Electronic Signatures

In the Procedure Edit window, on the right, is a signature box.

An electronic signature can be used much like a pen and paper signature. Each signature is electronically linked to the data it applies to and, if the data changes, the signature is invalidated or cleared.

When electronic signatures are available, a signature box shows:


To only allow signatures by providers enable the preference, Notes can only be signed by providers.

We recommend using a Topaz signature pad for electronic signatures, but offices can also use a stylus on a tablet PC or similar touch screen. When signing with a stylus, information about the speed of each stroke is recorded.

  • Sometimes the user logged on when an item is electronically signed is also linked to the signature (e.g. commlog). In other areas, such as Procedure notes, the person signing can override the logged on user before signing.
  • If electronically signing a form designed using Sheets, the date and time of the signature will show in the signature box once the signature is saved (not payment plans).
  • If data tied to a signature is changed behind the scenes (e.g. MySQL query), signatures will be marked invalid instead of being cleared.
  • If the note is edited, or the user is changed, the signature is cleared.
  • Signatures created using a mouse, or by marking a check box, are still valid electronic signatures, but with just a mouse signature or click, it is not possible to verify the person signing with the signature alone.

Topaz Signature Pads

Open Dental does not sell the Topaz signature devices. However to ensure compatibility, please make sure the model number ordered exactly matches a signature pad we recommend. We recommend purchasing new models only and verifying the warranty.

Topaz pads are not compatible with Open Dental Cloud.

Purchase in the United States and Canada: Topaz Website

Requirements: The pad purchased MUST be a 1 x 5 pad and it MUST have a model number ending in HSB or BSB. Those models are all USB types that use the human interface driver.

HSB model setup: See Topaz HSB Model Setup. This is our recommended signature pad model.

BSB model setup: See Topaz BSB Model Setup .

Older versions of Windows and Windows 7 (64 bit) will work fine with the included or downloadable drivers. If you have Windows 7 (32 bit) then you will need to call Topaz for the drivers, as they are not included on the disk or posted on their website.

Topaz Pad Recommendations: At this time, we strongly recommend a wired pad as we have not found a wireless pad that is functional.

Recommended Pads Model # URL $
SigLite 1 x 5 This is a low cost pad that users sign blind, as it does not show ink on the screen as they sign. Because of this awkwardness, it is probably not suitable for patients, but it works fine for staff members who are signing procedure notes. The background is a dark blue rather than the medium blue pictured. T-S460-HSB-R Topaz SigLite ~ $100
SigLite LCD 1 x 5 This pad has an LCD screen, so users can see the signature as they sign, just like on paper. It works very well, but is more expensive. The screen background is actually gray rather than backlit. T-L460-HSB-R Topaz SigLite LCD ~ $200

Other pads may have extra features, such as backlighting or more durable surfaces. These pads will work as long as they meet the Requirements listed above.

Other Compatible Pads Model #
SignatureGem 1x5 T-S261-HSB-R
DeskGem1x5 T-S981-HSB-R
SignatureGem LCD 1x5 T-L462-HSB-R
SignatureGem Backlit LCD 1x5 T-LBK462-HSB-R
SigLite Slim 1x5 T-S461-HSB-R
SigLite Backlit LCD 1x5 T-LBK460-HSB-R
SigLite 1x5 T-S460-BSB-R
Any of the IDGem series that are 1x5 and HSB.

Technical Details

Topaz pads now work with 64 bit versions of Windows, but only starting with version 6.9 of Open Dental. Earlier versions of Open Dental only support Topaz on 32 bit versions of Windows.