There are many different places for notes in Open Dental. This page describes which notes should be used for which purposes and protocols your office should use in organizing your notes.

See our video: Clinical Charting II: Clinical Notes Webinar.

Notes used with Procedures

General Purpose Notes

Financial Notes

Appointment Module Notes

Sometimes you want notes to show in the Appointments Module schedule that are not part of appointments or procedures.

Patient-specific notes: Patient notes can act as reminders to call a patient at a specific time, to run recurring credit card payments, to follow up on phone calls, or to call patients who request to be called if a patient cancels. Simply create an appointment with a note and no procedures.

  1. In the Appointments module, click View Pat Appts.
  2. Click NOTE for Patient.
  3. Enter the note in the Patient NOTE field on the left.
  4. Click OK to send the note to the pinboard. Drag the note to the schedule.
  5. Once the note has been handled, set it complete, or delete it.

Set patient note color in Definitions: Appointment Colors. This overrides provider and appointment type color and will change when the note is set complete.

General Notes: General notes that are not attached to a patient can also show in the Appointments module. For example, add notes about office schedule changes, staff out, holidays, meetings, notes to staff, etc.

  1. Create a new patient called Miscellaneous, Notes or something similar. Remember that the displayed format will be Last Name, First Name.
  2. Select the note patient and schedule an appointment or create a NOTE for Patient. On the Edit Appointment window, enter the note in the Appointment Note field.

To customize the general note's color, create an alternate provider for the note (e.g. NOTE) and set the provider's color to something that makes sense in your office. Then select the NOTE provider on the Edit Appointment window for the note.

Blockouts: Blocks of time on the appointment schedule that designate specific purposes.

Address and Phone Notes

Enter these notes on the Edit Patient Information. Make notes about when to call a patient, which number the patient prefers, extra phone numbers, extensions, bad phone numbers, bad addresses, alternate addresses, etc. Text will show in bold red in the Patient Information area of the Family module. These notes also show in the Unscheduled list, Recall list, and appointment.


Notes that show on printed schedules (e.g. holidays, practice notes) can be entered in Schedule Setup.

Treatment Plan

Customize the note that shows on printed Treatment Plans.