Open Dental

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Open Dental, previously known as Free Dental, is an open source Practice Management Software licensed under the GNU General Public License. Programed using the C# programming language compatible with Microsoft .NET Framework and the Mono project. The most recent versions of Open Dental run on Linux and Mac OS X platforms. To support this, Mono 1.2.6 is required. The flavor of Linux shouldn't matter.

Data base

The data base uses the powerful open source MySQL database program. The structure of the data is available for all to see and use (the data is still very secure). It is totally different than the proprietary format that all other dental software uses. Other programs can only export certain fields. In Open Dental, access to and control over every single bit of data is held by the dentist. Both local preferences and those which apply to every computer in the office will be stored in the mySQL database. This also greatly simplifies working with preferences and settings, and adding new workstations without having to spend all day setting them up.


The project “want this software to become the world standard dental software. We want to make it easy to access and share data. We are tired of the restrictive policies of the current dental software companies. We want the user to always have total control, not the software company. And most of all, we want software that just works well” as stated on their website.There are about 1,000 dentists using OD, and guess 10,000,000 patient records.Dr. Jordan Sparks has done most of the programming. He has done the many thousands of hours of programming in his spare time over the last few years. But since the software is now becoming so popular, he is beginning to cut back on dentistry to devote more of his time to programming. You can expect the pace of new features to only increase as time goes by.



  • Support unlimited operatories and unlimited providers
  • Customizable views, colors, default values
  • Easy to set up and modify appointments, recalls
  • Show pop-up alerts, financial and medical notes
  • Family

  • Support complete patient records (HIPAA compliant)
  • When possible, fields are filled automatically or checked for potential errors
  • Save billing type and insurance information
  • Track student status and referrals
  • Track credit and contact notes
  • Sign Procedure Notes: Digital Signatures. Sign or initial procedure notes using a Topaz signature pad or by using a stylus on a touchscreen.
  • Patient Info Terminal: A way for a new patient to enter their own information from the waiting room. The receptionist controls the terminal from another computer. Can also be used to let patient update their info if it has changed. New patients can check off items in list of diseases.
  • Medical History Questionnaire: Customized list of questions and answers added to pt info terminal.
  • Account

  • Customizable and easy recall scheduling
  • Send letters and emails to patients
  • Email appointment reminders, recare appointments. Supports SMTP servers that require a user name and password for sending email. Allows saving email to send later.
  • Comprehensive billing system with e-claim support
  • E-claims: go through a clearinghouse to submit all e-claims or submit directly to carries that support the X-12 files/claims. The X-12 Format is the standard defined by HIPAA. No other dental software that we know of creates claims in X-12 format. Instead you have to go through a clearinghouse and they converts the data to X-12 format.
  • Track all referrals and lab cases
  • Lab Cases: Each lab can be set up with its own turnaround times on each procedure type. Due dates are calculated automatically, taking into account holidays.
  • Create and track payment plans
  • Open Dental has built-in accounting that is intended to replace QuickBooks for small offices.
  • Patient's finances are organized on a patient basis, not a family basis.
  • Credit Card Processing Integrated credit card processor with swipe terminal.
  • Treatment Plan

  • Easy to view and prioritize patients' treatment plans
  • Support multiple treatment plans
  • Print or send electronically insurance preauthorization forms
  • Chart

  • Easy to enter and organize patients' clinical information
  • Full featured 3D tooth charting
  • Track progress and treatment notes
  • Simple to write and print prescriptions
  • Rx Alerts: Crosslink Diseases to Rx definitions so that an alert is triggered for allergies, etc when writing an Rx.
  • Procedure codes: Currently, the following sets of procedure codes are available as separate databases: blank, usa, canada, uk.
  • Perio Charting: voice recognition software to help with charting
  • Images

  • Add and manage all images
  • Integrate with Radiography, scanner, digital camera devices
  • Images can be zoomed in and out, rotated.
  • Can attach Word, PDF, and Excel files
  • Manage

  • Create and send e-claims or paper claims
  • Billing automation
  • Audio and visual office intercom
  • Critical data backup
  • Flexible user-defined queries and reports
  • Track employees' hours and breaks
  • Support daily, weekly & monthly task lists
  • Built-in accounting module
  • Secure remote access
  • Language support: The code is all written to automatically adapt to the user's computer settings. The translations are specific to the culture (country), not just the language.
  • Built-in support for Oracle database.
  • Time Cards: Customizable pay periods added so that you don't have enter the date range each time. Tracks 40 hour workweek, computes overtime, allows adjustments, and prints.
  • New Reporting Framework: We have included the open source RDL Project with Open Dental. It will also allow export to PDF.
  • Import from XML : This allows other programs to safely pass information to Open Dental without having to worry about accidentally corrupting the database. This will eventually lead to the ability to 'send' a patient 'chart' to another office electronically. The main purpose for now is to allow new patients to fill out their forms online.
  • Multiple Server Support
  • Language

    Open Dental has a build-in translation tool and which has been used extensively by the Open Dental community. Therefor the software is not only available in English but also in:
  • Spanish
  • Greek
  • Dutch
  • Future development possibilities

  • mobile version of Open Dental - PocketPC, Palm to carry your data with you
  • Web version
  • Open Dental through terminal services - database and program would be located on outside servers. they would handle all backup, upgrades, virus protection, etc. This would not be a web browser version, but a full version of the program with all the functionality you are used to.
  • HL-7 Support - protocol used by medical software. This will allow communication with other medical software
  • Track inventory levels of dental supplies
  • Coverage Book: Similar to the blue book or coverage table feature in some other dental software
  • Multiple default procedure notes
  • 3D Perio Chart - graphical display for patient education purposes
  • Rich Text in Progress Notes
  • Support for Open Financial Exchange (OFX) to have full integration with banks.
  • Built in configurable timer for timing anesthetic, impressions, gingival retraction, relines
  • Integration with dental labs, including a version of Open Dental that labs can use. Print lab slips automatically
  • Patient education features
  • Location Tracking Features Automated Inventory management and ordering of supplies, probably involving Radio Frequency ID tags. RFID
  • RFID automation for hands free employee log in/out, patient tracking, room occupancy, breaks, time clock

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