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Custom Bridges

If we do not currently offer a Program Bridge for a program, you may be able to add a custom bridge. This is useful if you know how write output files. 


  • Create a bridge to launch Outlook with a path of outlook.exe. Add a button for Outlook to a toolbar, or add a command line arguments to the bridge (e.g. [PatNum], then create a macro in Outlook that recognizes the command line argument and opens up the patient in your contact list.
  • Create a bridge to launch Excel.
  • Bridge to your own custom program, e.g. a web-based program that you use to build special customized treatment plan layouts. Your program could take the PatNum, use queries to load all the other necessary info, and function like an extension of Open Dental.
  • Add a toolbar button or Reports menu option that launches a web browser and loads a URL (e.g. a reporting URL). See Add a URL below..

Note: Only add custom bridges for bridges we do not already support.

  1. In the Main Menu, click Setup, Program Links.
  2. Click Add.
  3. Enter the settings for the custom bridge on the Program Link window.
  4. Click Output File to build your own output file (for example, .txt or .ini) for custom program bridges. This requires technical knowledge of output file builds and should only be attempted by those who know how. Don't create an output file for bridges that do not require one.

  1. Output File Path: Click [...] to select the path to the output file (ini or txt) on your computer.
  2. Output Template: Enter the body of the output file.
  3. Replacements: Click to insert replacement fields that map data fields in the bridge output file to patient data fields. Select field then click OK to insert field at cursor. Example: PATID (bridge) maps to [PatNum] in Open Dental.

  1. Click OK to save the custom bridge.

Add a URL
Use custom bridges to add a toolbar button or Reports dropdown menu option that launches an internet browser and loads a URL (e.g. a reporting URL).

  1. In the main menu, click Setup, Program Links, then click Add.
  2. Description: Enter the name of the bridge. This name will show in the Program Links list.
  3. Check the Enabled box.
  4. Path of file to open: Enter the website URL to launch.

  1. Text on button: Enter the text to show in the Reports menu or on the toolbar button.

  1. Add a button to these toolbars: Select where to display the button.

  1. Click OK to save.

Available Fields for Command Lines
The fields below are available when creating an optional command line argument.

[FName] - The patient's first name
[LName] - The patient's last name
[LNameLetter] - The first letter of the patient's last name
[NameF] - The patient's first name
[NameFL] - The patient's first and last name
[PatNum] - The patient's number
[ChartNumber] - The patient's chart number
[HmPhone] - The patient's home phone number
[WkPhone] - The patient's work phone number
[Gender] - The patient's gender
[Email] - The patient's email
[ProvNum] - The patient's primary provider
[ClinicNum] - The clinic number the patient belongs to
[WirelessPhone] - The patient's cell phone number
[Birthdate] - The patient's DOB as a short date string. This will vary based on computer settings.Typical format is mm/dd/yyyy
[SSN] - The patient's social security number
[Address] - The patient's address
[City] - The city of the patient's address
[State] - The state of the patient's address
[Zip] - The zip of the patient's address
[MonthlyCardsOnFile] - patient credit card information stored in the database
[ReferredFromProvNameFL] - First and Last name of reference. Information must be present in the database or it will be blank.


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