Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Using the Family Appointment List

Did you know that with the click of a button, you can see a comprehensive list of not only a selected patient's scheduled and broken appointments, treatment plan information, and unscheduled continuing care, but also view that same information for everyone in that patient's family?  It's all available in the Family Appointment List.

To use the Family Appointment List:
  1. Open a patient's appointment in the Appointment Book.
  2. Click the Other Appt(s) button. The Family Appointment List dialog box appears.
The Family Appointment List is divided into three sections:

  1. This section of the list shows everyone in the family, their position in the family, their age, and their continuing care due dates.
  2. This section of the list shows upcoming appointments the patient is scheduled for, continuing care for which the selected patient is due but does not have an appointment, and past appointments (which have an asterisk next to the date).
  3. This section of the list shows the patient's treatment-planned procedures, including any visits order that have been set up in the Treatment Planner. A question mark next to a treatment-planned procedure means it does not have a visit assigned to it. An asterisk next to a procedure means it is scheduled.
You can create a new appointment for a patient directly from the Family Appointment List by clicking the Create New Appointment button.

You can view the details about one of the patient's scheduled appointments by selecting the appointment in the list and clicking the View Appointment button.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Reviewing Past Practice Advisor Reports

Did you know that Dentrix stores a copy of each Practice Advisor Report you generate? These stored reports make it easy to compare the information from past reports with current reports, and see how that information has changed. And because these reports are stored in Dentrix, you don't have to store paper copies that take up filing cabinet space.
To review past Practice Advisor Reports:
  1. From the Office Manager's Analysis menu, click Practice Advisor. The Practice Advisor dialog box appears.
  2. Click the Report History button. The Practice Advisor Report History dialog box appears.

Reports are grouped by date and then listed by the time each was generated. You have the following options for viewing reports listed here:
  • Expand List/Collapse List - click these buttons to expand or collapse all items.
  • Preview - Click this button to preview a selected report. This button is only active if a report time is selected (see image below).
  • Delete - Click this button to delete the selected report. This button is only active if a report time is selected.

Previewing past reports is quick and easy because Dentrix doesn't have to regenerate the report.

Learn more additional tips about how to generate and interpret this report in The Dentrix Practice Advisor Report course offered at this year's Business of Dentistry Conference. Visit businessofdentistry.com/dentrix for more information about the 2014 Dentrix Business of Dentistry Conference, including information on how to register for the conference, conference speakers and agenda, and a complete list of Dentrix courses being offered.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Deleting Unused Continuing Care Types

Did you know that you can only delete a continuing care type if the type is not in use? If you try to delete a continuing care type that is still assigned to patients, you'll see an error message. Don't worry though. You can still delete the continuing care type by following these steps.

Create a temporary view:
  1. From the Appointment Book, click the Continuing Care button. The Continuing Care module appears.
  2. From the Continuing Care module, click Views > Temporary View. The Temporary Continuing Care View dialog box appears.


  3. Select the continuing care Type you want the list to include from the drop-down options (the type you want to delete) and select the With CC option.
  4. In the Due Date Span group box, the increments should be <ALL> to <ALL>.


  5. Make sure that all other filters are set to <ALL>.
  6. Click OK to load the temporary view.
This view contains a list of all patients currently attached to the type you want to delete. Use this list to open up individual patient's continuing care, and clear that type from their account.

Once you have cleared the continuing care type from each patient on the list, you can then delete it. 

To delete a continuing care type:
  1. From the Office Manager, click Maintenance > Practice Setup > Continuing Care > Continuing Care Setup. The Continuing Care Setup dialog box appears.


  2. Select the continuing care type you want to delete. Click Delete. A warning message box appears.


  3. If you want to delete the continuing care type, click Yes.
Want more information about ways to customize your continuing care system? We have an entire course dedicated to that topic at this year's Business of Dentistry Conference titled, Dentrix Continuing Care Clean-up

Visit businessofdentistry.com/dentrix for more information about the 2014 Dentrix Business of Dentistry Conference, including information on how to register for the conference, conference speakers and agenda, and a complete list of Dentrix courses being offered.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Deciding When to Use Procedure Notes or Clinical Notes

In Dentrix, there are two places you can note clinical details related to patient treatment: procedure notes and clinical notes.

Procedure notes are directly associated with an individual procedure. They are primarily used to document completed procedures for reference purposes. Clinical notes are free-form notes that are generally thought of as medical journal notes that do not need to be associated with a specific procedure. Clinical notes can be signed and locked immediately in Dentrix.

The decision to use a procedure note or a clinical note depends on what you are documenting. If you are documenting that a procedure was completed and providing specifics about the procedure, use a procedure note. If you need to provide additional information about a procedure, visit, or patient health status, or you need to sign and lock a note to ensure accuracy, use a clinical note.


