Task force seeking dental community's comments on CDT Code enhancement

Deadline for submitting feedback is March 2023

Dr. Stilley-Mallah
Dr. Gardner

The ADA'S Enhanced CDT Task Force is seeking comment from the entire dental community on the proposed framework of dental procedure code modifiers, which would complement - not replace - the CDT Code's current "Dxxxx" format.

There will be a five-month open comment period beginning this month and continuing through March 2023.

The ongoing project's goal is to review and enhance the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature, often called the CDT Code, so that it better serves current and evolving needs for robust patient records and accurate claim submissions, said Jessica Stilley-Mallah, D.M.D., chair of the ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs.

Dr. Stilley-Mallah added that the CDT Code has not had a structural enhancement since it was first published in 1969.

"The dental community's comments will enable the council to determine the appropriate next steps for the project," she said.

ADA staff has been working closely with subject matter experts with backgrounds in general dentistry, dental specialties and dental research to develop the draft set of modifiers, said Stacey Gardner, D.M.D., vice chair of the Council on Dental Benefit Programs and chair of the task force.

Dr. Gardner pointed out that the two-character modifier architecture would enhance the existing code set in several ways.

"Modifiers would add more patient record details such as materials, techniques and technologies used in the procedure that do not duplicate information already captured elsewhere, such as area of the oral cavity and tooth surface - all without changing the code's current format ('Dxxxx')," she said.

Examples of these modifiers will be available to view in Excel and PDF format via

The task force asks that all comments be submitted via email to

ADA staff will be available to answer questions about the modifier architecture during a series of virtual open Q&A sessions on Nov. 15, 22, 29 and Dec. 6 and 13. Each session will he held from 1-2 p.m. Central. Details and a link tothese sessions can be found at

The task force will compile and analyze the comments received, and deliver afindings report to the council.  This report will enable the council to determine next steps in the Enhanced CDT Code project, Dr. Gardner said.

Additional information about the Enhanced CDT Code project, and all matters related to the CDT Code, is available online at

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