CDT and CPT Codes: Experience in the Dental Field Matters

January 31, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — dentalsupportteam @ 4:35 pm
dental insurance claim form surrounded by dental and medical tools

In some fields, skills are easily transferrable. For example, someone who has experience in retail in one area of the market can usually switch to retail in another fairly smoothly. However, it doesn’t always work that way.

To the layperson, dental and medical insurance may seem identical and interchangeable, but they are actually quite different. When it comes to insurance, experience in medical claims doesn’t necessarily transfer to proficiency in the dental field. For your dental practice, you need someone who is familiar with filing dental insurance claims specifically according to HIPAA requirements.

A prime example of the difference between these fields and the need for respective expertise is represented in the distinction between CDT and CPT. Keep reading to learn more about these terms and how a professional in the dental field can benefit your practice’s bottom line.

What Do CDT and CPT Mean?

To put it simply, CDT stands for current dental terminology, used for dental practices, and CPT stands for current procedural terminology for medical claims. These acronyms are uniform across these fields respectively and are used to identify which services have been performed. They provide a standard language for practitioners to use when filing claims to insurance companies.

In dentistry specifically, instead of using a myriad of terms for root canal therapy, for example, dental practices across the nation file claims using the same CDT and codes dictated by the American Dental Association. Occasionally, a dentist may perform a medical procedure, which means that familiarity with CPT is also necessary to file those claims through medical insurance.

Why Is Knowing and Using Proper Terms and Codes Important?

If you want to be paid on time by the insurance company, every detail in the claim must be clear and accurate. Any potential confusion in insurance claims will lead either to delays in payment, claim denial, or even charges of insurance fraud. Using the appropriate terminology and codes eliminates any possible ambiguity and forces the insurance company to pay their share of the bill to your practice.

An interesting element of both CDT and CPT is that they involve “current” terminology, which means that the terminology has the potential to change over time. As a result, you need to work with someone who not only has experience with your specific insurance but who also stays up to date with the industry to be familiar with evolving coding and terms. Otherwise, you can run into the same problem.

In the end, although the medical and dental fields both deal with insurance companies, they are drastically different and even have varying terminology and codes. Consequently, you need to find professionals who understand the dental insurance world and who can navigate the twists and turns expertly so that your practice can get paid in full and on time.

About Dental Support Specialties

At Dental Support Specialties, we have brought together a team of dental insurance experts with decades of experience. We are familiar with all the latest software, HIPAA requirements, and CDT to file claims accurately. Our team can gladly take the burden of insurance verification as well as follow up to collect accounts receivable. To meet with us and discuss your insurance needs, contact Dental Support Specialties today!

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