Open Dental

Spring Cleaning

spring cleaningA busy home can get cluttered and rather messy over time, so it’s always nice to take the opportunity to do a whole-house refresh and cleanup. As it turns out, your database can get cluttered over time as well, with duplicate or outdated information that could benefit from some attention. In this post, we’re going to help you do some “spring cleaning” of your Open Dental software.

First things first! Please be sure to make a back-up of your current database, as some of these processes cannot be undone.

Combining Insurance Carriers

One list that routinely sees duplicates is the Insurance Carrier List.

To clean up duplicate carriers:

1. Highlight the duplicates in the list, then click Combine. A warning will show:

2. Click OK to continue. The Combine Carriers window will open.

3. Highlight the correct carrier, then click OK.
4. If differences occur between the selected carriers, a warning will pop up.

5. Click Yes. The listed carriers will combine into the highlighted carrier.

Combining Insurance Plans

Insurance Plans can be duplicated and cause confusion down the line.
Before combining plans, review each plan carefully for benefits information. If benefits differ, then you probably don’t want to combine them.
TECH TIP:  Open two instances of Open Dental (open the software twice) to compare the benefits side-by-side.

WARNING: This process cannot be undone. Be very careful when combining Insurance Plans.

1. Highlight the duplicate plans, then click Combine.

2. The Combine Insurance Plans window will open. Highlight the correct plan, then click OK.

3. A warning will pop up explaining the merge cannot be undone. Click OK to continue.

Archiving and Inactivating Patients

Want to clean up active patients? Use the Patient Status Setter to quickly update patient statuses.

First, determine which patient status is correct:

  • Patients with a status of Patient are active patients to the office.
  • Patients with a status of Inactive are patients who are no longer active (e.g. haven’t been seen in 2+ years).
  • Patients with a status of Archived are patients who are not coming back (e.g. moved away, changed practices, etc).

Use the filters at the top to find patients who have not had a procedure treatment planned, a procedure completed, or an appointment set complete since the selected date. By default, this tool looks for patients who have not been seen in the past 2 years.

Once you have selected your filters and selected the patients, determine which status to change the patients to, then click Run. This will quickly archive or inactivate patients.

Merge Tools

Merge Tools allow you to merge together duplicates of multiple items. For example, merge duplicate patients, discount plans, medications, etc. Click on a link below to learn more.


Happy Spring! As always, feel free to reach out should you need any assistance with your Open Dental spring cleaning.

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