Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Emailing a Document from the Document Center

One of your patients called this morning and asked for a copy of his most recent billing statement and the EOB for his last insurance payment. If you are using the Document Center to store patient documents, you can simply select the requested documents, open an email message from Dentrix (which automatically adds the document as an attachment), and send it to the patient via email.

How To
  1. Open the Document Center and select the patient to whom you need to send a document.
  2. From the Document Tree, select the document you want to send.


  3. Click File > Send Document(s). Your email program will automatically open with the following attributes:


    • The To address field will have the patient's email address (if one is store in the Family File).
    • The Subject field will be populated with the document's description.
    • The document's description will also be used for the attached file name, along with the document's type (PDF, JPG, etc.) and file size.
    • Any notes from the Document Information dialog box will be included in the main body of the message (which you can edit before sending).
  4. Add text to the body of the email as needed and click Send to send the message.
Additional Tips
  • To email a document from Dentrix, your computer must be running a MAPI-compliant email software such as Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express. Web-based mail accounts, such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail, do not work with Dentrix.
  • If MAPI-compliant software is not installed or your practice uses a web-based solution, you can export the document and then attach it to an email. (Open the Document Center, select the document from the Document Tree, and click File > Export Document(s). Save the document to your computer and then attach it to your email.
  • You may want to record the correspondence in the patient's Office Journal, as Dentrix does not do this automatically.
  • To learn more, read Sending Documents Electronically and Exporting Documents as Files in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Copying Procedure Notes to Clinical Notes

After each appointment, the clinical providers in your office spend several minutes writing detailed, accurate clinical notes. It would save a lot of time to not have to write all of the notes from scratch. Did you know that many procedure codes in Dentrix already have procedure notes written that can be copied and used as part of your clinical notes? Instead of taking the time write all that information again, get a head start by copying the information that’s already in the procedure notes to your clinical notes and then making edits and additions as needed.

How To
  1. From the Office Manager, select Maintenance > Practice Setup > Procedure Code Setup.
  2. Select the procedure code category and individual procedure you want to edit, and click Edit.
  3.  Click Edit Note.


  4. Edit the procedure note text as needed, select the Copy to Clinical Note option, and click OK.
  5. Click Save, verify that you want to save your changes, and then click Close.
  6. Repeat for other procedure codes as needed.
Additional Tips
  • Whenever the procedure is posted complete for a patient, the procedure note appears as the clinical note on that date. You can edit the clinical note and make changes or add additional information as needed.
  • Not all procedures in the Procedure Code Editor will have procedure notes by default. You can add or edit the procedure notes for any procedure and then select the Copy to Clinical Notes option.
  • When you set complete a procedure code that requires a tooth number, surface, quadrant, or other treatment area information, that information will automatically be added to the beginning of the clinical note text. For example, if the procedure code note read “Filling of a cavity.” When you set complete the procedure, the clinical note will read “Tooth:  3 Surface: O Filling of a cavity.”
  • To learn more, read Editing Procedure Notes in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Clearing a Continuing Care Type from a Patient

Assigning a patient to a continuing care type is the best and easiest way to keep them on schedule for regular preventive treatment. Most often a patient will be assigned the "prophy" type. But a patient's needs change with dental conditions and diagnoses. Some of your patients may develop periodontal disease, for example. If this happens, you'll want to attach patients to the "perio" continuing care type instead. But how can you make sure the same patient isn't attached to both the prophy and perio continuing care types in Dentrix? Follow these simple steps to clear a continuing care type from a patient:

How To
  1. From the Family File, select a patient.
  2. Double-click the Continuing Care block.
  3. Select the continuing care type that you want to clear and click the Clear button.


  4. Click Yes to the confirmation message that appears to clear the continuing care type from the patient.
  5. Click Close to return to the Family File.
Additional Tip
  • To learn more about assigning, editing, and clearing continuing care types, see the topics listed under Continuing Care Overview in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Requiring a Pre-Authorization for Specific Procedures

Occasionally, insurance companies require you to submit a pre-authorization for a procedure before the work is completed. Because these requirements vary from insurance company to insurance company, you can manipulate the coverage table for each insurance company in Dentrix and mark the procedures that require pre-authorizations.

 How To
  1. In the Office Manager, select Maintenance > Reference > Insurance Maintenance.
  2. Highlight the insurance plan you want to update, and click the Coverage Table button.
  3. Select the procedure (or procedure category) that requires a pre-authorization.


  4. Check the Pre Auth checkbox and then click Change. A “Y” will appear in the Pre Auth column. When that procedure is treatment planned for a patient, a notation is added to the Treatment Plan view of the Ledger and the Case Detail view of the Treatment Planner.
  5. Click OK to save the changes.

