Open Dental User Newsletter  /  May 2017
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Newsletter Contents


Your Feature Requests Shape Open Dental: 
As a company committed to producing a product that meets our customers’ needs, your Feature Requests play an important role in our development process. We have three to four major software releases each year, and each release typically includes between 25 - 60 requested features – more than 50 were implemented in Version 16.3 alone!

A practice on support has 100 points that can be used to support any feature request. The more practices that add points to a feature, the more “weight” it holds, but a feature doesn’t necessarily need to be weighted heavily to be implemented. As we develop new features, we also look at efficiencies in related features that can be implemented at the same time.

When a feature you’ve allotted points to is implemented, you receive a notification email and any used points are returned to you to use on other features. We encourage you to create and vote on feature requests – and don’t forget to promote your feature request in our User Forums!

Considerations if updating to Version 17.1 (Beta):
Versions 17.1 and higher 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 17.1
  • Sign up for eServices inside Open Dental using a new signup portal.
  • Web Sched interface enhancements. Web Sched New Patient Appointments interface can now be embedded into your website.
  • ERA posting and payment finalization process enhancements.
  • Tooth chart now features a slider to show changes to the tooth chart over time.
  • Dropbox™ can be used to store images and files.
  • Email Inbox enhancements – compose new messages, reply to received messages, view sent messages, and search emails.

Stable Release Version 16.4 - 26 feature requests implemented
  • Insurance Frequency Limitations: Module preference considers a procedure’s frequency limitation when calculating insurance estimates in the treatment plan and when scheduling appointments. Customize which procedures are affected.
  • Discount Plans can now be set up for patients that don’t have insurance. No more fake insurance plans or $0 payment claims – just create and attach the discount plan to the patient, adjustments post automatically.
  • Edit Insurance Plan window has had a visual change - information is now divided into tabs.
  • Sales Tax Adjustments: Quickly apply sales tax to selected procedures using an adjustment based on a percentage.
  • Enhanced Ortho Functionality – new ortho setup option groups all ortho settings in one place. View Ortho Case information in the Account module and Chart module. Enter orthodontic plan information in the Ortho tab in the Edit Insurance Plan window. If periodic claims are required, use the Auto Ortho Tool.
  • Speed Enhancements: Throughout the program, particularly in the appointments module.
  • Outstanding Insurance Claims Report can be sorted by clicking on the column header.
  • Print routing slips by day or by appointments in the current view from the Appointment Module, Print Appointments button.
  • Insurance Verification List now has past due tab. Insurance Verification Setup now considers benefit year renewal date when determining whether verification is needed.
  • Procedure Notes can now be digitally signed with the click of a button. See Electronic Signatures.
  • Auto Notes can now be categorized and sorted into folders. Expand/collapse view using a check box.
  • Permission to edit procedure notes and signature now controlled by the Edit Completed Procedure (Limited) permission.
  • Perio chart enhancements – teeth with implants now have an “I” in the Perio Chart, and show with an implant graphic in the Graphic Perio Chart.
  • New Automation trigger can restrict patient scheduling based on change to billing type.

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

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

Beta version has all of the latest features, but may have some bugs. We fix bugs quickly as they are identified, but a fix may take a few days and cause some inconvenience. Beta versions are not recommended, and may not have supporting documentation.
Enterprise Enhancements
These features benefit large, enterprise practices.
Coming Soon
  • Mobile Web – make, move & edit appointments in real time from your phone or tablet
  • ASAP List – text patients from the ASAP List
  • Substitution Codes – control which codes substitute by insurance plan
Tips & Tricks
  • Do you have retail items that you sell to your patients like rechargeable toothbrushes or whitening trays? Items like this can be set up with their own procedure codes, and added to a patient’s account with one click using the Quick Procs button on the Account toolbar.
  • To quickly see a patient’s historical and scheduled appointments and family recall information, select the patient, then click on the ViewPatAppts button, located on the lower right of the Appointments Module.
  • If you have multiple saved treatment plans, and want to see tooth chart comparisons between plans, you can! First, go to the patient’s chart module. In the Show tab, double-click on a view and check the “Is TP View” check box. Next, Select the Enter Treatment Tab, and check the “treatment plans” box - active and saved treatment plans will display in the Treatment Plans grid. When you click on the various treatment plans, the tooth chart view updates to display the treatment planned procedures.
Get to Know Us

Featured Team: Our Trainers
We have 17 experienced, certified, and friendly trainers who love jumping into the software with you and sharing tips, tricks, and work flow knowledge they’ve gained over the years. You will come away with the Open Dental program more customized to suit the specific needs and working preferences of your practice, and tools to make your job easier.

Our training team thrives on those “A-ha!” moments when things click and the dots connect. They love it when something they’ve shared saves you time and effort. That’s the goal, and they love what they do – whether connecting for an online training or flying out and training the practice staff in person. Call us today to find out what training can do for you!
Pictured, front row from the left are Michi, Kaitlyn, Margaret, Geraldine, and Jenny.
Back row, from the left are Mark, Brian, Chuck, Dwayne, Summer, Lori, and Brad.
Others not pictured are Jacob, Quintin, Raquel, Tim and Thomas.

Training resources to boost productivity and revenue:
There are many resources available that can help improve your work flow and efficiency, fill your schedule and boost revenue.
  • Free Webinars are a great way to get step-by-step instruction on a given area of the software, and we’re adding to our repertoire all the time. Sign up for live webinars or view pre-recorded videos.
  • Our entire User Manual is online, and can also be accessed through the Help menu in Open Dental. Click Help, Online Help-Contents and Help, Online Help-Index).
  • The User Forums are another great resource to interact and get input from other Open Dental users. Apply to join the Open Dental Users Facebook Group. Founded by a dentist using Open Dental, this is a great place to exchange ideas and get tips from fellow Open Dental users.
  • For customized practice and content-specific training, sign up for online training at just $50 per hour. Our experienced, certified trainers will connect with you to provide training that’s tailored to your specific needs, provide best practice and process flow help, and answer any questions you and your staff may have.
  • Want a trainer to come to your practice and dive into things with you? No problem – we offer onsite training as well. Take a look at the Get to Know Us section above and “meet” our trainers!
Dental Trivia
Over three million miles of dental floss is purchased in North America each year.
Put together, that would wind around the earth 120½ times!
Copyright © 2017 Open Dental Software, All rights reserved.

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