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Patient Portal: What the Patient Sees

Once the Patient Portal is setup and you have Granted Access, a patient can access the portal using most common web browsers. Below is a description of what the patient will see when they log in.

Note: Authorized Representatives (e.g. guarantor, guardians, responsible party) can see information for all family members. 

Logging in to the Portal

  1. In an internet browser, navigate to the portal web address (the Patient Facing URL provided on the printout).

Contact Us: Access the practice contact information (Practice Setup). Patient's will first be asked to verify patient first name, last name and birthdate. The email address will be a clickable link.
Make Payment: Only visible if online payments are enabled for the practice. If using clinics, it is visible if any clinic has online payments set up. Click to make a payment to the account. See Account, Making Payments below.
forgot password: Patients can change their own password and user name.
Remember User Name: Check to auto-populate the User Name field the next time you login. 

  1. Enter the assigned user name and password.
  2. Click Login.
  3. If it is the patient's first time logging in, they willl be asked if they want to change the user name. This is only an option during the first login. To change it, enter the New User Name, then click Submit.

Navigating the Patient Portal
When a patient first opens the portal, the practice or clinic name shows in the upper left, and the Account icon is selected.

In the upper right are four clickable options:

  • Contact Us: View contact information about the practice or clinic. See Practice or Clinic Setup.
  • Patient Name: The name of the currently logged on patient. Click the dropdown to select from three options:
    - Change Password: Change the logged-on user's password.
    - Family Information: View patient information for family members the logged on patient is an authorized representative for (see below).
    - Manage Credit Cards: Add or remove credit cards used in the portal.
  • Refresh: Refresh the portal.
  • Sign Out: Log out of the patient portal. The portal will automatically log-off after 20 minutes of inactivity.

The left margin has four clickable icons that open each accessible area. The specific features a patient can access are set during Patient Portal Setup.

  • Account: View payments and statements. Make online credit card payments.
  • WebMail: View and send private secure web mail messages (between provider and patient).
  • Care Summary: View, download, or transmit a Summary of Care. (EHR)
  • Images: View PDFs and image files stored in Image module folders shared to the Patient Portal.

Sample Patient Information window:

In this area, guarantors can view payments, view and download statements, and make online payments. Click a tab to toggle between payment and statement entries. 

Payments tab: Lists pending and processed patient payments and generated statements.

  • Statement line items are highlighted in gray and the total balance (Balance), insurance estimate, and total family balance (Balance Est) will show.
  • If Online Patient Payments are enabled, and a patient has a statement, a Make Payment button shows in the upper right. The total family balance as of the last statement shows next to it.
  • Pending online payments are indicated with an asterisk. These payments have been processed by the credit card provider but still need to be processed in Open Dental by practice staff.
  • Processed payments have no asterisk.
  • The total family balance (Balance) always shows the balance as of the last generated statement.

Statement tab: Lists all generated statements. Click Download to download a PDF version.

Making Online Payments: Patients can make a payment during a portal session or without logging in to the portal. Payments are instantly processed by the credit card provider. Payments are considered 'pending' in Open Dental until staff processes it in Open Dental. See Processing Online Payments.

Option 1: During a Portal Session

  1. On the Payments tab, click Make Payment to open the Payment Options window.

  1. Enter the amount of the payment.
  2. Enter a note that will be viewable to office staff.
  3. Select the card to charge the payment to:
    - To select a card already on file, highlight it. The payment will process instantly with the credit card provider.
    - Otherwise, click New Card, enter the credit card information, then click Submit to process the payment with the credit card provider.

Note: The credit card will be saved under Patient Name, Manage Credit Cards in the upper right.

Option 2: Making a Payment without Logging In
If online payments are set up for the practice or for the patient's default clinic, the patient can make an online payment without logging into the portal. When available, a Make Payment link shows in the top right of the login window.

  1. Click Make Payment.

  1. Enter personal patient information for validation and click OK. If validation is successful, the Payment Options window will open.
  2. Enter the payment amount and any notes to send to the practice staff. Click Continue.
  3. Enter the credit card information, then click Submit to process the transaction.

Note: When using clinics, the Make Payment link shows on the Login window when any clinic has online payments enabled. If the patient's default clinic doesn't have it enabled, clicking the link will open clinic contact information instead.

Manage Credit Cards: Credit card information used to make a payment when logged into the portal is automatically saved and can be managed clicking the patient name, Manage Credit Cards in the upper right. From here you can add or remove credit cards.

Click X to delete an existing card.
Click New Card to add a new card.

WebMail messages are private messages between the patient (or their authorized representative) and a provider.

There are two folders:

  • Inbox:  Messages received by the patient.
  • Sent Items:  Messages sent by the patient.

Within each folder, click on a message to preview it in the bottom of the screen. 

  • Bold message indicate an unread message.
  • If the message has an attachment (e.g. a Clinical Summary), a paperclip symbol shows to the left of the message.  To open an attachment, click on the link.  Patients can only view attachments; they cannot upload and send attachments.
  • The status of the message is indicated under the Sent At: information.  = Unread    = Sent    = Read

Compose:  Create a new message to send to your primary provider. Enter the subject and message then click Send.
Reply:  Reply to the selected message.  The original message will open.  Enter the reply, then click Send.  Double clicking a message also opens the message window. 

Notes:  Authorized representative can send message on behalf of any family member. Click the Patient Name (next to Regarding Patient), then select the family member the message is regarding. Cleck Send to send the messages to the patient's primary provider.

Care Summary
This feature is primary for EHR. Patient name, demographic info, and contact information lists at the top. Click on the patient name to view a care summary in the form of a Continuity of Care Document (CCD).

Click the links within the Summary of Care to jump to specific information. 

The patient can perform the following actions:
History:  View a detailed history of all actions, including any taken by an authorized representative on behalf of the patient (e.g. the guarantor).
Download:  Download the care summary as a zip file.
Transmit: Send the Summary of Care to another provider you have been referred to.  This button is only visible in the following circumstances:

  1. A referral has been entered in Open Dental.
  2. Direct trust has been established with the referring provider (see Direct Messaging) and it has been denoted on the provider's Add Referral window ('Email Trust for Direct' is checked).

The Images area allows patients to view and download PDFs and image files.

Images display chronologically by date, oldest to newest. Click Download to view the image from your computer.

Only items stored in an Images folder that is designated as "Show in Patient Portal" are listed. To designate image categories as "Show in Patient Portal":

  1. Click Setup, Definitions, Image Categories.
  2. Double-click any image category to select it.
  3. Check the Show in Patient Portal box.
  4. Click OK.

The patient may need to logout then login again to view newly added images.

Change User Name and Password
Change passwords in the portal: Patients can change their own password while logged into the portal. 

  1. In the upper right corner of the portal, click the patient name, then Change Password.
  2. Enter the current user name and password, then enter and confirm the new password.
  3. Click OK to change.

Reset a Password and/or Username: If the patient has forgotten their password, they can change their password. If it is the first time the patient is logging in, there is also an option to change username.

  1. On the Patient Portal Login window, click forgot password.

  1. Enter the user name and click Next. An email with a reset code will be automatically sent to the email address associated with the user name.


  1. On the Forgot Password window enter the reset code, the new password (and verify it), then click Login.

  1. If the first time a patient is accessing the portal, patient will be asked if they want to change their user name. This is optional and only an option the first time a patient logs in the portal. To change it, enter the New User Name and click Submit.

Note: If patient is unable to change their user name or password in the portal, they can also contact the practice and have staff manually change it. See Grant Patient Portal Access.


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