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Dental Codes

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The SADA Dental Codes 2021 is a living document that is continuously updated to reflect and maintain new procedures and technology. This guideline is produced to promote correct and ethical interpretation of procedure codes when applying the codes to services rendered. The Dental Codes includes dental procedures and services for use by oral health practitioners for purposes of keeping accurate dental records, reporting procedures on patients, and processing dental insurance claims.

The procedures are those performed by general dental practitioners, oral pathologists, prosthodontists, periodontists, orthodontists, community dentists, and maxillofacial and oral surgeons. These codes are also used by Oral Hygienists and Dental Therapists. The procedure codes listed in the book have for convenience been divided into twelve categories of services based on clinical dental practice. The procedures are grouped under the category of service with which the procedures are most frequently identified and which oral healthcare providers are permitted to perform such procedures are indicated in the scope of practice column.

Individual codes consist of a procedure code, procedure description (nomenclature), value unit/s, and where necessary, guidelines to clarify the intended use of the procedure code. These guidelines are not intended to be comprehensive, but merely serve as a guide for the correct use of treatment codes. In compiling this clinical procedure coding structure, the South African Dental Association (SADA) has established an anatomical system in which relative value units (RVU) have been allocated to each procedure, operation, consultation, dental services etc., rendered by dental practitioner. It does not recommend or stipulate any fees of any kind.

SADA has a process for the introduction of new codes to provide for new technology and procedures. The SADA Dental Codes 2021 replace all previous SADA Code publications. Any enquiries or errata regarding these Guidelines should be addressed to the Chairman of the Dental Practice Committee of the South African Dental Association or the SADA Head: Clinical Support Services. The Codes do not contain any reference to fees as Competition Legislation prevents us from recommending any fees in respect of dental procedures.

SADA does not recommend or determine any fees in respect of any dental procedures listed in this book. Dentists are free to levy fees in terms as what they regard as appropriate and justifiable for services rendered whilst taking into account the personal circumstances of individual patients. Practitioners are responsible for determining their own fees. It is important for patients to obtain details of their benefits for their medical Schemes and/or insurers.

SADA would recommend that each member uses the Practice Profitability Simulator (DCalc) to calculate the appropriate fees for your practice.

The Dental Codes 2021 apply to all practitioners providing oral health services.

As Dental Codes 2021 are supplied as a membership benefit to paid up members when downloading a copy it shall be watermarked for your exclusive use. Please do not share the document with non-SADA members as this reduces the value of your own membership.
SADA paid-up Member purchase price: FREE
Non-SADA Member purchase: R1000 + VAT
Switching House/Medical Scheme purchase: R1000 + VAT

Should you experience any problems or need assistance with the dental codes please contact Head of Clinical Services, Dr Tinesha Parbhoo on +27 (11) 484-5288 or via email at