Want more information on using clinical notes? We have an entire course dedicated to that topic at this year's Business of Dentistry Conference titled, Using Dentrix Clinical Notes to Document Patient Care

Visit businessofdentistry.com/dentrix for more information about the 2014 Dentrix Business of Dentistry Conference, including information on how to register for the conference, conference speakers and agenda, and a complete list of Dentrix courses being offered.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Customize Procedure Button Sets in the Patient Chart

Did you know you can customize the procedure buttons and button sets in the Patient Chart? You can create new buttons, edit, customize and delete existing buttons, and/or create different sets of buttons to match the procedures you perform in your office most often, or even for procedures specific to an operatory.

For example, let's say that you have reserved an operatory in your office for perio work. You want to create a button set for this specific operatory that is based on the existing button set you have for hygiene, but with two gingivectomy codes (D4210 and D4211) added to it.

To customize a procedure button set:
  1. From the Patient Chart, click Setup > Procedure Button Setup. The Procedure Button Setup dialog box appears.
  2. From the Button Set drop-down list, select the existing button set you'd like to customize. 
  3. Click New to create a new procedure button for this set. The New Procedure Button Setup dialog box appears.
  4. In the Select Code group box, use the drop-down list to select the individual procedure you want to add.
  5. In the Select Tooltip Text group box, do one of the following:
    • Use Procedure Description - select this option to assign the ADA procedure description
    • Use Custom Text - select this option to create your own procedure description
  6. In the Select Button Face group box, do one of the following:
    • Use Image - select this option to assign an image to the button being created. Use the drop-down options to either create a New Image or use the Choose Image option to select an image file already created in Dentrix.
    • Use Code Text - select this option to assign text to the procedure code instead of a button image, and then select a font from the drop-down list.
  7. Click OK to return to the Procedure Buttons Setup dialog box.
  8. Click Save Button Set to save the procedure buttons you have customized.  The Save Button Set dialog box appears. 
  9. In the New Button Set Name field, give the set you have created a name and click OK.
  10. Click Close.
For more information and specific steps to edit, delete, or move a procedure button up or down with the set, see the "Setting up procedure buttons overview" topic in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Generate a Custom Patient List

Did you know you can use the Patient Report (By Filters) letter to generate custom lists? With dozens of filtering criteria, you can use this letter to generate lists of patients who fit the criteria you set. For example, if you wanted to create a list of patients who came in for a new patient exam (procedure code D0150) in the last 6 months, but have not returned for a follow-up visit, you can do so using this letter.

To generate the list using two search criteria: Procedures and Last Visit Date


  1. From the Office Manager, click Letters > Misc.
  2. Select Patient Report (By Filters) and then click Edit.
  3. From the Patient Report View dialog box, select the search criteria for filtering your list.
  4. Search Criteria A: Procedures
    • In the list of filters, click the search button next to Procedures to open the Select Procedure Range dialog box.


    • In the Search for group, check Completed.
    • In the Select Procedure Codes group, enter D0150 in both the Beginning and Ending fields.
    • In the Select Procedure Date group, enter a Beginning date of 6 months ago and an Ending date of today, and click OK to return to the Patient Report View dialog box.
  5. Search Criteria B: Last Visit Date
    • In the list of filters, click the search button next to Last Visit Date to open the Last Visit Date Range dialog box.
    • Enter a Beginning date of 6 months ago and an Ending date of today, and click OK to return to the Patient Report View dialog box.
  6. Click OK.
  7. With the letter highlighted, click Create/Merge.
  8. From the Create/Merge Options dialog box, uncheck the Add to Journal option. With Create Data File and Merge Letters selected, click OK.
Microsoft Word will launch and display a list of patients who meet the filtering criteria. You can then use this information to plan your reactivation strategies.

The possibilities for creating custom lists and reports based on information in your Dentrix database are endless when you understand how to customize and use the filters in the Patient Report (By Filters) letter. 

Want more information on custom reports? Learn how to generate several common lists and data files, as well as custom report templates in the Generating Custom Reports in Dentrix course offered at this year's Business of Dentistry Conference. 

Visit businessofdentistry.com/dentrix for more information about the 2014 Dentrix Business of Dentistry Conference, including information on how to register for the conference, conference speakers and agenda, and a complete list of Dentrix courses being offered.



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Differentiating Multiple Payments from the Same Patient

Have you ever looked at a Family Ledger Report, walkout statement, billing statement, or deposit slip and thought to yourself, "I could have sworn this patient made two credit card payments, and only one is listed here. Why aren't both payments being listed?"



If you have two (or more) separate payments from a patient that are posted on the same day using the same payment type, Dentrix combines those payments into a single entry on reports.  If you want multiple payments to be listed separately, you can get them to itemize on the report by entering unique details in either the Check# or Bank/Branch# fields of the Enter Payment dialog box.


That way Dentrix will see that the two payments are different and list them separately on the reports.


This tip is another example of the wealth of new things you can learn at this year's Business of Dentistry Conference. Visit businessofdentistry.com/dentrix for more information about the 2014 Dentrix Business of Dentistry Conference, including information on how to register for the conference, conference speakers and agenda, and a complete list of Dentrix courses being offered.