3 Ways to MAXIMIZE CDT Codes

May 2023
Greg Grobmyer, DDS

One of the fundamental aspects of your dental practice's financial health revolves around the utilization of Current Dental Terminology (CDT) codes. These codes, central to dental billing and communication, are vital to successful claim submissions and eventual insurance reimbursement. However, many practices have yet to maximize the potential of the most current dental coding and administration resources, often compromising their revenue. With the help of outsourced dental billing and a comprehensive understanding of dental coding and administration, practices can potentially transform the way their revenue cycle operates.

Understanding the significance of CDT codes

CDT codes serve as the universal language for dentistry. They are vital templates for communicating treatment information among practitioners, patients, and insurers. Without them, it would be rather difficult to standardize and quantify specific dental procedures.

Do you currently use a coding resource to help you maximize reimbursement and minimize risk?

The true importance of CDT codes extends far beyond a simple classification: They are crucial in cultivating a smooth billing process, especially in dealings with claim reimbursement. Proper documentation and relevant CDT codes can significantly improve your claim approvals and increase reimbursement rates. Remember: Documentation is the cornerstone for keeping you in compliance and maximizing legitimate reimbursement.

Strategy 1: Implement comprehensive clinical documentation

The first way to maximize your practice's use of CDT codes is through comprehensive staff training. It's important for everyone involved in the billing process to have a complete understanding of these codes, their relevance, and their correct usage. As well as this, stressing the importance of documentation and reimbursement is crucial.

Types of clinical documentation:

  • Radiographs and photos

  • Chart notes

  • Periodontal/tooth charting

  • Narratives 

Documentation templates can further help to provide your staff with the tools they need to succeed from the start:

SOAP notes

  • Subjective: chief complaint as communicated by the patient, history of present illness, location, and severity

  • Objective: vital signs, examination findings, health history update

  • Assessment: diagnosis, reasoning/evidence behind diagnosis if applicable

  • Plan: how the provider will treat the patient’s chief complaint and additional concerns that may arise upon examination


  • Procedure: describe the recommended treatment to the patient

  • Alternatives: describe different options for treatment and the possible outcome for each (including refusal of treatment)

  • Risks: explain any risks involved with each treatment option as well as risks if the patient declines

  • Questions: document all patient questions and responses given for each

Remember, an incorrectly applied code can result in claim denials, delayed payments, and even potential audits. The importance of consistent, structured documentation along with the proper CDT codes is essential to collecting 100% of what you’re rightfully owed.

Strategy 2: Leverage outsourced dental billing services

While it's important to have an in-house team that understands dental coding and billing, ever-changing shifts in insurance requirements can often make it difficult to stay up-to-date. This is where outsourced dental billing can help provide a dedicated extension of your team. Combined with Practice Booster’s industry-renowned dental coding and administration resources, you can take your practice’s revenue to the next level by automating many in-house processes. 

Strategy 3: Fully utilize Practice Booster’s comprehensive CDT code resources 

CDT codes are reviewed, updated, revised,  or deleted annually. In the past 3 years, there have been 160 CDT code changes. Wow! With the ever-evolving nature of new dental procedures, technologies, and their corresponding codes, it's essential to have access to up-to-the-minute CDT code resources. 

Chart of recent changes to ADA CDT codes



We have a comprehensive coding tool. In fact, Practice Booster’s Online 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.

  • Maximize legitimate reimbursements

  • Protect your practice and your license

  • Keep pace with the shift to PPOs

  • Streamline insurance administration

  • Stop leaving money on the table

Combining outsourced dental billing and dental coding resources

By combining outsourced dental billing with Practice Booster’s comprehensive CDT code resources, your practice can fully streamline the revenue process. This integrated approach helps with claim coding accuracy, more efficient billing, and improved reimbursement times. Outsourced dental billing experts armed with Practice Booster’s up-to-date CDT codes are your best investment to maximize reimbursement from insurance companies, leading to better revenue cycle management for your practice.

Remember, using the correct CDT codes is not just about getting paid for services rendered; it's about fully streamlining your practice’s communication, reducing errors, and ultimately, enhancing your financial health.



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