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Edit Appointment

The Edit Appointment window opens when you make an Appointment for a patient who does not already have a scheduled or unscheduled appointment, or when you double click on an existing appointment.

Title Bar
The patient name, appointment day, date, and time, and the appointment's operatory show.

Time Bar
Along the left side is a color-coded time bar that indicates appointment length. The default appointment time is based on the Procedure's time pattern. See Time Bars for more information. 

  • To increase appointment time, click on a square below the slider.
  • To shorten or increase time, drag the slider up or down.
  • Click on a square to toggle between provider/non-provider time. Colored squares indicate provider time; white squares indicate non-provider time.

Appointment Details
Appointment details are listed on the left.

Status: The appointment's current status.

  • Scheduled: The appointment is scheduled.
  • Complete: The appointment has been Set Complete.
  • UnSched List: Sends an appointment to the Unscheduled List. The option is grayed out if you are accessing this window from the Unscheduled List and an appointment has not been scheduled. 
  • Broken: The appointment has been Broken.

ASAP: Add this appointment to the ASAP List. This means the patients wants to come in sooner if an opening becomes available. ASAP can also be a set as a display option in an Appointment View.

Unscheduled Status: Used in the Unscheduled List, Recall List, and Planned Appointment Tracker to easily identify why an appointment has not been scheduled and determine whether to contact patient or not. Status options can be customized in Definitions, Recall/Unsch Status.

Confirmed: The appointment's Confirmation Status.

  • A small colored circle in the appointment box will indicate the status if the Confirmed Color field is added to the Appointment View.
  • Confirmed statuses are also linked to Time Arrived, Time Seated, and Time Dismissed values (see below).

New Patient: This box automatically checks on the first appointment created for a patient. If checked, an 'NP' notification will show in the upper left corner of this Appointment on the schedule. Additional appointments (even if scheduled prior to the first appointment created) will not be marked 'New Patient'. To remove the designation, the box must be manually unchecked.

Clinic, Dentist, Hygienist: If the appointment is scheduled in an Operatory with an assigned clinic, dentist, or hygienist, the operatory values are usually set as defaults.

  • Clinic: If using Clinics, the patient's clinic.
  • Dentist/Hygienist: The appointment dentist and hygienist (Provider). Every appointment must have a dentist and can optionally have a hygienist. When an appointment is Set Complete, the procedures on the appointment automatically get assigned to the dentist and/or hygienist. For example, exams can be assigned to the dentist, while the prophy and xrays get assigned to the hygienist. To set up which procedures are hygiene, see Procedure Code Edit. If the appointment does not have a hygienist selected, all procedures get assigned to the dentist.


  • If using Clinics, only providers available for the selected clinic show as options. See Security.
  • There is a preference in Appointment Module Preferences to always assign the operatory's hygienist as the hygienist, even if it is 'none'.

Is Hygiene: Check to mark the appointment as a hygiene appointment. The appointment color will use hygienist color and the provider time bar will change to hygienist.

Assistant: The assistant (Employee) assigned to the appointment.

Time Length: Automatically adjusts to reflect the minutes indicated by the Time Bar.

Time Locked: If you manually adjust the appointment time using the Time Bar, this box will check automatically. When marked, added procedures will not automatically adjust the appointment time.

Color: The background color of the appointment if different than the default. By default the Provider's appointment color is used for appointments. Click the color box to choose a special color for this appointment only, until it is Set Complete. Click None to erase a color override.

Appointment Type: Assign an Appointment Type that will determine background color and time pattern of the appointment. See Appointment Types for time pattern logic. The appointment type's color will override any previously set Color (above) and default provider color. It will remain the override color until another type or color is selected, or until 'None' is clicked to remove the override. Changing an appointment type to 'none' will not remove the appointment type color. 

Time Ask to Arrive: If you entered a value on the Patient Edit window for Ask to Arrive Early, the value will automatically fill in each time you schedule an appointment. You can also enter a value manually (00:00 PM). This field is an available field in Appointment Views. See Time Ask to Arrive for more information.

