Open Dental

Software Update: Stable Version 21.2 Highlights

Version 21.2 has been released as Stable, implementing many exciting features including 17 that were requested by our users.

Click on a topic to read more.

  • New Billing and Pay To phone number fields have been added to Practice Information.
    For the Billing phone number, check the box if you want to also show this on claims.
  • Waiting Room now allows you to choose how the patient’s name is displayed and in which view it is displayed that way, for a HIPAA-compliant view. 
    In the Appointment View, the default is First name, Last name, but you can choose from the two new options: First name, Last initial or just First name. 

    If you don’t want the patient showing in the waiting room if their appointment is in an operatory not in the current view, check the box to filter the waiting room based on the selected appointment view in Appointment Module Preferences.
  • Pay Periods can be set up for Semi-Monthly payroll cycles (paying twice / month).
    When setting up Pay Periods, use the Semi-Monthly settings to determine the dates. In this example, the 1st and 16th are the pay dates. (If choosing End Date, that would indicate pay periods ending on the 1st and the 16th.) The Pay Day settings below ensure employees will be paid on a weekday.
  • Specific Procedure Codes can be excluded from the Incomplete Procedure Notes Report.
    Set up codes to be excluded in Report Setup: Misc SettingsExcluded Codes for Incomplete Procedure Report.
  • A new General Messages option in Automated Messaging allows you to send an automated email or text* after an appointment is set complete. This can be used to invite patients to post a review, etc.
    * To text messages, you must be signed up for Integrated Texting. The usual per text fees apply.
    • Go to eServices Setup, and click on Automated Messaging
    • Click to activate General Messages at the top
    • In the After Appointment area, Select +Add General Message and create the message.
    • Once the appointment has been set complete, the message will send.
eServices Features
  • New eClipboard Features
    • New eClipboard Setup options:
      • Allow patients to take a photo of their photo ID or insurance card.
      • Allow you to select sheets for patients by the patient’s age.
      • Enable 2-Factor Authentication for patients filling out sheets in eClipboard.
    • More control over Treatment Plans in eClipboard.
      Treatment plans can be updated while still loaded to the eClipboard device. Simply make the edits to the saved treatment plan in Open Dental, then click eClipboard. Updates will reflect in eClipboard.

      To remove a treatment plan currently loaded to eClipboard, click the  in the eClipboard column next to the saved treatment plan in the Treatment Plans grid.
  • Patient Portal invites have been moved to the Automated Messaging window.
    Patient portal invites can be emailed to patients either before or after an appointment.
  • Patient portal invites now allow language translations.
    Once the messaging rule has been created, click the Add Language button and enter the translation.
    TECH TIP: Just like all other areas of Open Dental that allow translations, your practice will need to create and enter the translated text into Open Dental.
  • When attaching a Discount Plan to a patient, Open Dental will automatically update treatment planned fees. 
    You do not need to click Update Fees in the treatment plan module.
    A new Audit trail permission tracks when a Discount Plan is added or edited.
  • Waiting Period can be set by procedure code in Other Benefits.
    See Step 7 in our Other Benefits manual page for setup details. 
  • Hover over Unearned Income to see how much is in each Unearned type.
    The family’s total unallocated amount shows under Unearned in the top aging bar. Hover over the total to view a breakdown of the family’s unallocated, unearned balance. All unallocated prepayments within the family are summed by unearned income type.
  • Enhanced Edge Express integration for insurance payments and recurring charges.
    Edge Express virtual credit cards can be accepted for Insurance Payments.
    Edge Express Patient Payments no longer require a physical terminal. The card number can now be stored in Open Dental (and used for Recurring Payments as well).
    ** Edge Express is currently the only virtual merchant integrated with Open Dental Cloud.
  • Refund a patient payment with new right-click option.
    • Right-click the original payment, and select Refund (overpayment).
    • By default, a full refund split will be created. Adjust paysplits as needed when refunding only a portion of the original payment.
      TECH TIP: If the original payment was made using a credit card processor integrated with Open Dental, follow the steps on this manual page.
  • New functionality in Dynamic Payment Plans.
    • Treatment planned procedures display on printed Dynamic Payment Plans. See more in our manual.
    • Charges on a Dynamic Payment Plan can be deleted right from the Account Module. Simply right-click the PayPln: Debit item and select Delete Charge.
      NOTE: The delete option is only available when the Pay Plan charge logic, Age Credits and Debits is selected in Account Module Preferences.
  • Quickly fix production overcharged on Dynamic Payment Plans from inside the Dynamic Payment Plans Overcharged Report.
    Simply highlight the item to fix, then click Fix. See more on this in our manual.
  • Procedures with Quad or Arch treatment area can also have a tooth range, and both can be sent on the claim.
    This is useful for codes that have multiple treatment areas (e.g. SRP procedures or space maintainers). 
    To set up:
    • Go to Lists > Procedure Codes and bring up the Procedure Code.
    • In the Edit Procedure Code window, check the box for & Tooth Range, then click OK to save.
      NOTE: This check box can only be checked when treatment area is set to Quad or Arch.
  • Multiple Ortho Chart rows can be added on the same day.
  • New functionality in Referrals.
  • Sales Tax will automatically display on taxable procedures in the Treatment Plan.
    First, set the Procedure to show tax automatically:

    Open Dental will automatically display the tax amount in the procedure description unless the Tax Est column has been added to the treatment plan (in that case, it shows in a separate column).
    Sales tax is automatically added to the patient portion.
  • Active Patients Report includes a filter for patient status.
  • Search for an insurance Carrier using their electronic ID. 
    See Carriers and Canada Carriers in our manual for more.  
  • Show Hidden Fee Schedules in the Fee Schedules window.
    If you have recently converted to Open Dental, you likely have many hidden fee schedules. Check this box to see all the hidden fee schedules (this box is unchecked by default).
  • New options in Fee Tools window: Update proc fees (office fees) only or ins estimates only.
  • Global Updates in Fee Tools can now be run for specific Clinics.
  • Associate referral sources to clinics. 
    Offices in multiple locations throughout the state or in multiple states can use this to filter what referrals are closest to the specific clinics. 
  • Use a default Billing Type per clinic.
    A global preference in Lists > Clinics allows each clinic to have a separate billing type. 
  • Default Assignment of Benefits flag per clinic.
    Another option in the Edit Clinic window is Assignment of Benefits. This is unchecked by default. If one clinic that is a specialty office or is out of network (a fee for service office), that office can be set to have the insurance pay the patient.
  • Cannot hide a clinic without moving patients to a new clinic.
     If the clinic has patients assigned to it that have a status of Patient, NonPatient, or Inactive, a warning will appear when attempting to mark as hidden. See more on our Clinic page.
  • Sheets allow static images per clinic.
    See the Sheets Static Image page in our manual for details on this feature.
  • A Windows service has been created to monitor replication status.
    Learn more about this on our Open Dental Replication Service manual page.

We are continuing to develop exciting features, many of them requested through our Feature Request process. If you need help with the features highlighted here or with anything else in the program, please reach out to our support team.

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