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The Top 18 CDT Codes for Orthodontics: A Cheatsheet for Dental Billers
For Providers

The Top 18 CDT Codes for Orthodontics: A Cheatsheet for Dental Billers

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 18 CDT codes for orthodontics

There are quite a few orthodontic CDT codes, but you’ll often find yourself using the same ones 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:

  • 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
  • D8050: Interceptive orthodontic treatment of the primary dentition
  • D8060: Interceptive orthodontic treatment of the transitional dentition
  • D8070: Comprehensive orthodontic treatment of the transitional dentition
  • D8080: Comprehensive orthodontic treatment of the adolescent dentition
  • D8090: Comprehensive orthodontic treatment of the adult dentition
  • D8210: Removable appliance therapy
  • D8220: Fixed appliance therapy
  • D8660: Pre-orthodontic treatment examination to monitor growth and development
  • D8670: Periodic orthodontic treatment visit (as part of contract)
  • D8680: Orthodontic retention (removal of appliances, construction, and placement of retainer(s))
  • D8690: Orthodontic treatment (alternative billing to a contract fee)
  • D8691: Repair of orthodontic appliance
  • D8692: Replacement of lost or broken retainer
  • D8693: Re-cement or re-bond fixed retainer

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, saving you countless hours on the phone. Schedule a consultation to learn more today!

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About the Author

Harry Gatlin

Harry is passionate about the power of language to make complex systems like health insurance simpler and fairer. He received his BA in English from Williams College and his MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Alabama. In his spare time, he is writing a book of short stories called You Must Relax.