Open Dental User Newsletter  /  November 2016
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Welcome to the Open Dental User Newsletter – your guide to software updates, new functionality, integrations with 3rd party service providers, and other news relating to Open Dental and the Open Dental community. 
If you would prefer not to receive these updates, you may unsubscribe here.

Newsletter Contents:

     •  Company Announcements
     •  Feature Highlights
         •  Stable Release Features
         •  Beta Release Features
     •  The Importance of Backups
     •  Highlighted New Partners & Supplemental Services
     •  Tips & Tricks
     •  User Resources
     •  Open Dental Company News
     •  Dental Trivia
Company Announcements:

Dental Insurance – Use it or lose it!
It’s that time of year again to remind your patients that their dental benefits are about to expire. Open Dental has a great tool to create customized letters or labels for patients that have outstanding treatment planned procedures and benefits remaining. Use the Treatment Finder built into Open Dental’s Standard Reports. The treatment finder is a great way to help your patients get needed care and to help you fill some empty spots in your appointment calendar.

Holiday Hours:
November 24, 2016 – Closed
Fri. December 23, 2016 – Open from 5:00 am - 2:00 pm Pacific Standard Time
Sat. December 24 to Mon. December 26, 2016 – Closed
Mon. January 2, 2017 – Closed

EHR – Stable version 16.2 is now EHR certified!
New Participants: 2016 is the last year to begin participation in the EHR Medicaid Incentive Program. If your office qualifies, you could receive up to $21,250 per provider for 2016. If you haven't already done so, please contact us IMMEDIATELY to begin the contract process.
Current EHR Participants:  Existing Providers in the EHR Incentive Program will be allowed to report on a 90-day EHR reporting period in both 2016 and 2017.

Be part of our online community! 
Get frequent updates and stay connected with all things Open Dental. Click the links to connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest, and YouTube. We're excited to be able to keep you informed and up-to-date using these channels, so stay tuned!
Feature Highlights:
  • eReminders: Send automated texts or emails to remind your patients of upcoming appointments. Set send times and intervals (days and/or hours before), Open Dental does the rest.  eServices fees apply for integrated texting.
  • Patient portal now accepts patient payments: The patient portal allows secure communication with your patients, and gives them online access to their accounts. Use X-charge to accept patient credit card payments through the portal.
  • WebSched Recall: Your patients can schedule their own recall appointments online using WebSched, all you have to do is send the WebSched email. Monthly eServices fee applies.

Coming Soon:
  • WebSched New Patient: New patients can schedule their appointments online, and the appointment automatically appears in your schedule. Monthly eServices fee will apply.
  • eConfirmations: Send automated appointment confirmations via text or email. Your patients will reply to the eConfirmation to confirm their appointment. When you receive an eConfirmation reply, the appointment confirmation status changes automatically. Monthly eServices fee will apply.

Stable Release Features Open Dental Stable versions 16.1-16.2
  • Automatic ERA Downloads: Automatically download and import Electronic Remittance Advice (ERAs, also known as electronic Explanation of Benefits or EOBs), using ClaimConnectChange Healthcare, EDS (coming soon) or iTrans clearinghouses.
  • Graphic Reports: Visually track P&I, new patients, A/R, and broken appointments. Ability to design custom reports.
  • Decline Minimizer for X-charge: New feature to automatically update some expired credit card tokens.
  • Payment Plans: Attach procedures to payment plans. Ability to close a payment plan without detaching prior payments. New option to show pay plan credits and charges in the main ledger.
  • Limited Statement: New statement type to only show selected procedures.
  • Automation: New triggers for scheduling a certain procedure or creating an appointment.
  • Insurance Verification: New appointment list to assist with verifying insurance plan benefits and patient eligibility.
  • Claim Tracking: New claim tracking definition and ability to filter the Outstanding Claims report, including an option to not show the claim for a set number of days once the claim tracking status has been updated.
Enterprise Enhancements
  • Clinics users can be assigned a default clinic with access to one or multiple clinics. Users can be restricted to certain clinics. Clear blockouts by clinic. Integrated text messaging per clinic. Track time card entries by clinic. View schedule by clinic.
  • Line Item Accounting: Split payments to specific procedures on payment plans. New prepayment system to create unallocated payments and later apply unallocated payments to completed work. 

