The Top 10 CDT Codes for Periodontics: A Cheatsheet for Dental Coders
October 19, 2023
CDT codes, or Current Dental Terminology codes, are a set of standardized codes maintained by the American Dental Association (ADA). Dental professionals in the U.S. use CDT codes to describe dental procedures for billing, insurance claims, and record-keeping purposes. This system ensures consistency and uniformity in reporting dental treatments across the industry.
The first in a series of articles aiding dental billers with shortcuts to common codes, this post will list the 18 most common CDT codes for orthodontics. If you’re a dental biller or an orthodontist running a private practice, read on for a helpful database of CDT codes for orthodontics.
What are CDT codes used for?
Billing and Insurance Claims: CDT codes provide a standardized way to describe dental procedures, making it easier for dental professionals to bill insurance companies and patients. Every dental procedure has a specific CDT code, ensuring consistency across the board.
Uniformity in Treatment Description: CDT codes bring uniformity in describing dental treatment procedures. This means that the same code will refer to the same treatment, no matter which dentist or dental office you visit in the U.S.
Documentation and Records: Dental professionals can use CDT codes in their record-keeping systems. This makes it easier for them to keep track of the treatments they've provided to patients.
Data Analysis and Research: In broader research and public health contexts, standardized codes like CDT allow for the aggregation of data. For example, researchers can study trends in dental treatments, frequency of specific procedures, or assess the needs for particular dental services in specific populations.
Communication: CDT codes facilitate clearer communication between dentists, dental specialists, insurance companies, and other stakeholders. When a dentist refers a patient to a specialist, using CDT codes can provide a precise understanding of what treatments or evaluations are recommended or have been done.
Regulatory Compliance: Some state or federal programs might require the use of CDT codes to ensure compliance with rules and regulations related to dental care reimbursement or reporting.
The American Dental Association (ADA) maintains and updates the CDT codes. The updates typically include additions of new codes, revisions of existing codes, or deletion of outdated codes. These updates ensure that the CDT code system remains relevant and reflects the evolving nature of dental care.
The top 10 CDT codes for periodontics
There are quite a few periodontic CDT codes—to get an exhaustive list you would need to consult the ADA’s latest CDT manual. However, you don’t really need the manual on hand at all times, because you’ll often find yourself using the same codes over and over again. Thus, memorizing or referring to this list could save you significant time.
The 18 most common CDT codes are as follows:
- D4210 - Gingivectomy or gingivoplasty – four or more contiguous teeth or bounded teeth spaces per quadrant
- D4211 - Gingivectomy or gingivoplasty – one to three contiguous teeth or bounded teeth spaces per quadrant
- D4240 - Gingival flap procedure, including root planing – four or more contiguous teeth or bounded teeth spaces per quadrant
- D4241 - Gingival flap procedure, including root planing – one to three contiguous teeth or bounded teeth spaces per quadrant
- D4260 - Osseous surgery (including flap entry and closure) – four or more contiguous teeth or bounded teeth spaces per quadrant
- D4261 - Osseous surgery (including flap entry and closure) – one to three contiguous teeth or bounded teeth spaces per quadrant
- D4341 - Periodontal scaling and root planing – four or more teeth per quadrant
- D4342 - Periodontal scaling and root planing – one to three teeth per quadrant
- D4381 - Localized delivery of antimicrobial agents via a controlled release vehicle into diseased crevicular tissue, per tooth
- D4910 - Periodontal maintenance
How to look up CDT codes you don’t know
To look up CDT codes that you don't know:
CDT Manual: Purchase and consult the official CDT manual published by the American Dental Association (ADA). This manual is the definitive source for all CDT codes and contains detailed descriptions for each code.
Online Databases: Some dental software systems or online platforms offer searchable databases of CDT codes. With these tools, you can often input keywords or partial descriptions to find the corresponding codes.
ADA's Website: The ADA might offer tools or resources for members to look up CDT codes.
Consult with Peers: If you're part of a dental group or association, colleagues might be a resource for identifying unfamiliar CDT codes.
Continuing Education and Training: Stay updated with regular training or courses that might include reviews of new, removed, or changed CDT codes.
Always ensure you're using the most current version of the CDT, as codes can be added, altered, or deleted with new editions.
How SuperBill helps with dental coding
If you run a dental practice or you work as a dental biller, SuperBill may be able to help! SuperBill uses sophisticated AI to streamline the process of dental billing. We can automate your calls to insurers, create and manage your dental bills, and even file claims on your patients’ behalf.
Why enter each individual CDT code by hand, when you could let SuperBill for insurance handle it. We have worked with countless dental patients, practices, and billers to take the reimbursement burden off their plates. Schedule a consultation today!