API Setup

See API Specification

The API web service is hosted at Open Dental headquarters. All requests are routed through this address to the appropriate office. The API Key specified in the Authorization header is linked to a specific office.

Steps to Enable the API

In order to use the Remote API, the office must have an eConnector running. See eConnector for installation instructions.

Then, the developer will work with the customer to enable the API within Open Dental. Have the customer go to API Setup and check the Enabled checkbox. This is also where additional customer keys can be created and disabled.

For setup information for other API modes, see API Modes - Local, Service, and Cloud.

API Keys

When requesting data from the API server, an API key must be present in the request header. API keys are created by the 3rd-party developer from Open Dental's Developer Portal: https://api.opendental.com/portal/gwt/fhirportal.html.

The API keys created from the developer portal can be entered into the Open Dental program to assign that API key to a customer. Requests to our API using these keys must then include the developer API key and the customer API key. To obtain a developer API key, contact vendor.relations@opendental.com. Please include the details below.

Developer name:
Company name:
Email address:
A list of the API resources you need access to and for each permission, whether you need read, create, or update for that permission:
A description of the application you are intending to build (type and purpose):

To assign an API key to an Open Dental customer, go to Setup -> Advanced Setup -> API. Click the Add Key in the lower left. Here is where you paste a key generated from the developer portal. The customer has the ability to enable or disable a key. The customer can view permissions granted to that key, but they cannot change those permissions. The interface in this window displays information from our HQ server, not the customer database.

When using the window described above, a copy of the keys are placed in a table in the customer's local database called "apikey". This table will then contain the customer's apikeys and each corresponding developer name exactly as entered in the developer portal. Occasionally, you may want to retrieve this information via a query. This will be rare, but can be accomplished with the following example:

SELECT CustApiKey FROM apikey WHERE DevName='YourName';

Developer Portal

The Developer Portal is where the 3rd-party developer can add or move keys, see key permissions or edit account details. The process of moving a key may take up to 15 minutes to take effect.


Each API request must include an Authorization header in this format:

Authorization: ODFHIR {DeveloperKey}/{CustomerKey}

For testing, the following credentials can be used:
Authorization: ODFHIR NFF6i0KrXrxDkZHt/VzkmZEaUWOjnQX2z


We use Advanced REST Client (ARC) in Chrome for testing API requests and Webhook.site for testing API Events, but there are other options.

Open Dental hosts a test database for developers to test against. The base URL is the same endpoint listed above.

See the Authorization section above for the test credentials.