Getting to know the ins and outs of Open Dental will take some time. Because Open Dental is flexible, you have many choices in how you use the software and which features you implement. Below are recommendations on how to begin using Open Dental when starting with a blank database (e.g., transitioning from paper charts or a new practice starting from scratch).
Before entering patient data, it is important to set time aside to address HIPAA issues and set up Open Dental for your practice.
Patient Information and Appointments
We recommend starting with patients who have an upcoming appointment.
Before the scheduled appointment: Create records for patients and enter as much information as you have available.
- Click Select Patient, then click Add Pt (to add a single patient) or Add Family (to add multiple family members at once).
- Enter patient information.
- In the Family Module:
- Attach insurance plans, adding plans as you go. Check insurance plan information.
- Assign recall types (Prophy vs Perio).
- In the Chart Module:
- If known, attach treatment planned procedures.
- If known, chart existing treatment (add procedures) and enter medical information.
- Create the appointment with the correct procedures attached.
During the appointment
- Update existing treatment and patient information.
- Set the appointment complete. Attach any added procedures.
- If treatment is needed, chart it (add procedures with a TP status).
- If treatment is needed, enter Planned Appointments for the next appointment (treatment that is priority #1). This information will by used by the front desk to schedule the next appointment.
- In the Treatment Plan Module, prioritize treatment, then save and print the treatment plan.
- In the Appointments Module, schedule the patient's next appointment.
- If no treatment is needed, click Make Recall to schedule a recall appointment.
- If treatment is needed, click Make Appointment, then select the planned appointment, copy it to pinboard, then schedule it.
- In the Account Module, enter patient payments, and create insurance claims. Print statements or receipts as needed.
- Confirm appointments.
- Insurance payments: Receive and enter insurance payments. As family account balances reach zero, cleanup transaction history converted from your old software by transferring income. Family balances that are zero at the time of conversion do not need income transfers.
- Deposits: Attach payments to a deposit for balancing. Use the Payments report to compare.
- Send Claims: Check for unsent claims.
- Review procedure notes for completion.
End of Day Reports: Most offices run the reports below at the end of the day. These reports can be run by provider, by clinic, and other optional criteria.
- Production and Income Report (More Options)
- Daily Payments Report (More Options)
- Daily Adjustments Report
- Daily Write-off Reports
- Appointments Report (summary of the day's appointments).
Other Useful Features
- Daily Procedures Report: A report of all procedures done for a date range.
- Routing Slips: Print all at once or one at a time.
- Billing List: Run daily, monthly, or per your practice preference.
- Birthday Report and Postcards: Generate birthday postcards (usually monthly).
Open Dental has several tools you can use to manage appointments and keep your schedule full, thus keeping your production high.
- Schedule and track recall appointments that are due.
- Use Planned Tracker to track planned appointments.
- Unscheduled List: A temporary place to send appointments that need follow-up (e.g., broken, no shows, cancelled).
- Confirmations: Track patients who have upcoming appointments and action taken.
- ASAP List: A list of patients who are scheduled, but want to come in earlier if an opening is available.