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Setting up Automation

Automation can be used to automatically perform actions when a specific trigger occurs and condition is met.


  • Pop up a warning when a patient's insurance plan effective date ends.
  • Generate patient instructions when a specific procedure is completed (e.g. extraction).
  • Automatically generate a letter when a patient misses their appointment.
  • Automatically generate a letter to a referral source when a new patient schedules their first appointment.
  • Pop up warning for a patient who has a specific allergy or condition.
  • Restrict appointment scheduling when a patient has a specific billing type (e.g. collections).

Note: A logged-on user's security Permissions may affect automation. For example, if a user has permission to change a billing type, but not to restrict appointment scheduling, an automation to mark the Appointment Scheduling is Restricted checkbox when a specific billing type is selected will not occur.

Also available: Webinar: Automation in Open Dental.

  1. In the main menu click Setup, Automation.

  1. Click Add to create a new automation, or double click on an existing automation to edit.

Options available may change depending on the selected Trigger and/or Action.

  1. Description:  Enter the identifying name of the automation.

  2. Trigger: Select the action that will trigger this automation. There are six options (others can be Requested):
    • CompleteProcedure: When a procedure is set complete. See below to specify procedure(s).
    • BreakAppointment: When an appointment is broken.
    • CreateApptNewPat: When an appointment is created for a patient with no appointment history (new patient).
    • OpenPatient: When a patient's record is opened/selected.
    • CreateAppt: When an appointment of any type is created.
    • ScheduleProcedure: When a specific procedure is scheduled. See below to specifiy procedure(s).
    • SetBillingType: When a billing type changes (Edit Patient Information window).

  3. Procedure Code(s): If CompleteProcedure or ScheduleProcedure is the trigger, enter the procedure codes, separated with commas (no spaces), or click [...] to select from the Procedure Code List.

  4. Conditions (optional): Set conditions that must be met for the trigger to occur.
    a. Click Add or double click on an existing condition.

b. Select the condition details then click OK.

  • Field: The field that will be checked.
  • Comparison: The qualifier.
  • Text: The text that must be matched. For Billing Type click [...] to select from a billing type pick list.
Conditions are ANDed together. In other words, they must all be true for the automation action to be fired. To handle OR conditions, create separate automations.
  1. Action: Select the automated action that will occur when the trigger and/or conditions are met.  
    • PrintPatientLetter: Generate a Patient Letter (e.g. for patient handouts). To generate multiple handouts, create multiple automations.
    • CreateCommlog: Open the Comm Log window. 
    • PrintReferralLetter: Generate a ReferredFrom Referral Letter.  
    • ShowExamSheet: Open a blank Exam Sheet
    • PopUp: Show a popup message.
    • SetApptStatus: Set the appointment status.
    • ShowConsentForm: Open the selected Consent Form.
    • SetApptType: Set the appointment type when CreateApptNewPat or CreateAppt trigger is selected.
    • PopUpThenDisable10Minutes: The popup message appears once, then is disabled for 10 minutes.
    • PatRestrictApptSchedTrue: Restrict appointment scheduling for the patient by marking the 'Appointment scheduling is restricted' checkbox on the Edit Patient Information window. Typically used when SetBillingType is the trigger.
    • PatRestrictApptSchedFalse: Do not restrict appointment scheduling for the patient (unchecks the 'Appointment scheduling is restricted' checkbox on the Edit Patient Information window). Typically used when SetBillingType is the trigger.

  2. Sheet Def: Shows when PrintPatientLetter, PrintReferralLetter, or ShowExamSheet is selected as the Action. Select the sheet template to use. See Sheets.

  3. Comm Type: Shows when CreateCommlog is selected as the Action. Select the default comm log type.

  4. Message: Shows when CreateCommlog or PopUp is selected as the Action. Enter the default message.

  5. Click OK to save.


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