date on CDT coding changes to help dentists use current and specific codes to document and accurately report what they do, bill patients correctly, and communicate to payers about treatments submitted for reimbursement.

  • New CDT Codes: CDT 2022 includes new codes for:

    • Pre-visit patient screenings
    • Fabricating, adjusting and repairing sleep apnea appliances
    • Intra-coronal and extra-coronal splints
    • Immediate partial dentures
    • Rebasing hybrid prostheses
    • Removal of temporary anchorage devices
  • Orthodontic Code Action Requests Approved: The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) made three Code Action Requests and the CMC approved all (orthodonticproductsonline.com). The AAO announced that these changes will come into effect in CDT 2022, and will be reflected in services provided on or after January 1, 2022.

The three approved Code Action Requests are:

  1. Deletion of the Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment subcategory nomenclature, descriptor, and codes D8050 and D8060

    The AAO believes that the deletion of the Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment codes and the revision of the Limited Orthodontic Treatment descriptor will eliminate any ambiguity and redundancy, as the procedures previously described as “interceptive” were thought to be substantively similar clinically to the Limited Orthodontic Treatment procedures.
  2. Revision of the Limited Orthodontic Treatment descriptor

    The AAO has stated that new language for Limited Orthodontic Treatment will be written as follows:

    Orthodontic treatment utilizing any therapeutic modality with a limited objective or scale of treatment. Treatment may occur in any stage of dental development or dentition.

    The objective may be limited by:

    • not involving the entire dentition.
    • not attempting to address the full scope of the existing or developing orthodontic problem.
    • mitigating an aspect of a greater malocclusion (i.e., crossbite, overjet, overbite, arch length, anterior alignment, one phase of multi-phase treatment, treatment prior to the permanent dentition, etc.).
    • a decision to defer or forego comprehensive treatment.

    D8010: limited orthodontic treatment of the primary dentition

    D8020: limited orthodontic treatment of the transitional dentition

    D8030: limited orthodontic treatment of the adolescent dentition

    D8040: limited orthodontic treatment of the adult dentition

  3. Deletion of D8690 “orthodontic treatment (alternative billing to a contract fee).”

    The AAO requested deletion of D8690 in order to reduce confusion for members who observed that “D8690 does not truly represent a procedure, is redundant with other exiting codes, and is no longer required”.
  • 8 Pandemic-related CDT Procedure Codes

    Included in CDT 2022 are eight COVID-19 codes relevant to vaccine administration that were approved in CDT 2021. The CDT Code already has entries for documenting antigen and antibody testing. The new pandemic related codes are:

    D1701: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine administration – first dose

    D1702: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine administration – second dose

    D1703: Moderna COVID-19 vaccine administration – first dose

    D1704: Moderna COVID-19 vaccine administration – second dose

    D1705: AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine administration – first dose

    D1706: AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine administration – second dose

    D1707: Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine administration

    D0606: Molecular testing for a public health-related pathogen, including coronavirus

    New code D0606 that supports molecular testing for a public health-related pathogen, including coronavirus, complements two codes approved in 2020:

    • D0604 antigen testing for a public health-related pathogen, including coronavirus; and
    • D0605 antibody testing for a public health-related pathogen, including coronavirus.

The use of codes related to the AstraZeneca vaccine are contingent upon that vaccine being granted Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Ontario Academy of General Dentistry notes that dentists who seeking to provide their patients with either COVID-19 testing or vaccination services may want to consider cross-coding for those procedures under patients’ medical insurance.

Practices need to start preparing for these changes slated for 2022. Dental billing service providers keep up to date with the code changes to ensure that they can help dentists report their services correctly on claims and receive appropriate reimbursement.