Home User Manual Discussion Forum Search

Open Dental Setup 

Below are links to all setup options available in Open Dental. To address network and computer issues, see Network and Computer Setup.

Before you enter patient information, we recommend reserving some time to set up defaults, options, and features. Many setup tasks are optional, but others will help your use of Open Dental. To get started, we recommend using the following checklists.

Setup Wizard: A quick way to enter basic setup information.

From the Setup Menu


Account: Set defaults for the Account module.

Treat'PlanSet defaults for the Treatment Plan module.




  • Manage Preferences: Set defaults for the Manage module.
  • Email: Enter outgoing and incoming email settings.
  • Messaging: Define message elements used for inter-office communication.
  • Messaging Buttons: Define messaging button position, name, and messaging elements.
  • Time Cards: Define pay periods and any rules (e.g. for overtime or differential hours) so employees can use the Time Clock.

Advanced Setup

  • Computers: Track which computers use Open Dental.
  • HL7: Enable and setup HL7 message structure.
  • Replication: Set up replication.
  • Show Features: Hide/unhide some of the more complex features of Open Dental.

Other Setup Menu Items

  • Auto Codes: Set up default automated codes that validate procedure codes.
  • Automation: Set up triggers that cause an automatic action when a condition is met.
  • Auto Notes: Script pop-ups to help compose big complex notes. (e.g. for comprehensive exams or emergency exams).
  • Data Paths: Define where folders required by Open Dental are located, and where image and document files will be stored.
  • Definitions: Customize backgrounds, text, notification colors, and options available on various windows.
  • Dental Schools: Select default user security user groups for students and instructors.
  • Display Fields: Customize which fields (usually grid columns) show in various windows.
  • (version 15 and earlier) eServices: Manage all eServices from one window (Patient Portal, Mobile Web, Mobile Synch, Web Sched)
  • Fee Schedules: Create fee schedules (e.g. UCR fees and insurance carriers).
  • Laboratories: Enter the dental labs you send Lab Cases to.
  • Miscellaneous: Define title bar options, language options, middle tier server name, and task list defaults.
  • Module Preferences: Set default options and settings for each Module.
  • Practice: Enter practice addresses, phones, and fax, and set practice defaults (providers, billing dentist, billing type).
  • Program Links: Set up bridges to imaging software or other programs that you use in your practice.
  • Requirements Needed:  Enter requirements for Dental School classes/courses.
  • Schedules: Define employee and provider schedules.  Affects open/close times in the Appointments module.
  • Security: Set up user groups, user names, and passwords for providers and employees, and assign security permissions.
  • Sheets: Set up form, letter, and label templates that can be customized for your practice and used to gather and send information electronically.
  • Spell Check: Manage the custom dictionary.

Accessed via the File Menu

Master Lists (Lists menu)
Enter items as you go or all at once.

Set up eServices


EHR Incentive Program

Dental Schools



Open Dental Software 1-503-363-5432