The 28 New CDT Codes for 2021

Dental Products Report, Dental Products Report January 2021, Volume 55, Issue 1

A look at the new CDT codes added for 2021 and details on when they are supposed to be applied.

Every year the American Dental Association (ADA) announces updates, additions and deletions to the Current Dental Terminology (CDT) codes dental practices use to document the patient care they provide and submit insurance claims.

For this year, the ADA announced 28 new CDT codes, many of which reflect changes the industry has undergone because of both advances in dental technologies, and the influence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Here’s an overview of the 28 new codes and how they are intended to be applied.

  • D0604 – Antigen testing for a public health related pathogen, including coronavirus
    D0605 –
    Antibody testing for a public health related pathogen, including coronavirus
    Both of these codes reflect the role dental practices can play in managing a public health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically these codes allow practices to document and bill for testing for pathogens such as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, which causes COVID-19.
  • D0701 through D0709 – Radiograph and photograph “Image Capture Only” codes for different imaging types
    These 9 new codes reflect changes in dental imaging, as well as the growth of teledentistry. These new codes do not replace existing codes covering “Image Capture With Interpretation” but instead apply to instances where imaging is captured in one location while the dentist and the interpretation of the image are in another location.
  • D1321 – Counseling for the control and prevention of adverse oral, behavioral, and systemic health effects associated with high-risk substance use
    This code covers counseling about managing and mitigating the impacts of substance abuse on patients’ oral, mental, and overall health.
  • D1355 – Caries preventive medicament application – per tooth
    Although the previously established code D1354 covers application of medicaments such as silver diamine fluoride, silver nitrate, or chlorhexidine, for teeth with existing lesions, this new code covers the use of these materials as a preventive measure on high-risk teeth that do not show active lesions.
  • D2928 – Prefabricated porcelain/ceramic crown – permanent tooth
    This code covers the placement of prefabricated ceramic crowns on permanent teeth.
  • D3471 through D3473 – Surgical repair of root resorption for anterior, premolar, and molar teeth
    These 3 new codes cover surgical treatment of root resorption. The codes cover documenting the surgical procedure and do not cover placement of a restoration on the repaired tooth.
  • D3501 through D3503 – Surgical exposure of root surface without apicoectomy or repair of root resorption for anterior, premolar, and molar teeth
    This trio of new codes covers similar clinical situations but should be used when the root surface is exposed but an apicoectomy or repair of the root resorption is not performed.
  • D5995 and D5996 – Periodontal medicament carrier with peripheral seal – laboratory processed – one code for maxillary and the other for mandibular
    These codes replace the now deleted D5994 to add specificity to where in the mouth these periodontal treatment systems are being used.
  • D6191 and D6192 – Semi-precision abutment – placement and Semi-precision attachment – placement
    This pair of new codes adds specificity to cover the specific placement of semi-precision abutments and attachments in implant cases. These codes replace the now removed D6052 – semi-precision attachment abutment code.
  • D7961 – Buccal/labial frenectomy (frenulectomy) and D7962 – Lingual frenectomy (frenulectomy)
    This pair of new codes is again adding specificity to the procedure being performed, and they replace the now removed D7960 code that previously covered both lingual and buccal/labial frenectomies.
  • D7993 – Surgical placement of craniofacial implant – extra oral
    D7994 –
    Surgical placement: zygomatic implant
    This final pair of new codes cover oral-maxillofacial surgical procedures for the placement of implants designed to manage extraoral facial reconstruction as well as the placement of zygomatic implants that anchor into facial bone structures rather than into the maxilla.
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