Open Dental

Planning for Coverage: Open Dental Setup for Temporary Employees

Are your employees finally taking those vacations they’ve been postponing? Or maybe, your office is like ours, and you are experiencing a bit of a baby boom. With the excitement of future travels and sweet arrivals comes the panic of preparing for coverage during that employee’s absence. In this post, we’ll help you prepare for temporary staff that may be covering for your team members during their leave.

Users & Security

It is important that even temporary employees have their own user logins. This ensures they have appropriate permissions and their actions are tracked in the audit trail.

Once you’ve found coverage, add the temporary employee to the Employees List. If they are a provider (i.e. Dentist or Hygienist), also add them as a Provider.

Next, set up the security for the user. You may want to create a new User Group to add temporary employees to, or you can add them to an existing group. Once you have determined the correct group, Create the User. Create a temporary password for the user. When the employee first logs in, they can Update the Password.

Watch our webinar on Security and User Permissions

Does your office send tasks? Consider creating a User Inbox for the new user. See our tutorial on Setting Up Task Lists.


You may have gotten lucky and found an Open Dental expert to hire. But if not, there is plenty of training help available.

Have your employee review the New Employee Training blog post. Here they will learn about the different training resources available.

If you are opting for online training with an Open Dental Trainer, consider having a list of daily responsibilities ready to go over. This way our team can customize the training to your needs.

Office Processes

Each office an employee works at is going to have an office flow unique to them. In order to keep your processes and office rules available and transparent, consider writing them out in the Wiki. This easy-to-access tool will help your new employee navigate their new position. Some examples of information that can be included in the wiki are:

  • Personnel Policies (e.g. time card policies, rules for lunches & breaks, phone usage)
  • How-To’s (e.g. how to schedule a patient, enter insurance, create a treatment plan)
  • Office Preferences (e.g. tray setup, office flow)
  • Vendor contact information (e.g. insurance company logins, supply vendors, how to contact Open Dental Support)

The wiki can include images and links for easy reference. Each topic can have its own page to easily search and find information. When using the wiki, your employees have a reference they can utilize while you focus on patient care.

Time Cards

If you are using the Time Clock within Open Dental, temporary employees can clock in as long as they are added to the Employees List.

Employee Leaving

When it’s time to say goodbye, the Open Dental process is simple.

  1. In the Employee List, mark the employee as Hidden.
  2. In Security, mark the User as Hidden.
  3. If the employee was a provider, in the Providers List, mark the provider as Hidden.
  4. If using tasks, archive the employee’s task list.

Always hide old employees. Hiding them ensures they are not accidentally used, cannot log in, and also makes it easy if you decide to re-hire them down the road. Never reuse (i.e. rename) an employee or user. If a user is reused/renamed, the historical data (e.g. audit trail) is also changed. If an employee is renamed, their time card history is changed. So it’s always best practice to hide old employees.


Need help with your temporary employee setup? Have questions? Reach out! Our support team is ready to help.

Categories: Open Dental, Tips & Tricks

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