Growing Your Practice

Installing Open Dental on Additional Workstations in Your Practice

installing open dental

Updated 12/29/2021

Your practice is growing and you’re adding new workstations – congratulations! Installing Open Dental on new workstations is a simple process. We’ve listed a few prerequisites that will make sure your installation goes smoothly, along with a few follow-up steps after the installation to make sure the user can hit the ground running.
This post is for existing Open Dental users who are installing Open Dental on additional workstations. If installing Open Dental on the server, please see our manual page

First, work with your IT professional to make sure the new workstation is ready:

  1. Verify the workstation meets the computer requirements. If you are wanting to install Open Dental on a tablet, or if the workstation will be used as a Kiosk, take a look at our manual for some additional considerations.
  2. Connect the workstation to your office network.
  3. Ensure the user has server access credentials saved. When you navigate to the server and click to open the OpenDentImages folder, you should be able to go straight in. If you’re prompted to enter the username & password for the server, enter that, then be sure to check the box for “remember credentials” so the credentials are saved. Have them provide you with the name of the server computer. You can also do this yourself later (see step 1 below) as long as you know which machine to log into.
  4. If the new workstation will need to take x-rays, does the imaging software need to be installed locally or is it accessed via the server? If a local installation is needed, it’s best to have that done before installing Open Dental so images can be taken as soon as Open Dental is installed.
  5. If the workstation will be used to send claims, does the software need to be installed locally or is it accessed via the server? If a local installation is needed, it’s best to have that done before installing Open Dental.

Next, follow these 6 steps to install Open Dental on a new workstation:

  1. If there are other workstations connected to Open Dental, log into one of them (not the server). Go to File, Choose Database, and copy down the Server Name and Database name.
    If this is the first workstation you’re installing Open Dental on, take these steps:
    a.  Log into the Server (if unsure, ask your IT professional which computer this is).
    b.  Right-click on the windows icon, and select System
    c.  Halfway down the page, you’ll see the Computer Name.
    d.  Write down the computer name. This is the name of your Server.
    d.  To get the database name, log in to Open Dental, and go to File, Choose Database.
    e.  Write down this database name.
  2. Log into the new workstation.
  3. Using File Explorer, click on the network, then double-click on the server name (to access the server), and open the OpenDentImages folder.
  4. Locate the Setup.exe file (located near the bottom of the folder), then right-click and “Run as Administrator”. Click through the prompts until installation is complete. This will create an Open Dental shortcut on your desktop.
  5. Right-click on the Open Dental shortcut, and select “Run as Administrator”
  6. In the Choose Database screen, enter the Server Name and Database name you jotted down earlier, and click OK.
    (optional) Check the “Do not show this window on startup” if you don’t want this window to show when launching Open Dental on this workstation.
    TECH TIP: When you click OK after entering the server name and database name, you may be prompted to update the Open Dental Version. Click OK, your workstation’s version will be updated to match the database.

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Finally, a few steps to make everything neat & tidy:

  1. Log in to Open Dental
  2. Select the appointment view
    In the Appointment Module, choose the appointment view for this workstation/user. To do this, click the down arrow for “View” on the right, under the pinboard.
  3. Fix tooth chart graphics
    Go to the Chart module. If the teeth have diamond shapes in them or don’t look quite right, follow the steps here to change your graphics format so the 3-D tooth chart looks normal, and displays treatment properly. If you’ll be using the Graphical Perio Chart, you’ll need to install and use DirectX.
  4. (optional) Prepare the workstation to send Claims
    a.  Go to Setup, Family/Insurance, Clearinghouses.
    b.  Find the clearinghouse you use (it will say Dent in the “Is Default” column).
    c.  Double-click to open your clearinghouse, and say OK.
    d.  When prompted to create a claim export path and/or report path, say OK.
    e.  Close the clearinghouse window. You’re all set!

Open Dental is powerful and scalable – it is designed to grow with you. In this post, we’ve discussed adding new workstations, but if your practice is growing and expanding to additional locations, Open Dental can help you manage that growth with features like Clinics, the Central Enterprise Management Tool (CEMT),  Open Dental Cloud, and options to structure your database connections in a way that works best for you. If you’d like any help, just give us a call – we’re here to help you as you grow!


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