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Best Dental Practice Management Applications

Your practice operates better when it has the right software. But which is the best? There are at least 10 contenders out there that are totally legit; then there are some that shouldn’t be touched with a ten-foot pole. Stick around, and we’ll explore the ten best management applications options for your dental practice.

“I’m looking for a dental practice management application for my office. What features should it have?”

The features that your practice requires will have a lot to do with how invested you are in technology right now. If everything in your office from imaging to appointment reminders runs through a management application, your requirements are going to be higher than the dentist that is just now moving from film-based x-rays to digital x-rays.

So, choose an application that has what you need now and has the features you will need as your practice grows in size and in technological complexity. Some of the core features could include:

  • Customer Support
  • Cloud Application Version
  • HIPAA Compliance
  • Incorporation with Your Existing Digital Imaging Software
  • A Free Evaluation Demo
  • Electronic Dental Health Records
  • Billing
  • Charting
  • Scheduling
  • On-Premises Version of Software

Not every solution will have all of these features, but some will have more than the features listed.

Datacon

Datacon takes the hybrid approach to its software delivery method. An on-premises server allows for local data storage, mobile use, and online data storage. Datacon can be used by the major operating systems in use today and has built-in capacity for mobile device usage as well. Pricing is driven by the number of workstations using the system and software support is bought on a monthly subscription basis. Datacon does offer a free demo so you can check out all the features before you buy. Training on the system is done once a quarter via telephone or internet.

Datacon seems to have a “less is more” approach to listing the software features. Its website divides its features into:

  • Seamless Integration” – Radiography, Communications, Productivity, E-Insurance
  • Cross-Platform Functionality” – Mac/Windows, Multi-Location, Remote Access, Data Backup
  • Paperless Office” – Charting, Patient Folders, HIPAA Compliant, X-Ray Integration
  • Customize Your Reports” – Tailored Scripts, Audit Controls, Reports, Customizable Screens

Dentrix

Dentrix is one of the big players in the market today. Partly due to the fact that it has been around since 1985. Though not the cheapest solution in our lineup, it certainly is one of the heavy hitters. Dentrix has focused on development over the years, and the result has been a feature set that rivals all others. But, with the large feature set comes a complexity that some find intimidating. Dentrix only works on Windows 10, runs on premises, and requires a dedicated server. Pricing is negotiated with each practice individually, and customer support can be bought per incident or within a support plan. Dentrix does have a free demo, but if you want the flexibility of cloud computing, look elsewhere.

As we stated, Dentrix has an enviable set of functions, but here are the main ones.

  • Tools to Engage with Patients
  • Appointment Management
  • Digital Imaging
  • Calendar Management
  • Billing and Collections – integrated with EMV-compliant processing
  • HIPAA Compliant
  • Claims Management
  • Patient Communications Manager – text, mail, email
  • 3D Clinical Charting

Dentrix Ascend

Dentrix Ascend is Henry Schein’s entrance into the field of cloud-based dental practice management systems. The developers of Dentrix Ascend have made a departure from the intensive workflows of the on-premises Dentrix model and have streamlined the workflows. For those that are looking at Dentrix Ascend as the cloud alternative to their on-premises Dentrix instance, it’s important to note that the two have not been built to be compatible. Dentrix Ascend works on any operating system that can run the Google Chrome browser, and its pricing structure is based on the subscription model. This software is available in a free demo for evaluation purposes and comes with email and phone product support.

Features available in Dentrix Ascend include:

  • Insurance Management
  • Scheduling
  • Multi-location Support
  • Online booking
  • Dental Charting
  • Document Manager
  • Perio Charting
  • E-Claims
  • Digital Imaging
  • Ledger
  • Treatment Planner
  • HIPAA Compliant

Curve Dental

Curve Dental is a cloud-based dental management system that has a subscription pricing model. It runs on a web browser and can be used by any operating system. Curve has four separate packages. The difference between the packages is the addition or subtraction of automated appointment reminders, online payments, and native digital imaging sent directly to the cloud.

Curve Features Include:

  • Cloud-Based Data Backup
  • HIPAA Compliance
  • Clinical Notes
  • Technical Support
  • Patient Communication
  • Perio Charting
  • Billing
  • Digital Imaging
  • Reporting
  • Dental Charting
  • Credit Card Processing
  • Patient Portal
  • Insurance Management
  • Mobile Capability

Total Dental

Total Dental is admittedly one of the smaller players on the scene. But having said that, it still holds its own against the larger players and has a full set of features. This software is web-based and is priced on a monthly subscription model. Because the software is accessed via the internet, there is no hardware or operating systems limitations. Telephone and email support are available, and the free demo comes with an online helps database and training.

