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AAE Successfully Advocates for Enhanced Endodontic Coding Priorities at ADA CMC Meeting  

By Beth A. Damas, DDS

In early March, I had the privilege of joining Drs. Elizabeth Perry and Kenneth Wiltbank, along with AAE staff, as representatives of the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) at the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Code Maintenance Committee Annual Meeting (CMC) in Chicago. This Committee serves as a pivotal forum where crucial decisions are made regarding all CDT Code changes, with voting representation spanning general dentistry, dental specialties, and dental insurers. The Committee’s meticulous efforts span five months of development and decision-making, shaping new CDT coding updates that directly influence reimbursements and coding practices within dental practices.

AAE’s Coding Advocacy Triumphs

During the March meeting, the Committee deliberated on forty-three proposed coding changes affecting the dental industry. Prior to the in-person gathering, the AAE delegation convened to establish the Association’s stance on the proposed coding updates, ensuring alignment with the best interests of our members. We engaged in advocacy efforts alongside other Committee members, particularly dental specialists, to proactively eliminate coding proposals incongruent with existing guidelines or posing a threat of decreased reimbursement to endodontic practices, prior to the voting stage.

Furthermore, our delegation vigorously advocated and successfully achieved the adoption of a new coding update to D2940. This update revises the CDT code long descriptor to acknowledge the time and complexity required by providers to perform a protective restoration to ensure an adequate seal is present for effective endodontic isolation. This accomplishment marks a significant victory for endodontists, enhancing their ability to navigate billing disputes with insurance carriers and better secure fair reimbursement for this procedure from dental payors.

The Importance of AAE’s Seat at the Table: Implications for Your Practice

There are nineteen organizational members of the CMC, consisting of general dentists, dental specialists, dental payors, and representation from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Given the Committee’s smaller size, it is imperative for the AAE to maintain a seat and a voice at the table. While policymaking remains a central focus, years of fostering relationships with other organizations are crucial to ensure that coding proposals that pose a threat to endodontists are not advanced within the Committee. This Committee also serves as one of the most effective platforms to address concerns regarding coding denials with the payor organizations that are represented.

Our delegation takes pride in advocating for the best interests of our members. Throughout the year, we actively listen to the coding challenges faced by our members’ practices, guiding new coding requests and refining existing proposals accordingly. We urge all members to continue reaching out to our Advocacy and Practice Affairs Department with potential new coding solutions or existing challenges, as it enables us to effectively advocate for your interests. As we look forward, we’re committed to championing your interests at the upcoming CMC meeting in March 2025. If you’re interested in joining our efforts and supporting the AAE in its coding request process, please reach out to our Advocacy team at .

Dr. Beth Damas is AAE representative to the Code Maintenance Committee.