Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks #9

Tips & Tricks


A few tips & tricks from your Open Dental experts

In this tips & tricks post, get a helpful resource for troubleshooting Treatment Plans & Preauthorizations, how to handle multi-stage treatment, using an iPad for patient forms, and how to move a patient into an existing family in Open Dental.


1. My treatment plan numbers don’t look right. Any troubleshooting tips?

You bet! Check out this post for answers to FAQs on Treatment Plans (and Preauthorizations).

2. What’s the best way to handle multi-stage treatment (like a crown that has to be seated a few weeks after the first appointment)?

First, you need to determine whether the fee is being charged on the first appointment, or the last appointment. Once you’ve decided, take a look at this page on our website for things to consider with each method.

3. Can I use an iPad to have patients fill out forms?

There are a few ways you can use an (Apple) iPad to have patients fill out forms in your office.

  • Convert your patient forms to Web Forms. Patients can follow a desktop shortcut on your iPad to reach one or more patient forms that they can then fill out & submit online. Once they hit submit, retrieve the forms, and import the data into Open Dental.  Get started here.
  • We are aware of several third-party vendors who offer products that allow patient forms to be filled out on an iPad. See a list of patient registration vendors here.
    PLEASE NOTE: Please contact the vendor directly for any setup or troubleshooting of these products. Our support staff are experts in Open Dental, but cannot offer help on third-party products. Thank you 🙂

TECH TIP: Using a tablet PC (like the Microsoft Surface Pro) that runs a full version of Windows will allow you to use the Kiosk function, a more streamlined way to collect patient forms than using web forms. See our Kiosk page for more on this feature.

4. I have a patient that was created in Open Dental, but needs to be part of an existing family. How do I make them part of a family?

  1. Go to the patient’s Family module.
  2. Click the Move button in the Family Members toolbar buttons.
  3. You will get a notice that moving a guarantor will cause two families to be combined. Family financial notes and address notes will be combined, so you may need to edit those after you move your patient into the family.
  4. Click OK – you’ll be prompted to select a family to move the patient into. Click OK.
  5. In the Select Patient window, find/select one of the other family members, and click OK.
  6. Your patient is now part of this family!
  7. (Optional) If the patient you just moved into the family is now the Guarantor (the one financially responsible for the family’s accounts), make sure their name is highlighted, then click the “Set Guarantor” button to make them the guarantor.

TECH TIP: This will affect family balances.

For more on the Family module, check out this page.

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