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New Year Frequently Asked Questions

Below are common questions asked by Open Dental users at the beginning of each new year with answers that can be found in the user manual. For another resource see Start of New Year Tasks.

How do I update ADA procedure codes for the new year?
New codes are usually included In the last stable release of the year. Update to the version as needed, then run Procedure Code Tools to update. See Update CDT Codes.

How do I update fees?
There are a few methods:

  • Increase fees in an existing fee schedule by a percentage. See Increase Fees by a Percentage.
  • Import a new fee schedule into an existing fee schedule. Only tab delimited files can be imported (.txt file is preferred). See Import Fee Schedules.
  • Create the new fee schedule, then reassign it to multiple insurance plans. See Check Ins Plan Fees.
  • Manually enter new fees in an existing fee schedule. See Procedure Code List.
  • Canada: New fee guides are released as we receive them. See Canada Fee Schedules to download them into Open Dental.

Do I need to manually reset patient insurance benefits for the new year?
No, patient insurance benefits will automatically reset on January 1st or the first day of the month indicated in the service year.

How do I clear out adjustments to insurance benefits?
Adjustments are cleared out automatically when the new benefit year begins, so you don't need to do anything.

I have a plan that is no longer in-network. How do I change the insurance plan for all patients on the plan?
First create the new plan, setting the correct plan type. Then use the Move Subscribers tool to move subscribers of the existing plan to the new plan. See Move Subscribers.

I have a plan that has a new fee schedule? How do I change it for all patients on the plan?
Go to Lists, Insurance Plans and change the fee schedule for the plan.

My employees are not able to clock in using the time clock. What do I need to do?
You probably don't have pay periods set up for the new year. See Set up Pay Periods.

My appointment book doesn't show any open times. What do I need to do?
You probably need to add days to the schedule for the new year. See Add Days to the Schedule.

What year end reports do I need to run?
Many users find these reports useful.

If you had a conversion during the year, reports should be run out of your old software through the date of conversion (e.g. January through 'date of conversion'), and out of Open Dental from the day after conversion and forward ('day after conversion' through Dec. 31).

What do I need to do to close out the month?
There is nothing that you officially have to do to close out a month in Open Dental. All your financials 'roll over' and when the calendar changes, so does Open Dental. For tasks that aren't required, but that you may find useful at month's end, see Closing Out a Month.

What do I need to do to close out the year?
There is nothing that you officially have to do to close out the year in Open Dental. However, there are some security features to prevent changing data after a certain date, such as locking accounting entries and setting global lock dates. See Accounting, Closing out the Year and Security Lock Dates.

I am going to participate in the EHR Incentive Program in the new year. What steps do I need to take?

  • Contact us to sign a new Open Dental EHR contract for the new calendar year. See Open Dental EHR to download the purchase form.
  • If you will demonstrate and report meaningful use data in the new year, you may need to configure Open Dental for EHR first. See EHR Modified Stage 2 for meaningful use requirements and EHR Setup for setup steps.


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