Total Dental offers these core features:

  • Treatment Planning
  • Electronic Dental Health Records
  • Reminders
  • Dental Charting
  • Patient Payment History
  • Perio Charting
  • Digital Imaging Integration
  • Billing
  • Clinical Charting
  • Meaningful Use Monitoring
  • Claims Management
  • HIPAA Compliant
  • Calendar Management
  • Real-time Backups
  • Appointment Management
  • E-Prescribing
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Accounting Integration

Denticon

Denticon has built an intuitive platform that is flexible enough to be used by both the small dental office and the multi-location dental enterprises. Denticon was built to be cloud-based, as a result, it operates very well as a web application. Like most other web-based products, Denticon is priced on a monthly payment schedule (you have to contact them for a quote) and requires no specific hardware or software – just a browser. Fortunately, Denticon does offer a free demo along with support and training.

Denticon offers this comprehensive list of features:

  • Nightly Data Download
  • Patient Communications
  • E-Prescriptions
  • Analytics – Dashboards and Reports
  • Multi-Location Support
  • Charting
  • Billing Management
  • Appointment Management
  • EHR-Certified Health Records
  • Credit Card Processing
  • Document Scanning
  • Insurance Management – E-Claims
  • Patient Portal, Scheduling, And Health Forms
  • HIPAA Compliant
  • Time Clock
  • Clinical Notes
  • Disaster Recovery – Cloud

Dentisoft

Dentisoft is another web-based dental practice management software offering. Like many of its competitors, there is no need for specific hardware or operating systems and Dentisoft is priced in monthly payments. Unlike some competitors that price monthly according to the number of users accessing the service, Dentisoft provides everyone in the organization access for the same price. Dentisoft comes with training, and unlimited support is available in the Cloud Pro package.

Key features of Dentisoft include:

  • HIPAA Compliance
  • Data Export to Excel/Word/PDF
  • Patient Marketing Tools
  • 250 Different Reports
  • Appointment Booking
  • Recall Management
  • Online Patient Forms
  • Claim Forms
  • Facebook Integration
  • Paper / E-billing Statements
  • Mobile Suite
  • Insurance Management
  • Messaging and Reminders
  • Postcards for Recalls and Appointments
  • Clinical E-Records
  • E-Birthday/Appointment/Recall Messages
  • Treatment Planning and Handouts
  • Mailing List Generation
  • Image/PDF Storage
  • Integration with TigerView Cloud
  • Radiography Integration

Dovetail

Dovetail has been designed to move practices to greater mobility. How? It’s been developed specifically for tablet use. It can work on any hardware – computers, laptops – but its interface may be the first in the industry built with the tablet and mobility in mind. Its ease of use extends to the processing of payments on a tablet along with the option to go completely paperless. Pricing is based on a monthly subscription and support and training are available.

The central features of Dovetail are:

  • HIPAA Compliant
  • Mobile Payments
  • Electronic Dental Health Records
  • File Sharing
  • Treatment Plans
  • E-Insurance claims
  • Progress Notes
  • Team Management Tools
  • Intelligent Scheduling
  • Billing Features
  • Meaningful Use Functionality
  • Integration with Digital Imaging System

Easy Dental

Easy Dental has been described as the ugly stepsister of Dentrix and Dentrix Ascend. Offered by the same company, it has neither the feature set of Dentrix nor the slick web features of Dentrix Ascend. It only works on Windows, and although it can be run off of an on-premises computer, the developers recommend a dedicated server. Having said this, it’s popular. Henry Schein offers a free demo, training, and a few levels of free and paid support for this software. Pricing is a one-time investment – other than ongoing support – and the learning curve is less steep than the bigger Dentrix program.

Features of Easy Dental are as follows:

  • Credit and Debit Card Processing
  • Perio Charts
  • Online Data Backup
  • Patient Records
  • Billing Statements
  • HIPAA Compliant
  • Scheduling
  • E-Insurance Claims
  • Reports
  • Treatment Plans
  • Recall Appointments

Axex Dental

Axex Dental takes a different approach to its service model. To get the software, you must buy their server that contains the pre-installed software. This, of course, means that the solution is primarily an on-premises solution with some hybrid-cloud functionality. The advantage to this approach is you have access to your data – even if your internet connection goes down. Along with the initial hardware and software purchase, Axex charges a monthly, ongoing fee. Having said that, Axex Dental has an attractive, user-friendly interface along with some iPad integration for patient interaction. They offer a free demo and training is via an online tutorial. Tech support is available by means of email, chat, and phone. If the server dies, the company states that it will overnight a new one to you.

Axex Dental Feature

  • Treatment Plans
  • Charting
  • Patient Medical History
  • Appointments
  • X-Rays
  • Reporting
  • Electronic Statements
  • E-Claims
  • Accounting
  • HIPAA Compliance

I’M CONFUSED! NOW WHAT?

The NOVA Computer Solutions team knows what a stressful and time-consuming process it is to comb through all of the dental practice management software options. Fortunately, we’ve been doing this for a while and have worked with supporting dental offices using nearly every system out there. We can help you sort through your options, make recommendations, implement your choice, and help you get rolling. We’ve even helped companies migrate successfully from one system to another! Give us a call, we’d be happy to talk.

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