Time Arrived, Time Seated, Time Dismissed: These values are automated based on time triggers set in Appointments Module Preferences. Usually you will not change them from this window, but instead base values on a confirmed status that will in turn trigger an entry. Confirmed statuses are usually selected in the Appointment book. You can manually change the field values as well, or right click, then select Now to insert the current time.

These confirmed statuses are usually set as the time trigger defaults for each field:

  • Time Arrived trigger: Arrived
  • Time Seated trigger: In Treatment Room
  • Time Dismissed trigger: Front Desk

Lab: Attach a Dental Lab Case to this appointment or edit an existing lab case. This information can show in an Appointment View.

InsPlan1, InsPlan2: When an appointment is created these fields automatically fill based on the patient's current primary and secondary insurance carrier. Once scheduled, they will update automatically when insurance plans are dropped or added. Once an appointment is set complete, the information will no longer automatically update. 

  • For large Public Health clinics, the insurance plan fields allow you to run historical reports once a patient's insurance coverage changed.
  • If using version 14.3.36 or earlier, these two fields are only visible if Public Health is turned on in Show Features, and will only update when the appointment is first created.

To change plan information, click [...].  

The plan options will be limited to other plans entered for the family. To clear a selection click 'None'.

Req: This field is only visible if Dental Schools is turned on in Show Features. Click to attach Student Requirements to an appointment.

Appointment Note:  Notes entered here will show in the bubble popup when you hover over an appointment. This field can also be added to an Appointment View.

Appt Fields
A list of any Custom Appointment Fields you have set up. Double click on a field to enter patient information.

Procedures on this Appointment
This area lists the patient's treatment planned procedures, along with any completed procedures that have the same date as the appointment. Customize which columns show in Display Fields.

  • To attach procedures to an appointment, highlight them.
  • Click Attach All to quickly highlight all listed procedures with a single click.
  • Quick Add List: To the left of the procedure list are commonly used procedure groupings. Simply click on a line item and the associated procedures will be added and highlighted. This is useful when a procedure does not require a tooth number. Groupings can be set up in Definitions: Appt Procs Quick Add.
  • Click Add to select a procedure from the Procedure Code List.

To permanently delete a procedure from the list of procedures on this appointment, make sure it is the only highlighted procedure, then click Delete.

Patient Information
Basic patient information is shown but can not be edited here. See Edit Patient Information.

Communications Log
The Communications Log is a log of all scheduling related communications that have been logged (calls, texts, sent eReminder and eConfirmation emails) so you can easily see appointments that were rescheduled, cancelled, etc. The same list can be seen from any appointment for the patient, including the Planned appointment, and the Recall List. This helps you avoid calling a patient too often when they have indicated a wish to wait. Similarly, if a patient says that nobody called for their recall, you can immediately confirm by reviewing the history. Typically you will not make an entry for appointment confirmations. To edit or view an entry, double click on it. Set the default commlog type in Definitions, Commlog Types.


  • Comm: Make a Comm Log entry.
  • Text: Send a confirmation Text Message to the patient. Only enabled if:
    1. On the Patient Edit window, a wireless number had been entered for the patient, Yes has been set for Text Messages.
    2. Text Messaging has been set up. The default text message is set in Recall and Confirmation Setup.
  • Audit Trail: View a log of actions that have been taken for this specific appointment. This audit trail is accessible to all users. It is different than the Audit Trail accessed via the Main Menu, where log entries for all appointments can be viewed at once.
  • To Task List: Send this appointment to a specific Task List to keep track of appointments that need followup or appointments of a certain type. First you need to create a task list for each purpose. The Object Type of the list should be Appointment.
  • Delete: Delete the appointment.
  • OK: Save changes and close the window.
  • Cancel: Close the window without saving changes.
    • Note: Changes made to procedures associated to appointments are automatically saved and must be manually reversed.

Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Why aren't my providers (dentist/hygienist) sorting alphabetically?
Answer: Dental Schools are likely enabled. To disable Dental Schools:

  • Go to Main Menu, Setup, Advanced Setup, Show Features.
  • If Dental Schools box is checked, click to disable.
  • Once you unselect this feature, you will need to close and reopen Open Dental for the changes to take effect.


Open Dental Software 1-503-363-5432