Feature Highlight

Taking the Fear Out of Supply Inventory Management


Did you know you can track your practice inventory and supply orders through Open Dental? It may seem like a daunting, maybe even downright frightening task at first, but I promise, after a bit of setup, you’ll be tracking orders and supplies in no time.

The Supply Inventory feature is found in the Manage Module.


Click the thumbnail below to view our infographic on Supply Inventory Setup.

Add Suppliers

Start by adding a list of Suppliers. In the Supply Inventory window, click Suppliers.

Click +Add to add each place your practice orders or purchases supplies from. User names and passwords, along with contact information, can be stored in this window if desired.

Add Supply Categories

Next, add Supply Categories. In the Supply Inventory window, click Categories. Alternatively, you can add Supply Categories from Setup, Definitions, Supply Categories.

Add Supplies

Lastly, you’ll need to build a list of supplies your practice regularly orders. Think office supplies, dental and medical supplies, etc. In the Supply Inventory window, click the Supplies button to build your master list of supplies. From the Supplies window, Select a supplier from the dropdown and click +Add Supply to add a new supply item.

Enter Supplier, quantity, and price information, along with the stock you’ve currently got on hand.

The initial setup is now complete. If your office needs to order new items or order from new suppliers, they will need to be added before creating a supply order with those items or suppliers.

Tracking Inventory

Now that Supplies have been added to Open Dental, you can keep track of inventory, so you can be sure to order what you need before you run out. While the on-hand quantity is initially added when adding Supplies, you will want to update this periodically (items get used up over time after all!)

Decide on a schedule to track inventory periodically for your office. When it’s inventory day, from the Supply Inventory window, click Supplies to get your Supplies list.

  • Click +Add Supply to add new supplies as needed.
  • Click Print if you need a paper copy of the Supplies list.
  • Check Enter Quantities to quickly update the On Hand and Order quantities from the grid.

Creating Orders

Click the thumbnail below to view our infographic on creating Supply Orders.

Supplies Needed

As employees notice that supplies are running low or new items they may need, they can quickly and easily add them to the Supplies Needed list. This is a free-form list, so Supplies don’t need to be inventoried first or added to the Supplies List to be added here. From the Supply Inventory window, click +Add.

Enter a description of the supply needed. As supplies are added to orders, they should be deleted from the Supplies Needed list. Just double-click an existing entry in the list to delete it.

Create a New Order

From the Supply Inventory window, click Orders to open the Supply Orders window. Select a Supplier from the dropdown and click +New Order to start a new pending order.

Add Supplies to the Order

Highlight the new pending order and click +Add to add Supplies to the Supplies on One Order list. Select Supplies to add to the order (tip: use Ctrl + click to select multiple items at once) and click OK.

Reference the Supplies Needed list for any Supplies that you may need to add to the order. Only items assigned to the selected Supplier will be available to add to the order. Repeat this steps until all items have been added to the order. If you are missing any Supplies that need to be added to the order, you’ll need to go back to Supplies setup and add them for this Supplier before adding it to the order. Don’t worry, you can come back to this window later.

Edit the Order Details

Once the order has been placed, make sure you add in the order details. Double-click the order from the Supply Orders window.

Enter in details like shipping charges, which employee placed the order, and any important note about the order. The Total Amount of the order is auto-calculated based off the prices of the Supplies added to the order, but of prices aren’t added to supplies or the actual total differed from the auto-calculated amount, enter the actual total here as well.

Mark the Order Received

Once your office has received shipment of the order, make sure to mark it as received, so staff know you’re not still waiting on the order. Double-click the order from the Supply Orders window, and click Today if marking the order received the day it was delivered or enter in the date in the Date Received field.

Delete Supplies Needed

Once Supplies have been ordered, they should be removed from the Supplies Needed list. This way staff don’t accidentally re-order the same supplies again. From the Supply Inventory window, double-click an item from the Supplies Needed list and click delete.

Now that wasn’t so scary, was it? As a bonus, you can also track your Equipment purchases and sales for tax purchases from the Supply Inventory window. For more information, see our Manual.

As always, if you have questions about any of our features or how to best use them in your practice, please contact us!

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