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By Elizabeth Shin Perry, D.M.D.

With 2020 behind us, we are all hopeful for a better year ahead. How about some good news for the endodontic community? The AAE is pleased to report that six new endodontic CDT codes were approved and are now part of the code set for 2021. At the beginning of every year, the ADA publishes the updated handbook of Current Dental Terminology, and the CDT 2021 is now available. This publication contains the most current codes for dentists and their teams.

It is now more important than ever that endodontists are being reimbursed properly for work that has been done. Throughout the pandemic, the AAE has continued to advocate for our members for appropriate ADA CDT codes and for updated information regarding third party payer reimbursement. In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ADA Code Maintenance Committee convened on March 12, 2020, for the annual CMC Meeting to approve changes to the ADA CDT codes. In response to member concerns and coding challenges in my own practice, I was honored to represent the AAE to propose a new suite of codes to cover non-apicoectomy surgical procedures and to address the current gap that previously existed in the CDT.

With a unanimous vote from the Code Maintenance Committee, the following endodontic code changes are now reflected in the CDT 2021:

Six new codes were added to the Endodontics category:

1. D3471 surgical repair of root resorption – anterior
For surgery on root of anterior tooth. Does not include placement of restoration.

2. D3472 surgical repair of root resorption – premolar
For surgery on root of premolar tooth. Does not include placement of restoration.

3. D3473 surgical repair of root resorption – molar
For surgery on root of molar tooth. Does not include placement of restoration.

4. D3501 surgical exposure of root surface without apicoectomy or repair of root resorption – anterior
Exposure of root surface followed by observation and surgical closure of the  exposed area. Not to be used for or in conjunction with apicoectomy or repair of  root resorption.

5. D3502 surgical exposure of root surface without apicoectomy or repair of root resorption – premolar
Exposure of root surface followed by observation and surgical closure of the exposed area. Not to be used for or in conjunction with apicoectomy or repair of root resorption.

6. D3503 surgical exposure of root surface without apicoectomy or repair of root resorption – molar
Exposure of root surface followed by observation and surgical closure of the  exposed area. Not to be used for or in conjunction with apicoectomy or repair of root resorption.

One code was deleted:

1. D3427 periradicular surgery without apicoectomy

Additionally, CDT 2021 also features new codes for antigen (D0604) and antibody (D0605) testing for public health related pathogens, including providing coronavirus testing in the dental practice.

For CDT 2022, the AAE is advocating for coding additions to address the application of an intraorifice barrier as well as to address decoronation and submergence from an endodontic perspective.

For further information and clinical scenarios using these codes, please check out the updated AAE Endodontists Guide to CDT© on the AAE website.

Dental Claims Coding & Submission

Dr. Elizabeth Shin Perry, D.M.D., has been practicing endodontics in Westfield, Mass., since 1995. She is District I Director of the AAE, a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics and is ADA Code Maintenance Committee Representative on the AAE’s Practice Affairs Committee.