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Tax Refund Season: Helping Patients Get the Care They Need

Tax Refund Season: Helping patients get the care they need

Putting off dental care is never a good idea, but even with insurance, dental care can be expensive. Many patients will put off necessary care simply due to financial constraints. As the tax season gets in full swing, refunds will be arriving, and patients will have more flexibility in their budget. Use this opportunity to remind patients to schedule needed care so existing issues don’t become even costlier problems. 

Open Dental has tools built-in to help you reach out to your patients.

Send via Snail Mail

One option to remind patients to schedule care is to send them a good old-fashioned letter.

1. Customize your letter.
Go to Setup > Sheets. Find Patient Letter Tx Finder on your internal list, then copy it to the Custom list.
Double-click the copy on the right to open the letter. Edit it to meet the needs of your practice. The default letter is designed for End-of-the-Year benefits, so be sure to re-word the letter and name it accordingly (e.g. Tax Refund Tx Letter).

Tech Tip: New to editing sheets? Watch the Sheets Customization webinar.

2. Run the Treatment Finder Report
Go to Reports > Standard > Treatment Finder
The  Treatment Finder report displays patients who have procedures in their Treatment Plan. Use the filters at the top to filter the list.

3. Generate the letters.
Once you’ve determined the list of patients to send to, highlight the patients and click Letters Preview. The Pick Sheet window will open. Select the letter we created in Step 1.

4. Review the letters and print them.
A pdf will show all the letters for the selected patient. When ready, print the letters.

5. Print labels.
When the letters have finished printing, select the same set of patients from the Treatment Finder Report and click Label Preview, then print the labels on a standard label sheet (3 columns by 10 rows).

Now just stuff your envelopes and mail them out!

Send via Mass Email

Users on support can email patients using Mass Email. Mass Email is only available for users on support and incurs an additional per-email fee. For current fees, see Mass Email on Fees for Support and Services. To enable Mass Email for your practice, see Mass Email.

1. On our Query Examples page, find Query #1625.
Copy all query text.

2. In Open Dental, create a Mass Email Template.
Go to Tools > Advertising > Mass Email. Then click Templates at the top. Create a new template for your Tax Refund email campaign. Mass Emails won’t include information regarding the patient’s benefits or health information. This template should be generic for all patients.

3. Create the list of patients.
Go to Tools > Advertising > Mass Email > Select Patients.
Check User Query, then paste the query we copied in step 1. Click Refresh to see results.

4. Select patients.
Select patients to include on the email campaign. Select patients by checking the Send box next to their name, or use the Set buttons at the bottom. Once done, click OK.

5. Send the email.
See Mass Email Workflow for a step-by-step of creating and sending Mass Email campaigns.

Send Via Postcard

Your office also has the option to send personalized postcards to your patients. You can send to existing patients, or purchase a list to bring in new patients who may have been postponing care.

1. Create your Postcard Account.
Go to Tools > Advertising-Postcards. If you have not created an account for postcards yet, click Add Account. Enter account information. This is normally the office name (title), email, and main provider or office manager’s name.

2. Select Postcard Recipients.
Once a postcard account has been created, close out of the setup window. The Upload Recipients Window will display next. Click Select Patients to choose who you would like to send postcards to. Filter patients by age, clinic, status, billing, type, appointments, or even run a custom query (like the one mentioned above) to get a list of patients. If the goal is to reach patients who have been missing from your practice, you can even exclude patients who already have an upcoming appointment scheduled! Once you’ve got a list of patients, you can choose to select all patients by clicking Set All, or only specific patients by selecting a few and clicking Set Selected. Once your selection has been made, click OK to return to the Upload Recipients Window.

3. Upload List.
Once postcard recipients are selected, name your patient list and click Upload List. The Send Postcards window will open.

4. Customize and order your postcards!
From the Send Postcards window, you can choose the design and personalization of your postcard, then place your order.

Tech Tip: Watch the Advertising – Postcards Webinar to see a workflow of this process and how to customize and order postcards.


We know you care about your patients and hate to see them postpone care, only to face bigger issues down the road. If you need help with any of the features discussed here or anywhere else in Open Dental, who you gonna call?
Our Support Team!

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