Dental practice management software offers a much more specialist suite than general medical practice software for doctors and surgeries. While there are similar functionalities in terms of administration, dentists and orthodontists require their own set of clinical management tools and features.
This not least requires the ability to work with dental plans, x-ray sensors, intra-oral cameras, panoramic and cephalometric units, so dental practice management software can't be seen as its own niche as much as a special variant on a theme.
Key features of a dental practice management platform will include the ability to cover administration, such as a calendar and a way to schedule, track, and manage appointments. A billing software section records fees and automate claims with insurance companies, as well as track payment status and automate billing reminders as required. There will often also be a patient portal for self service and provide a direct point of contact with customers.
However, the main requirement is the ability to work with patient records and charts, and often include some form of graphics or modeling software to plan and record treatments. This will often need to be integrated with imaging equipment and x-ray sensors to make it easier to keep patient records comprehensive and up to date.
As with a lot of other modern software, most of the best dental practice software runs as Software as a Service (SaaS), meaning that it runs in the cloud as an app, meaning you can access it through a browser regardless of your device, and also means it should be mobile friendly.
Here then are the best in dental practice management software platforms.
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ACE Dental is strong on the clinical side of things. As part of their electronic dental record, there is 3D Restorative Charting. This allows for entry of a treatment plan, with the teeth represented as on an odontogram. The 3D presentation also makes it possible to document movement of teeth such as drifting, or a rotation issue. Perio charting is also enabled for comprehensive documentation.
The front office, critical to any dental practice, is also managed well with ACE Dental. For example, appointment scheduling is easy to use with plenty of useful features, such as having patient images displayed in the appointment block. Changes can also be done with the ease of a drag and drop maneuver. There is also support for appointment preblocking to facilitate making appointments when the dentist is available.
The business side of things is also supported via ACE Dental. Checkouts are streamlined to get patients out of the office faster. It is common for dental practices to treat multiple family members, and to address this is the Patient and Family Ledger, so appointments can be coordinated between multiple family members.
Overall, when compared to the competition, ACE Dental does show their decades of experience in this segment, and offer a dental practice management software package that is more than competitive.
DentiMax provides cloud-based dental practice management software as well as imaging software and radiography sensors, all of which can work easily together.
DentiMax includes a standard range of practice management features for paperless administration, not least patient charts with realistic tooth display, as well as insurance verification and e-prescription functionality. It also includes some nice customizations, not least the ability to set up your own home screen with shortcuts links to areas of the software you're more likely to need. You can also customize patient listings with column and display filters as required.
The company also develops its own imaging software, which can work with a large range of x-ray sensors, intra-oral cameras, panoramic and cephalometric units, as well as its own in-house x-ray sensors. Any of these can work with the DentiMax practice management software to allow images to be saved directly into a patient's records.
There are four different plans available, with the cheapest starting from $59 per month, though with this Starter plan some of the charting and administrative tools are limited.
Denticon is strong at its clinical approach, showing the benefit of a cloud-based architecture, as it allows for a single patient record, which is dubbed a ‘Concept of one.’ This allows for several providers, across multiple office locations to be able to access the record.
Also, entering data into the patient record electronically is frequently a challenge when chairside due to infection control issues. Denticon fosters this activity by staying a step ahead of the clinician, with appropriate and helpful prompts, and “Context-specific tools and menus,” that ease the process along. Also, for perio measurements that can be difficult to input with the multiple measurements of the gum pockets along all the surfaces of the teeth, Denticon has a ‘Voice-activated perio’ function to capture the data accurately and quickly without slowing down the exam.
Workflow also gets streamlined, for efficiency and less burden on the clinician. Advanced macros can be created for repetitive tasks, such as treatment plans and progress notes. There are also available drop down menus that then provide a ‘Pick list’ to make it easier to input the commonly used fields.
Overall, Denticon represents a powerful solution for dental practice management, that is especially suited for more complex practices with multiple providers across several locations.
Dental Intelligence isn't so much a practice management platform as much as a productivity suite that integrates with one, to provide auto-generated reports and analytics. The aim is to make it simpler and easier to manage your practice efficiency and make it more profitable. It's a cloud-based solution that runs from a mobile app, making it easy to access from anywhere, whether in the office or on the go.
Each morning the software provides a review or performance the previous day, and a plan of action for each team member for the day based on set goals and KPIs. It also autogenerates call lists for appointment confirmations, hygiene recare, unscheduled treatments, and collections, to ensure that unscheduled appointments are never missed and which due payments need to be chased up.
Dental Intelligence also provides a smart caller ID to work with your phone system, so that when a patient calls from a number on their records, a pop up will appear providing basic information on the patient's last visit date, along with information on due appointments or payments. There'a also a smart scheduling feature that aims to fill empty slots with due appointments and keep track of outstanding invoices. It can also compare the performance of different team members for training and development purposes.
No pricing information is provided, but potential customers are invited to try a free demo first before contacting sales for a price.
Curve Dental also provides a cloud-based practice management suite that aims to make work easier for assistants, hygienists and dentists. Scheduling is made simple with drag and drop functionality, and uses color coding to make it easier to identify appointment types. Dates and times can be blocked out according to your needs. Images, patient history, and treatment options are available with a click of the mouse.
Charts are provided in a clear user interface with realistic tooth modeling and color coding for treatments so its easy for all staff to follow. Imaging is an integrated feature of the software, and it's easy to manipulate these to examine them better. You can also set up preferred manipulations and and filters by default, making it easier to get at the information you want more quickly. Measurement tools also work easily and seamlessly with your images, which are saved and synced in the cloud.
The billing feature is set up to simply payments and adjustments, and provide patients with easy to follow statements. Recall and insurance management are built in to make reimbursements easy to manage, with payments automatically applied to the insurance portion or the patient portion of the treatment record.
There are four main plans available, most of which cover the same features, with the main variation being access to automated reminders, custom forms, and native imaging. However, for pricing you will need to contact Curve Dental directly. Be aware that there may be set-up and training fees on top of any monthly payments.
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