Code updates effective January 2018


Changes to the “Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature,” commonly known as the CDT Code, have been released and will become effective for services provided on or after January 1, 2018.

The CDT Code is the current HIPAA-designated code set used in electronic dental data interchanges. It is the national standard for reporting dental services and is the principal means of communication between dentists and dental benefits payers.

Any dental claim submitted electronically on a HIPAA-standard electronic dental claim must use procedure codes from the current version of the CDT Code. This is also true for dental claims submitted on paper.

The CDT Code is reviewed annually by the American Dental Association (ADA) and updated to reflect changes in dental procedures accepted by the dental community. Each revised version takes effect January 1 of each year.

A revised version of the CDT Code, as published by the ADA in the manual “CDT 2018: Dental Procedure Codes,” will become effective January 1, 2018, for services provided on or after January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018.

The 2018 version of the CDT Code incorporates a significant number of procedure code changes with 18 new procedure code entries, 16 revised procedure code entries and three deleted procedure code entries. Code changes that you should be aware of include:

Along with the CDT 2018 code changes, the following claims processing policies will be effective as of January 1, 2018:

With all new code changes, we recommend that dentist and dental offices verify covered services for patients before rendering treatment. Details of individual coverage can be verified by calling our customer service team or by going online with the Dental Office Toolkit® (DOT).

The program fee schedules effective January 1, 2018, which include the CDT Code changes for 2018, were loaded into DOT as of December 1, 2017. Please update your practice management system to reflect the changes for patient services on or after January 1, 2018.

Accurate coding promotes faster claims processing and fewer errors, so Delta Dental recommends that each dental office have a current copy of the CDT Code. To order a copy of the CDT Code, call the ADA at 800-947-4746, or visit


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