Auto Codes

Auto codes work behind the scenes to insert and validate the correct procedure code depending on a variety of tooth conditions. Auto codes can be associated with Procedure Buttons. Open Dental comes preloaded with many auto codes, but you may want to add more.


To reset auto codes to the default settings, see Procedure Code Tools.

Webinar: Procedure Buttons, Quick Buttons, and Auto Codes

Add or Edit Auto Codes

Examples of auto codes you may want to add:

To add an auto code:

  1. In the Main Menu, click Setup, Auto Codes.

    The auto codes listed above are the defaults.
  2. Click Add, or double-click an auto code to edit.

    All procedure codes associated with the auto code will list.
  3. Enter the Description of this auto code.
  4. Add each procedure code that should be associated with this auto code and define the conditions that will trigger it. All possible conditions must be defined for the auto code to work correctly. Composite example (above):
    • There is one procedure code for each possible combination of Anterior/Posterior and number of surfaces.
    • 2 locations (Anterior/Posterior) multiplied by 5 surfaces equals 10 auto code conditions that must be defined for a Composite.
    • Since four-surface and five-surface fillings share the same ADA code, there will be some duplicate codes. The four surface and five surface conditions should not be put on a single auto code item, since that would require that both conditions be true for that code to be selected, which is absolutely impossible.

      1. Click Change to select the procedure code from the Procedure Code List.
      2. Highlight the conditions that will trigger this procedure code, then click OK to save.
      3. Repeat sub steps 1- 3 for each procedure code in this auto code.
    • When selecting conditions, there are some logical groupings. You should never select two conditions from the same group since both conditions can not possibly be met simultaneously.

      • Anterior and Posterior are opposites.
      • Anterior is also part of the Molar/Premolar group.
      • The five surfaces are a group.
      • First is the opposite of EachAdditional.
      • Maxillary is the opposite of Mandibular.
      • Primary is the opposite of Permanent.
      • Pontic is the opposite of Retainer.
      • The AgeOver18 condition is non-functional and should not be used.

    Most of the conditions are simply based on tooth number.

    • For instance, for tooth number 5, the Anterior condition is false, the Posterior condition is true, and the Premolar condition is true.
    • First and Each Additional really only apply if you have selected multiple teeth on the chart and click a procedure button, perhaps for a PA. The first one meets the First condition, and the remaining will be Each Additional.
    • Pontic and Retainer are also unusual. A tooth is considered missing if it has been marked as missing in the Chart module (an extraction or using Missing Teeth). So the Pontic condition is met if the tooth is missing, and the Retainer condition is met if the tooth is not missing.
  5. Click OK to save the auto code.

Other options: