Current Dental Terminology (CDT)


Your Online Resource for ADA Dental Code Information


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Current Dental Terminology (CDT) is a reference manual published by the American Dental Association that contains a number of useful components, including the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (Code), instructions for use of the Code, Questions and Answers, the ADA Dental Claim Form Completion Instructions, and Tooth Numbering Systems.

The Code, published in the CDT reference manual, provides the dental profession with a standardized coding system to document and to communicate accurate information about dental treatment procedures and services to agencies involved in adjudicating insurance claims. CDT and the Code are used in dental offices and by the dental benefits industry for purposes of keeping patient records, reporting procedures on patients, and processing and reporting of dental insurance claims.

The Code is generally updated every two years. The updated code is published in a new edition of CDT dental codes.

Dentist and Patient

CDT Products for Individual End Users

The ADA offers a number of CDT products available for use by individuals, such as by dentists and their staff. The CDT manual includes the complete Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature and is offered for sale in several printed and CD-ROM formats. It may also purchased in a combination set which contains both a printed and CD-ROM edition of the CDT manual.

CDT Products for Commercial Users

The American Dental Association owns all right, title and interest in and to the CDT, which includes the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature and its other components. ADA’s rights include, but are not limited to, the entire exclusive copyright and all other intellectual property rights, including all rights of commercialization, rental or sale, all rights to make derivative works, and all rights to make and distribute copies of the CDT or any portion thereof.

All use, copying, reprinting, or distribution of the CDT, or any portion thereof (including theCode on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature), whether in printed, electronic or any other format, in any product, publication, report, presentation or derivative work (including works prepared for clients by consultants and other professionals) requires a valid commercial user license from the ADA.

The ADA strives to make the CDT widely available, at a reasonable cost, to the entire dental community, including commercial users.

Commercial users include software vendors, print and/or electronic publishers, academic institutions and educators, government agencies, consultants, actuaries and other professionals, dental insurers, third party claims processors, and anyone providing or administering dental benefits.

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