Open Dental User Newsletter  /  February 2017
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Open Dental Header has announced their 2017 Dental Excellence Award winners and we are honored to be selected as the Best New/Updated Software/Service!

Newsletter Contents


2017 CDT codes & fee guides are here!
2017 CDT codes are here, and 2017 fee guides for Canada are available in versions 16.3.19 or greater. You have likely updated your office fee schedule, practice schedule, pay periods, and more. Make sure your providers are properly linked to the new fee schedule in Lists, Providers. If you want to update active treatment plans to reflect your new office fees, visit our Updating Fees page.

Boost efficiency with eServices from Open Dental: 
We offer a full complement of eServices to streamline and automate processes in your practice. Integrated Texting is a great way to boost productivity and efficiency. From recall texts to appointment reminders delivered at intervals you specify, Integrated Texting is a great way to automate communication with your patients. Expand this capability with eConfirmations, so patients can eConfirm (which updates appointment status automatically). Web Sched Recall allows patients to schedule their own recall appointments online. Web Sched New Patient allows new patients to quickly schedule their first visit online. eServices fees apply. Be sure to check out the NEW eServices Bundle to get all of our eServices for one low monthly rate.

Come see us at the Hinman Dental Society Meeting in Atlanta!
We will be located in the Atlanta Dental Supply booth 1207 at the upcoming Hinman Dental Society meeting in Atlanta, March 23-25, 2017.

Considerations when updating to Latest Stable Version 16.3 and greater:
The latest stable version 16.3 is not compatible with Server 2003 or Windows XP Operating Systems. Be sure these are not in use before you update. A red warning to this effect displays before the update is launched.

Planning ahead:
In version 17.1, Open Dental will require a minimum 1280 x 768 screen resolution. Without this minimum resolution, some wider items may appear truncated. Please evaluate your monitors and determine if you need to upgrade – see Computer Requirements.
New Feature Highlights
The following are just a few of the many exciting new features. For the full list of new features by version, please visit

Beta Version 16.4
  • Insurance Frequency Warnings when creating new appointments and treatment planning procedures.
  • Sales Tax Adjustments: Apply sales tax adjustment, based on a percentage, to selected procedures. Set default sales tax percentages, dropdown in adjustments toolbar to “apply sales tax.”
  • Speed Enhancements: Throughout the program, particularly in the appointments module.

Stable Release Version 16.3
  • Payment Plan Customization: Add an electronic signature box or revise the layout of printed payment plans using sheets. Image of electronically signed payment plans can be saved automatically in an images folder.
  • Updated eReminders: Send automated texts or emails to remind your patients of upcoming appointments. eReminders can now also include Time Asked to Arrive, and reminders for a family are combined into one message to the guarantor with all family members’ appointment details. eServices fees apply for integrated texting.
  • Updated eConfirmations: Send an automated appointment eConfirmation request and your patients can reply to your eConfirmation. Appointment confirmation status updates automatically. Like eReminders, eConfirmation requests for a family are combined and sent as one request to the guarantor. Monthly eServices fee applies.
  • Updated Web Sched New Patient Appointments: New patients can schedule their appointments online in real time. Web Sched creates a new patient record, and the appointment immediately appears on your schedule. Monthly eServices fee applies. Track these appointments using the Appointments Report (report also shows Web Sched Recall appointments).
  • Preview the Appointment Schedule before printing.
  • Appointment confirmation status changes are now audit-trailed.
  • New appointment types allow time patterns and procedures to be set up.
  • Preference to prevent appointments from being scheduled for selected patients in Edit Patient Information.
  • Choose type of Payment Plan (patient or insurance) from Payment Plan button dropdown.
  • Expanded error-checking for tooth/procedure code combinations.
  • Select the Responsible Party and Treatment Plan Presenter in saved treatment plans.
  • Two new treatment plan reports, Presentation Statistics Report and TreatPlan Production Report, give additional insights into the effectiveness of presented treatment plans.
  • Incomplete Procedure Notes report now has the option to include procedures with no note or unsigned notes.
  • Multiple prescriptions can now be printed on a single page using RxMulti sheet.
  • Enter In Case of Emergency (ICE) contact name and numbers on the Edit Patient Information window, Emergency Contact tab.
  • Insert an AutoNote in a default procedure note.
  • Sort Procedure Code List Numerically: to facilitate data entry of new fee schedules, change from sorting by category to by code.
  • Task lists now include Task Reminders to remind staff of tasks that need to be done.
  • Patients can now edit their username in the Patient Portal. Portal now has a forgotten password tool.
  • For XCharge customers, patients can manage their payment methods in the patient portal. Practice staff are alerted of pending online payments, and can view XWeb transactions and process voids or returns in Open Dental.