Beta Release Features Open Dental version 16.3
  • Task Reminders on a Specific Date and Time: Set a future date and time for a task to be created.
  • Insurance Frequencies: Warn users if a procedure will not be covered due to insurance frequency limits.
  • Planned Treatment Tracking: For offices that use treatment planners, assign treatment plans to the presenter and track scheduling effectiveness with 2 new reports.
  • Sort Procedure Code List Numerically: Change from sorting by category to by code to facilitate data entry of new fee schedules.
  • Lock Patient for Scheduling: Flag a patient to prevent accidental scheduling.
  • Auto Notes for Default Procedure Notes: Default procedure notes can now include auto note prompts.
Enterprise Enhancements
  • Security Window Search: For large groups with many users, search by name, filter by clinic or security group.
  • OpenDentImages Folder: Store images on Dropbox™, a good option for groups sharing a single database. Look for FTP support in future releases.

Stable vs. Beta – which is right for your practice?

Stable means the software version has already gone through many iterations and any identified bugs have been fixed. This is the most appropriate version for most offices to upgrade to. We recommend using the latest Stable version.

Beta versions have all of the latest features, but may have some bugs. We always fix bugs quickly after they are identified, but a fix may take a few days, which could cause some inconvenience. For this reason, we do not recommend this for most offices. Beta versions are only appropriate for offices willing to accept some software bugs in order to gain access to new features they need.
The Importance of Backups

While Open Dental has an easy to use built in backup system, we find that nearly half of our customers who suffer an equipment failure do not have a recent backup. If a hard drive or server crashes and you have a backup, our support staff can get your office back up and running in very little time. Backing up regularly and testing those backups are a critical function of practice management. For offices that prefer the convenience and security of outsourcing their backups, we have a preferred backup solution below.
Highlighted New Partners and Supplemental Services

Although we are frequently approached by third party service providers, it isn't often that their products become an integrated part of Open Dental software. We have recently partnered with the providers below whose services we feel will add significant value to your business, and we are excited to introduce their services as an integrated feature within Open Dental.

Central Data Storage

We've partnered with Central Data Storage to put a HIPAA-compliant, reliable offsite backup plan within easy reach of your practice – connect with just a press of a button in our Backup tool. Affordable managed backup plans start at just $29.95/month with real-time backups to prevent data loss. With redundant backup systems and the industry's first no cost, 24-hour restore service, you know your data is secure, and restoring it is worry-free. Sign up by November 30, 2016 and receive your first month free.

Dental Intel

Linked from the Reports screen in Open Dental, Dental Intel provides tools that connect all of your practice data, giving you a complete dataset to analyze critical metrics to evaluate how your practice is doing and identify areas of opportunity, in real time. 
Read "Measuring the Numbers that Matter Most" for three key metrics that will help guide how you grow your practice and increase your bottom line.
Tips & Tricks
  • Use the Ortho Chart for other exam types. New feature allows you to rename the Ortho Chart and set up multiple tabs.
  • Is your Appointment view suddenly different? Try hitting the F1 key on your keyboard to go back to the default appointment view for your practice.
User Resources


We have added dozens of webinars to our webinar schedule recently. We publish the recordings to our webinar page for those who are unable to attend the live presentation. They cover a variety of topics, from general setup and tutorials to workflow optimization. They're offered in a step-by-step way to guide you through specific areas of Open Dental.
Online Training

If you need more in-depth or practice-specific training on any topic, consider our affordable, customized online training at just $50/hour. You can connect one or multiple computers, and be online/on the phone with our trainer to get just what you need for your specific situation. This can be especially helpful for staff that may be new to your office, and to Open Dental.
User Forum

Ever wonder how other Open Dental Users may be tackling some unusual situations or requirements? Want to promote your Feature Request? Join the discussion – go to and click on User Forum. Sign up, and start sharing!
Open Dental Company News:

We appreciate your business, and we're growing!

This year, we have added 24 new employees to our team. We now have more than 50 support technicians to assist you, and a dozen engineers focused on continually improving the features and performance of our software. Thank you for submitting and voting on Feature Requests (in Help-Request Features) and participating in our User Forum. These inputs shape the way we evolve and improve our software to meet your needs.

With all the new staff, we were bursting at the seams, which necessitated an expansion of our office space – we've doubled in size! We have also broken ground on the future home of Open Dental Headquarters. It's not far from our current location, but it's a development we're really excited about.
Get to Know Us Better: 2016 Company Picnic  
We had a great picnic with this cast of characters (and their families) at the Salem Riverfront Park. These are the folks on the other end of the line when you call!

And a Bit of Dental Trivia...

In the state of Louisiana, biting someone with false teeth is considered aggravated assault while biting someone with real teeth is only considered simple assault!

Copyright © 2016 Open Dental Software, All rights reserved.

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