Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks #35

We love sharing Open Dental use tips with you! In this Tips & Tricks post, we will be answering these questions:

What patient status should I use?

It is important that a patient’s status is accurate so that patient reports are accurate. Update the patient status in the Edit Patient Information window.

  • Patient: Current, active, patients.
  • NonPatient: Somebody who needs to be in the system, but is not a patient. For example, a parent at a pediatric office.
  • Inactive: Somebody who is still a patient, but hasn’t been seen for a while. (e.g., hasn’t been seen in 2+ years)
  • Archived: A patient who isn’t coming back. (e.g., moved away, left on bad terms, was dismissed as a patient)
  • Deceased: A patient who has passed.
  • Prospective: Someone who might want to be a patient. (e.g., contacting you for estimates or information)

TECH TIP: Quickly change the status of many patients at once using the Patient Status Setter. This tool can find patients who have not been seen since a specific date so that you can quickly change their status to inactive or archived

How do I change the information displayed at the top of Open Dental?

To change what is displayed in the title bar, go to Setup > Miscellaneous.

The Title Text can be changed to anything that helps distinguish the database, such as the practice name.

The ID in the title bar can be blank, PatNum, ChartNumber (rare), or Birthdate.

The selected patient will always display (Gray, Emily J), as well as the logged-on user in brackets ({Admin}).

Work was completed, then later removed. How do I update the graphics on the tooth chart?

Perhaps a filling was completed, but then later fell out. Or an implant was completed, then later removed.
You still want these procedures noted in the Chart, but you don’t want the completed graphics to show on the Tooth Chart. This can be done by hiding the graphics.

  1. In the Chart Module, select the tooth/teeth that work was performed on.
  2. Click the Show tab.
  3. Check “Selected Teeth”.
  4. Only procedures charted for the selected teeth will display in the Progress Notes.

5. Double-click the procedure.
6. Check “Hide Graphics”.

The procedure will remain in the Progress Notes, but the graphic will be hidden from the tooth chart. This allows you to chart a new procedure as needed and display the updated graphics.

Where are Open Dental announcements (or related products & service interruptions) posted?

Announcements are posted in the Customer Announcements section in the lower right of and on Facebook and Twitter. Learn more about connecting with us in our online communities here so you’re always up to date.

We love sharing tips & tricks with you, and hope they will help save you time and effort! If you have a question or need to troubleshoot an issue, please don’t struggle alone – our support team is here for you.

There are several ways to reach us:

  • For a quick answer to a simple question or help finding the right info or resource: Chat with our support staff.
  • If you need us to remote connect with your workstation, please give us a call at 503-363-5432.
  • Prefer email? Drop us a line at

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