Growing Your Practice

Breaking Down Patient Statements

Patient Statements

Sending patient statements is vital in the Collections process. In this post, we’ll break down patient statements and how you can manage them to increase collections. 

Understanding Each Section

Each section of a statement shows information relevant to the patient. We’ll use the internal Open Dental Statement Sheet as an example. 

Let’s start with the upper left section, which shows the office address and patient address. This allows you to use windowed envelopes to send statements to patients.

In the upper right is the payment information. This area allows the patient to mail back payment instructions.

Also in the upper right is the amount due.  

Amount Due = Patient Portion. This is the amount the patient currently owes.
Date Due = When you expect payment. This can read “Upon Receipt” or a date depending on your Manage Module Preference, Days to calculate due date.

The grid at the bottom gives a detailed explanation of the amount due.

This area displays the Aging Grid. The Aging Grid shows the full amount due in each aging bracket for the family.

In this example, an $84.00 balance remains from 90+ days ago and a $95.00 balance was added within the last 30 days. Aging includes amounts expected from insurance.

This area shows a summary of the balance:

  • Total: Full amount due on the account. This does not include insurance estimates or write-offs.
  • -Ins Estimate: This is the amount expected from insurance. This amount comes from outstanding claims on the account.
  • = Balance: This is the patient portion left over.

The account grid displays the details. Here is what’s in each column.

  • Date: The service date of the procedure or claim, or the date of a payment, an adjustment, or date statement sent.
  • Patient: If creating a statement for a family, this column is useful to see which patient the item is for. In this example, Valentina is the only patient on the statement.
  • Code: Displays the procedure code or item (e.g. claim, adjustment, statement).
  • Tooth: Displays a tooth number if associated with the procedure code.
  • Description: Displays the description of the item. (e.g. procedure description, the claim information, adjustment reason, etc).
  • Charges: The full amount charged to the account (typically the office fee).
  • Credits: Payments and adjustments made towards the account.
  • Balance: The running balance. Does not include estimates or write-offs.

Scheduled Appointments: Displays upcoming scheduled appointments for the patient.

Customizing Your Statement

Like most things in Open Dental, the statement can be customized to include more or less information.

Adding notes and messages to Statements

First, you can add regular notes and bold notes to a single statement as needed. This can be important to add clarification on insurance payments, a patient portion, reminders on upcoming appointments, and more.

You can customize the statement itself by editing the Statement Sheet. Learn how on our manual page and watch our webinar: An Introduction to Sheets.


Statements can be generated as the patient leaves the office, or you can run monthly Billing right from Open Dental.

Use Dunning Messages to add specific messages to statements based on your patient’s account aging, if insurance is pending, their billing type, or a combination of these items. A sample setup is shown below – see more on our manual page. Can your patients make online payments? A Dunning message on all your statements can improve collections by making it easier than ever for patients to make their payment.

Related Resources:
See our blog post on Monthly Patient Billing for more on the billing process, and links to webinars.
Want to learn more about Patient Statements? See our post: Breaking Down Patient Statements.


We hope this post helps you understand Statements even better. Statements keep patients informed and ensure you collect patient portions that are due in a timely fashion. If we can help you statements, monthly patient billing, or anything else in Open Dental, please reach out – we’re here for you!

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