In a typical year, most changes to the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Current Dental Terminology (CDT) are effective and published for use the following year after approval by the Code Maintenance Committee (CMC). In a year that continues to be anything but typical, the following new codes relating to COVID-19 testing and vaccine administration were considered during the March 11–12, 2021, CMC meeting and have been approved for immediate use as part of CDT 2021:
- D0606 molecular testing for a public health-related pathogen, including coronavirus.
- D1701 Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine administration — first dose.
- SARSCOV2 COVID-19 VAC mRNA 30mcg/0.3mL IM DOSE 1.
- D1702 Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine administration — second dose.
- SARSCOV2 COVID-19 VAC mRNA 30mcg/0.3mL IM DOSE 2.
- D1703 Moderna COVID-19 vaccine administration — first dose.
- SARSCOV2 COVID-19 VAC mRNA 100mcg/0.5mL IM DOSE 1.
- D1704 Moderna COVID-19 vaccine administration — second dose.
- SARSCOV2 COVID-19 VAC mRNA 100mcg/0.5mL IM DOSE 2.
- D1705 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine administration — first dose.
- SARSCOV2 COVID-19 VAC rS-ChAdOx1 5x1010 VP/.5mL IM DOSE 1.
- D1706 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine administration — second dose.
- SARSCOV2 COVID-19 VAC rS-ChAdOx1 5x1010 VP/.5mL IM DOSE 2.
- D1707 Janssen COVID-19 vaccine administration.
- SARSCOV2 COVID-19 VAC Ad26 5x1010 VP/.5mL IM SINGLE DOSE.
The new code supporting molecular testing for a public health-related pathogen, including coronavirus, supplements two codes approved in 2020:
- D0604 antigen testing for a public health-related pathogen, including coronavirus; and
- D0605 antibody testing for a public health-related pathogen, including coronavirus.
The use of codes related to the AstraZeneca vaccine are contingent upon that medication being granted Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Dentists interested in providing their patients with either COVID-19 testing or vaccination services may want to consider cross-coding claims for those procedures under patients’ medical plan coverages.
The secretariat of the CMC is working to update and provide all documentation relating to CDT 2021 to users. New Codes Approved for Sleep Apnea CDT 2022 will offer three new diagnostic codes relating to sleep apnea: one for custom sleep apnea appliance fabrication and placement, one detailing the adjustment of custom sleep apnea appliances and another for the repair of custom sleep apnea appliances. These treatments may also qualify for submission under the patient’s medical plan coverage.
New Endo Code for Intraorifice Barrier
Also in 2022, dentists performing endodontic therapies may benefit from a new diagnostic code relating to the use of an intraorifice barrier, not to be used as a final restoration. This new code was requested by the American Association of Endodontists on the basis that the intraorifice barrier is distinct from endodontic procedures that stop at the gutta percha and that the intraorifice barrier is usually done to ensure endodontic success when there may be a delay in restoring the tooth.
AGD Representation on the Code Maintenance Committee
The CMC is responsible for maintaining the CDT to ensure that it accurately reflects the current practice of dentistry. While the CMC was established by the ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs, the agency has the authority to make decisions about code changes independently of the ADA.
The CMC includes 20 member organizations that have a total of 24 votes: five votes (ADA); one vote (AGD); 12 votes (one for each of the 12 ADA-recognized dental specialty organizations); one vote (American Dental Education Association); five votes (dental benefits [third-party] payer organizations, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services).
AGD’s participation in the CMC is facilitated by the Dental Practice Council. Two council members, Ralph Cooley, DDS, FAGD, and Arlene O’Brien, DMD, FAGD, serve as AGD’s delegate and alternate to the CMC, respectively. Both representatives review each suggested code change and offer independent recommendations. The council reviews the information and advises how to vote on each proposal.
This year, the CMC considered 90 revisions to the CDT — 24 new codes were added; 13 codes were revised; 10 codes were editorially amended; and six codes were deleted. Only those codes relating to COVID-19 testing and vaccine administration are effective immediately; all other revisions go into effect with the release of CDT 2022.