Open Dental was designed by a dentist with the goal of keeping administrative costs low and data control easy. It’s a complete practice management solution that includes on-premise electronic charting, billing, practice management and imaging applications. It also includes web-based features that enhance access for providers and patients and improve the patient experience. Open Dental is suitable for both small and large dental practices.

Open Dental is compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems, and its user-friendly design includes a broad array of practical features. It allows for third-party plug-ins so you can integrate it with other systems. Open Dental even works with older equipment.

According to customers it provides unmatched technical support and extensive training resources. It also has a supportive online community of users.

Features include:

  • Appointment Management & Reminders
  • Clinical Charting
  • Graphical Tooth Chart
  • Treatment Planning
  • Claims Management
  • Imaging
  • Patient Account Management
  • Patient Billing
  • Patient Records Management

Open Dental Is Customizable

Open Dental is very customizable. You can send, add and modify preauthorization treatment forms and modify fees for individual procedures. You can also color code appointments to distinguish between different dental providers.

Appointment Management & Reminders

Open Dental’s appointment layout is easy to navigate, and you can get into charts with just one click. You can view the appointment calendar in daily or weekly modes and send appointment reminders to patients through text messaging and emails.

It also lets patients confirm their appointments electronically through a patient portal where they can access health information instantly. A feature called Web Sched lets patients schedule appointments online – it provides for recall appointment scheduling, new patient scheduling, and ASAP scheduling.

Clinical Charting

Open Dental comes with a chart module for ease of entering and organization of clinical information. Other features include e-prescribing, graphical reporting, and integrating with third-party programs.

Graphical Tooth Chart

This feature is located in the chart module where you’ll see it on the upper left-hand corner of the screen. It displays a visual representation of a patient’s teeth. It also shows when a procedure is planned, was performed or completed.

Color coding makes it easy to assess the status of a patient’s dental health. A vertical slider bar lets you see how procedures and tooth health status have changed over time. Select one or more teeth in the chart to get information, or you can draw on the chart to indicate changes.

Treatment Planning

This module collects all required treatments for an individual patient and organizes them in the order of priority. You can send, add and modify preauthorization treatment forms and modify fees for individual procedures.

Claims Management

Open Dental makes creating and sending insurance claims and receiving insurance payments quick and easy. When you click “New Claim,” the software creates claims for all the completed procedures that haven’t been billed to insurance. It also includes claims for procedures that were completed on an earlier date as well. This helps you stay on top of insurance payments.


Open Dental works with a wide array of imaging hardware. It works great with XDR for imaging but also integrates with other imaging solutions on the market. Click here to see a complete list.

You can scan images and save them as jpg files. When you do, they are available to use with programs such as Word and Excel. The images are sorted chronologically by the date and time created (hour/minute/seconds), however, you can change the sort order as you wish.

Mobile Web App

Open Dental Software comes with a mobile web app that lets you access its features from any place and at any time. You can view appointment schedules, create new appointments or make changes. You can also email or phone your patients directly from the application.

Patient Management

From the Home page and Main Toolbar simply click “Select Patient” and all of your patients will show up for easy access to their files. Names are sorted alphabetically by the last name, but you can customize your sort parameters.

Patient medical histories are maintained for reference and help is provided for financial agreements in addition to HIPAA and consent forms. Providers and their staff like that they can create queries and get just about any information they need from the database.


Users typically give Open Dental between a 4- and 5-star rating. Most say that it’s very easy to use and customize. However, some complain that the initial custom set up can be confusing.

The list of positives for Open Dental Practice Management Software goes on and on. As a trusted IT consultant for dentists, we can help you ask the right questions and find the IT solutions that work best for your practice in Southern Utah or Idaho. Contact SymTec for more information.

In the meantime, check out our Learning Center. Here are some examples of what you’ll find:

Tech Tips: Top 10 Free Windows Utilities

Microsoft Excel’s Social Media Calendar

The Guide To Increasing Labor Efficiencies With Managed IT Services