Additional Information
  • You should make it a habit to update the coverage table when insurance companies notify you of procedures that require pre-authorization. Then as procedures are treatment planned for patients, double-check the Treatment Planner view of the Ledger for which procedures need authorized before treatment.
  • In the Treatment Planner, click View > Procedure Information and make sure that the PreAuth option is checked. Then when you use the Treatment Planner Case Detail view, you will be able to see whether a pre-authorization is needed before you complete the procedure.
  • When viewing the Treatment Plan view in the Ledger, procedures needing pre-authorization display the following information in the Ins column to indicate what kind of pre-authorization is required:
    • 1** - Indicates primary insurance requires a pre-authorization on that procedure.
    • 2 - Indicates secondary insurance requires a pre-authorization on that procedure.
    • 1*2 - Indicates both primary and secondary insurance require a pre-authorization on the procedure.
    • NO - Indicates neither insurance requires a pre-authorization on the procedure.
To learn more, log in to the Dentrix Resource Center and read article #22873 Applying Insurance Pre-Estimate Flags in the Dentrix Knowledgebase.

Learning how to customize insurance coverage tables is part of the Insurance: Billing and Collections Workshop which is offered in cities nationwide this fall. Click the link to view workshop details and to register.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tips for Adding Insurance Plans in Dentrix


It's important to set up insurance plans properly in Dentrix in order to give accurate insurance estimates, and make it easier for you to process insurance claims and work with insurance in Dentrix. 

Maybe your office sees patients who have different insurance carriers and you are constantly entering these new carriers into the database, or maybe your staff rotates front desk responsibilities and you have new staff entering insurance information regularly. By having policies in place to make sure the way insurance carriers are added to Dentrix is done consistently, you increase the likelihood of having accurate estimates.

Use these three tips to update your policies about how insurance plans are entered in Dentrix:


  1. You should always search for the insurance company you want to add to your database to make sure it hasn’t already been entered in Dentrix. Having multiple instances of the same insurance company can cause problems, such as assigning the wrong insurance plan to patients, or when you update insurance information for one plan you don't update the other, leaving one of the plans outdated.
  2. A good way to prevent different spellings or abbreviations of the carrier name is to enter the information exactly as it is printed on the patient's benefit card.
  3. The Group Plan name is primarily used to help you distinguish this plan from other plans with the same carrier. If the carrier doesn’t furnish the group plan name, you can use this field to enter a plan name that will mean something within your office. By marking the Do Not Include Group Plan Name option in the Insurance Claims Options group box, the name you give the group plan will not be printed on claims.


To learn more, read Entering a New Insurance Plan in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Attaching Continuing Care Types to Procedure Codes

If you discover that patients' continuing care due dates aren't resetting automatically when a patient is seen for a continuing care appointment, it is often because procedure codes have not been set up properly with continuing care attached to them.

To fix this problem, you should review your procedure code setup to make certain that codes have been properly assigned to the desired continuing care types, and then attach procedure code(s) to the continuing care type you want the continuing care due date to automatically reset for.

For example, your office wants to attach the PERIO continuing care type to procedure codes D4341 and D4342 so patients are automatically set up on continuing care when they come in for scaling and root planing.

How To


  1. From the Office Manager, click Maintenance > Practice Setup > Procedure Code Setup.
  2. Select a Procedure Code Category and individual procedure, and click Edit.
  3. Click the Auto Continuing Care search button.


  4. Select the continuing care type to which you want to assign this procedure code, and click the Select button.
  5. Click Save, answer Yes to the prompt, and click Close.
Additional Information
  • A procedure code may be assigned to only one continuing care type. However, you can assign multiple procedure codes to the same type.
  • When a continuing care type is attached to a procedure, Dentrix automates three processes for you:
    • When you select a continuing care procedure as an appointment reason, Dentrix automatically attaches that assigned continuing care type to the appointment.
    • When you post a continuing care procedure, Dentrix automatically resets the patient's continuing care due date according to the interval you defined.
    • If you haven't previously assigned a continuing care type to the patient, when you post a continuing care procedure, Dentrix will assign that type for you using the defaults you defined.
To learn more, read the Dentrix Help topic titled, Attaching Continuing Care Types.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Reactivating Archived Patients

Sometimes patients who have been away for several years move back into the area and come back to your practice. If you archived these patients and they return to your practice, you can easily reactivate them in Dentrix. When you reactivate the patient, their address, procedures, insurance claims, payments, adjustments, medical alerts, prescriptions, patient questionnaires, and periodontal exams are all restored.

How To
  1. From the Family File, open the Select Patient dialog box and check Include Archived Patients.


  2. Select the archived patient you want to reactivate and click OK.
  3. In the Family File window, double-click the Patient Information block.
  4. Click OK to the message that appears. Dentrix will change the patient status to Patient.
Additional Tips
  • The  Include Archived Patients checkbox option is only available when selecting a patient from the Family File.
  • When an archived patient is reactivated, view the Patient Notes to see information regarding their previous continuing care, employer, insurance, and referral settings (if any).
  • To see a list of all archived patients, generate the Archived Patient List. From the Office Manager, select Reports > Lists > Archived Patient List and enter filtering criteria to generate the list.
To learn more about how to archive a patient, see our previous tip post titled, Archiving Patient Records.