Stable vs. Beta – which is right for your practice?

Stable means the software version has already gone through many iterations and any identified bugs have been fixed. We recommend the latest stable version as the most appropriate version for most offices to upgrade to.

Beta means the version has all of the latest features, but may have some bugs. We always fix bugs quickly after they are identified, but a fix may take a few days and cause some inconvenience. Beta versions are not recommended. Only update to a beta if you are willing to accept some software bugs in order to gain access to new features you need. Beta versions may not have supporting documentation.
Enterprise Enhancements
These features benefit large, enterprise practices.
  • Group insurance payments by claim payment group – useful for groups with multiple users posting payments.
  • Clinics users can run recurring charges by clinic.
  • Preference determine whether attaching procedure(s) to an adjustment is required or optional.
  • View schedules by clinic in Schedule Setup.
  • Clinic column added to Manage Time Card window, clinic name is added to header when printing time cards.
  • Clinic users can filter the Unearned Income Report by clinic. 
Coming Soon
  • Ortho chart and payment plan enhancements.
  • Many insurance and insurance reporting enhancements.
  • Many new permissions and audit trail enhancements.
  • SFTP and DropBox support, allowing easier document access in the cloud.
  • Slider bar to show tooth chart changes over time.
Tips & Tricks
  • Is the tooth chart showing diamond shapes on teeth, are missing teeth not displaying properly, or a black box printing on the treatment plan? Click File, Graphics, then select Use Open GL Tooth Chart. Check double-buffering, and select from one of the formats below. Watch the webinar here. (NOTE: If you use the Perio Chart, you will need to use DirectX.- Download it here.)
  • FAQ’s on three popular reports answered! View our new webinar: Monthly Reports.
Highlighted New Partners and Supplemental Services

Although we are frequently approached by third party service providers, it isn't often that their products become an integrated part of Open Dental software. We have recently partnered with the provider below whose services we feel will add significant value to your business, and we are excited to introduce their services as an integrated feature within Open Dental.


Boost the productivity and efficiency of your practice with Smart Office Phone Integration through DentalTek. Patient accounts in Open Dental are integrated with your phone system so when patients call, their profile, appointments, account balance and pending treatment can be displayed, enabling you to handle the call quickly and efficiently. The click-to-call feature allows you to right-click on any appointment to dial the patient directly. Cut your outbound call times in half using the RapidCall auto-dialer. If you reach a patient’s voicemail, you move on to the next call while the system waits for the beep and leaves your pre-recorded message. Read more here, and contact them for a special introductory offer.
User Resources

Join our Online Communities

For frequent updates on all things Open Dental, join our online communities on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for notifications on new webinars or videos we add.

If you have not visited our webinars page recently, you might be interested to learn that we have added a series of webinars with step-by-step directions on common topics such as adding Procedure Buttons and Appointment Quick Adds, Troubleshooting Claims with Missing Data, working with Time Cards, and much more!
Online Training

If you need more in-depth or practice-specific training on any topic, consider our affordable, customized online training at just $50/hour. You can connect one or multiple computers, and be online/on the phone with our trainer to get just what you need for your specific situation. Call us today to schedule a customized training.
User Forum

Ever wonder how other Open Dental Users may be tackling some unusual situations or requirements? Want to get more votes on your Feature Request? Join the discussion – go to and click on User Forum. Sign up, and start sharing!
Getting to Know Us
We work hard and play hard! Meet our reigning table tennis champion and Senior Software Engineer, Sam (on the right) – he bested Chuck in our recent table tennis tournament.

Featured Team: Conversions
Our team of conversion specialists converts data from over 200 different practice management programs to Open Dental. Many of you have worked with members of this committed team during this type of transition. Our conversion team knows that preparation is the key to a successful conversion. We provide practices with a full complement of tools including pre- and post-conversion checklists as well as queries to aid in any post-conversion clean-up, making the transition as smooth and pain-free as possible. From test conversion through final conversion delivery, this team is there, every step of the way.
Pictured, left to right are Spike, Heather J, Debbie, Katie, Amber, Bret and Heather S.
(Another member, Courtney, was MIA during our photo shoot.)
Dental Trivia
Everyone’s teeth are unique to them, just like fingerprints. Even identical twins can be told apart by their teeth.
Copyright © 2017 Open Dental Software, All rights reserved.

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