Open Dental has come a long way in the years since it was established. In this post, we’ll share some Open Dental history, show how the program has evolved, and give a sneak peek into the future.
Open Dental was originally designed and developed by Dr. Jordan Sparks. For the first few years, Open Dental was run from the back of Dr. Spark’s dental practice. His staff doubled as office staff and Open Dental support and would take support calls between patients. Two of those staff members are still part of Open Dental today!
Dr. Sparks eventually decided to close his practice and focus on building Open Dental into a robust program that would be within reach of every dentist. He brought on engineers, hired a CEO (Nathan Sparks), and his staff built an incredible support team.
Today, Open Dental has over 300 employees across multiple teams: Engineering, Technical Support, Human Resources, Conversions, Training, Advanced Services, Marketing & Communications, Accounting, and Maintenance.
From the beginning, the goal was to create practice management software that met the needs of its users. The first Feature Request was implemented 13 years ago, in 2009! Since that time, we have released hundreds of requested features in the form of software updates released several times each year.
The first version of Open Dental that we have documentation for was Version 2.1, released on February 6th, 2004. Here are some screenshots from Versions 2 & 3 and what those same areas look like today.
The Appointments Module
The Appointments Module has seen many changes over the years. This includes the addition of estimated Production, the Waiting Room, multiple right-click options, and a plethora of Appointment View items.
The Imaging Module
The first iterations of the Imaging Module housed scanned documents and images. Today, you can also take intra-oral images and radiographs.
The Edit Insurance Plan window
The Edit Insurance Plan window has seen major enhancements to benefits and information so that estimates are as accurate as possible.
The Tooth Chart
In addition to the typical graphics, such as fillings, crowns, and implants, Open Dental has recently added visuals for orthodontics, retained roots, and space maintainers.
You may have been following our Marietta Campus updates. Since our last update (Open Dental Marietta Street (Oregon) Campus Progress Update #5) we have completed Building D, a three-story building pictured below in the back right that includes a gym for employees.
Our engineers are hard at work developing new features and enhancements. See what’s coming next by reviewing our Beta Version Features.
We have not slowed our hiring process and continue to bring on new support staff to offer the best user experience we can. As always, feel free to Contact Us for help with anything Open Dental related.