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Email Inbox / Receiving Messages

The Email inbox provides access to emails downloaded from the mail servers and Secure Web Mails. The messages that are viewable depend on the user logged on.

  • Incoming emails to the practice/clinic/group email address (set up in Setup, Manage, Email) are viewable by all users (See General Email Settings).
  • User-specific emails are only viewable when the user is logged on (see User Email Addresses).
  • Secure web mails to a provider are only viewable when the provider is logged on and viewing the WebMail inbox (selected in upper left).

Note: We are currently working on new features that will enhance the Inbox usability.  You may still choose to use it, but be aware that it is lacking features. 

To open the inbox:

The dropdown in the upper left determines which inbox messages show. It will default to the logged on user's email or the practice/clinic/group email. Click the dropdown to select a different inbox. Downloaded messages will list under Email Messages.

  • Highlight a message to preview the message in the lower portion of the window.
  • Double click a message to open it in a new window (Edit Email Message). Secure web mails open in the Web Mail Message Edit window.
  • Bold messages indicate unread messages.
  • Patients are automatically attached if Open Dental can find an exact match based on certain criteria.  
    - If an Encrypted Email has an attached Summary of Care (ccd.xml), the program searches for a matching patient using LastName, FirstName and Birthdate.
    - If this criteria is not met, the program searches for a matching patient based on email address.
    If criteria is met, the patient is attached and a CommLog is added. Click Change Pat to change or select a patient.
  • If the Computer Name is also the 'Computer Name Where New Email is Received', new emails will be downloaded every time you start Open Dental, open the inbox, at intervals defined in General Email Settings, and when you click Refresh. If working from a different computer, only emails already downloaded can be viewed.
  • Messages can be deleted, but not edited.
    If you delete an email that is not attached to a patient, it is permanently removed. It does not remove the message from the email server, however it will not download again.
    If you delete an email attached to a patient, it is removed from the inbox, but still shows in the Commlog and Progress Notes.

Encrypted emails: When an email is encrypted, decryption is automatically attempted.

  • If decryption is successful, the Sig column will show Y (indicating the sender is a trusted source) and the message text will be readable.
  • If decryption is not successful, see When Decryption Fails below.

When Decryption Fails
Decryption can fail if encrypted email is not set up on the workstation (email security certificates are not installed), if there are permission issues, or when the sender is not listed as a trusted source on the workstation (sender's public certificate has not been installed on the workstation).

To set up encrypted email, see Encrypted Email.
If permission issues are the cause, try running Open Dental as an administrator.

To add a sender as a trusted source:

  1. Click the 'N'.

  1. Click Trust.

Retry Decryption
When decryption has failed, a Decrypt button shows on the left of the Edit Email Message window:

Click Decrypt to attempt decryption again (e.g. on a different computer, once encrypted email is setup, or once the sender is a trusted source). If the message is from an unknown recipient that is not in your trusted list, you will be prompted to add the recipient to your trusted list.

If you choose OK, Open Dental will attempt to locate the public certificate for the sender and, if found, add it before attempting decryption again.

Field Descriptions
Setup: Access General Email Settings for practice/clinic/group setup.

Email Message columns:

  • From: The sending email address.
  • Subject: The subject sent with the email.
  • Date Received: The date and time the email was received by the mail server.
  • MessageType indicates the type of message.
    Regular email: A clear text email.
    Encrypted email: An encrypted email.
    SecureWebMail (sent via the patient portal)
  • Sig:  If the message is digitally signed a Y shows to indicate the sender is a trusted source. If N, the sender has a digital signature but is not a trusted source yet. Click the N to add a source to your 'trusted' list.
  • Patient: The patient attached to the email.  If blank, there is no patient attached. 
    Note: When a Summary of Care (CCD) is attached to an Encrypted Email, Open Dental attempts to automatically attach a patient using LastName, FirstName and Birthdate. If an exact patient match is found, the email is attached.  If an exact match is not found, no attachment is made.

Refresh: Download new emails. This is only available if the computer you are on (Computer Name) matches the 'Computer Name Where New Email is Received'.

Change Pat: Select a patient to attach to the email.

Mark Read: Highlight an email, then click to turn the message text not bold.

Mark Unread: Highlight an email, then click to turn message text bold.

Computer Name Where New Email is Received: Set this computer in General Email Settings. Only this computer will download new emails from the mail server. All other computers can only view emails already downloaded. Downloaded emails are only copied from the mail server, not deleted.

This Computer Name: The name of the this computer.

Technical Details
If using Gmail, all messages will be downloaded, except for spam, trash, and chats. This is a POP3 issue. See https://support.google.com/mail/answer/16418?hl=en. This issue would be fixed by using IMAP protocol instead (Feature Request #3276).

See Email Settings and Errors.


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