3 tips for avoiding deleted CDT codes

April 2023
Jim DiMarino, DMD, MSEd, CDC

Do you receive insurance denials that state “invalid CDT code”? If so, you aren’t alone. A majority of dental offices do not update dental coding resources regularly to stay in the know, which means they are risking denials, delays, and disruptions in their dental practice revenue. Keep reading for three tips for avoiding deleted CDT codes so your revenue stays consistent, your dental biller is supported, and your patients are happy. 

What are deleted CDT codes, and why do they matter?

Each year, the Code Maintenance Committee (CMC) meets to determine additions, revisions, and removals from the CDT code set. Deleted codes are codes that are removed from the CDT code set, usually due to the replacement by a new code. When a code is deleted from the CDT code set, it no longer exists as a billable code and can therefore not be submitted on a dental claim. 


If you submit a deleted code on a dental claim, it will trigger an avoidable denial that delays payment. These denials can be frustrating for dental practice owners and dental administrators – not to mention patients. Sometimes we forget that patients receive a copy of their Explanation of Benefits (EOB) in the mail. When they receive EOBs that show a denial for a deleted code, that can trigger distrust in your dental practice’s billing processes.    

3 tips for avoiding deleted CDT codes

Since 2020, there have been 160 CDT code changes, with 12 of those changes being the full removal of a code. So how do you make sure you don’t accidentally include a deleted CDT code on a claim form? Here are 3 tips from Practice Booster’s expert dental coding and administration Advisors.


  1. Stop Googling CDT codes

If you use a search engine to find CDT code information, you may come across outdated content that was never removed. So while the information you are reading may have been correct at one point, with the number of changes to the CDT code set in the past 3 years, there is a chance it isn’t correct anymore.

  1. Follow verified sources

While search engines aren’t reliable, we all know that we learn amazing new facts every day on social media – IF you are following the right accounts. Follow Practice Booster on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for the most accurate dental coding and administration tips, tricks, and best practices. 

  1. Subscribe to the industry’s most trusted coding resource

So if you shouldn’t use Google, what should you use?Practice Booster’s Online Code Advisor is the dental industry’s most trusted and comprehensive coding resource. With a Code Advisor subscription as a resource in your dental practice, you can confidently code for what you do and send clean claims for timely reimbursement!

Deleted CDT code example

Let’s look at an example of an office searching for the right CDT code to submit on a claim form. 


A dental practice submitted procedure code D6052, Semi-precision attachment abutment, which is a deleted code. The insurance denied the claim and asked for a valid procedure code. The dentist searched online for a valid replacement procedure code but was unsure of which one to use from what was found online. There were 3 different codes that were found when searching online: D5862, D6191, or D6192. None of the resources online stated which was the best replacement code for D6052.


If this dental practice searched “D6052” on Practice Booster’s Online Code Advisor – or looked it up in the Dental Coding with Confidence 2023 Edition – they would see that D6052 is a deleted code and would not have submitted that code on a claim, avoiding the denial. Their search in these trusted coding resources would have also given them the replacement codes to use in place of the deleted code, if applicable, removing the frustrated guessing and Googling.

Online Code Advisor

Code Advisor is the most comprehensive and up-to-date online database of CDT codes available. This powerful web-based search engine provides an in-depth review of all CDT codes to enable dental teams to properly report dental procedures. Plus, as shown above, it is completely searchable, by either code number or by topic, word, or phrase, to maximize the efficiency of your dental billing team. 


  • Code Advisor’s Warnings, Cautions, and Matches use an innovative Predictive Error CorrectionTM technology, designed to stop coding errors before they happen

  • Code Comments provide additional details on the proper use of a given CDT code, and Code Limitations highlight situations where the code may not be applicable

  • Coding Tips and Narrative guidelines offer insight into properly reporting CDT codes to gain timely and maximum reimbursement on claims

  • Flowcharts and images demonstrate the proper sequencing of procedures with the related coding techniques

  • Subscription to Code Advisor also includes 6 paper issues of the Insurance Solutions Newsletter each year, plus online access to the past 3 year’s newsletter articles


Arm yourself with the best tools, resources, and training available to maximize legitimate reimbursement and minimize the hassles and exposures to audit risk. 

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Fixed Partial Denture Repair

A single cast metal crown restoration that is retained, supported and stablized by an abutment on an implant; may be screw retained or cemented.

NOTE: May be orthodontic related