Best Dental Software 2020

Comparison of Dental Practice Management Software

Compare the best dental practice management software from leading companies like CareStack, Curve Dental, Open Dental, Denticon, Dentrix & Eaglesoft.

Table of Contents

What is dental practice management software?

Dental practice management software is the foundational system used by dental practices to manage the administrative and clinical components of their operations. Dental practice management systems have been around for a few decades – as a result, about 75% of installations are still on-premise. More modern, cloud-based solutions such as CareStack, Curve Dental, and Denticon have entered the market in the past 10-15 years and are gaining market share. Dental practice management systems are the biggest software investment that dentists make into their businesses. Therefore, selecting the best dental practice management software is critical.

How much does dental practice management software cost?

Dental practice management software starts at about $100 per month for solo practitioners and can cost thousands of dollars per month for larger practices. Dentists should expect to pay roughly $300-500 per month for each provider and/or location in their practices. Older systems have license/maintenance pricing models, while more modern systems charge a monthly subscription fee.

The available pricing information for each system can be found below.

What are the key features of dental practice management software?

  • Patient Engagement: Dental practice management systems function similar to a CRM that allows you to have 2-way communications with patients. Common engagement tactics include appointment reminders, recalls, and newsletters. Systems also include call pops.
  • Appointments & Scheduling: Leading systems make it simple for your front office to manage appointments & scheduling. They also allow patients to make appointments themselves using the patient portal.
  • Patient Portal: Top systems offer a patient portal with features that allow patients to: request & confirm appointments, make & review payments, print statements, complete to-do lists and view treatment history.
  • Notes & Charting: Practice management systems come with treatment plans, note templates, as well as restorative and perio charts.
  • E-prescriptions: Some dental practice management allow you to digitally prescribe medicine.
  • Billing & Claims Management: Dental practice management software comes with numerous features that allow your practice to accept credit cards, debit cards, and insurance payments. They also have features to verify insurance eligibility, view claims status and resubmit claims.
  • Analytics: Dental practice management systems have access to a wide range of your practice's data. As a result, the best systems provide valuable KPIs that help you manage your practice.

Overview of the Best Dental Practice Management Systems

We've curated the top dental practice management systems below. Due to the nature of the market, you'll see newer cloud-based systems and more mature on-premise systems. When evaluating dental practice management systems keep the following factors in mind:

  • What is your budget?
  • Do you want a cloud-based or on-premise system?
  • Do you need a system for multiple locations?
  • Do you want your practice management system to handle patient engagement?

CareStack: Best Cloud-Based Dental Practice Management Software for Group Practices

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Best For: Practices with 2+ locations that want a user-friendly, modern system.

CareStack Pricing: CareStack pricing starts around $650 per month for solo practitioners. CareStack's software is priced per dentist, and all features and claims are included.

Deployment: Cloud-based.

CareStack Highlights:

  • Supports global and location-specific branding in patient-facing communications
  • Includes powerful patient engagement system to create highly targeted, relevant marketing campaigns that improve the patient experience and grow your practice
  • Extremely customer centric; over half of new features built by CareStack are requests from customers
  • Average customer support response time is under 30 seconds
  • Has raised over $50 million from top investors and is growing quickly

Read our in-depth review of CareStack to learn why we named it the Best Cloud-Based Dental Practice Management Software for Group Practices.

Curve Dental: Best Cloud-Based Dental Practice Management Software for Solo Practices

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Best For: Solo practices that are interested in an effective, slightly cheaper cloud-based solution.

Curve Dental Pricing: Curve's pricing starts at $350 per month, and is based on the number of dentists in your practice and the functionality you need. A practice with two dentists can expect to pay about $720 per month including e-prescribe and claims.

Deployment: Cloud-based.

Curve Dental Highlights:

  • Software is 100% cloud-based and can be used anywhere with Internet access
  • Users don't have to worry about managing their own servers or backing up data
  • Intuitive, modern design makes the software easier and more enjoyable to use
Read our in-depth review of Curve Dental to learn why we named it the Best Cloud-Based Dental Practice Management Software for Solo Practices.

Open Dental: Best Desktop Dental Practice Management Software

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Best For: Practices that want an on-premise system and full control over their technology.

Open Dental Pricing: 6-month initial contract costs $169/month per location/office, for up to 3 dentists. After 12 months, the monthly fee goes down to $119.

Deployment: On-premise.

Open Dental Highlights:

  • Flexible system integrates with most imaging and software systems.
  • Provides users full access to their practice’s database, which enables users to create highly customizable queries and reports.
  • Robust practice management system at a fraction of the cost, compared to its competition.

Read our in-depth review of Open Dental to learn why we named it the Best Desktop Dental Practice Management Software.

Denticon

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Best For: Practices with 2+ locations that want a well-tested, mature cloud-based system.

Denticon Pricing: Denticon charges a monthly subscription fee with no upfront licensing costs.

Deployment: Cloud-based.

Denticon Highlights:

  • Company has a proven track record (10+ years of experience) of providing 100% cloud-based software for enterprise dental practices.
  • Provides a scalable system that can accommodate the needs of your enterprise practice as it grows.
  • Exceptional reporting capabilities provide a consolidated view of your enterprise’s performance across all locations.
Read our in-depth review of Denticon by Planet DDS.

Dentrix G6

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Best For: Practices with experience using Dentrix that prefer to maintain an on-premise system.

Dentrix Pricing: Dentrix G6 has a $6,995 list price and $139/month for support.

Deployment: On-premise.

Denticon Highlights:

  • Launched in 1989, Dentrix (by Henry Schein) is the most popular dental practice management software system on the market.
  • Popular product that supports 35,000+ dental practices, or approximately 25% of the market.
  • Integrates with many other dental software systems that you may want to use.
  • Since Dentrix has so many features and is such a comprehensive solution, it can come with a steeper learning curve for new users.
  • Also offers Dentrix Ascend, its cloud-based solution, for $500/month for up to 10 users.

Read our in-depth review of Dentrix.

Eaglesoft

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Best For: Practices with experience using Eaglesoft that prefer to maintain an on-premise system.

Eaglesoft Pricing: Contact Eaglesoft for a quote. Technical support costs $199 per month.

Deployment: On-premise.

Eaglesoft Highlights:

  • As one of the most popular and reputable dental practice management software systems, Eaglesoft has a strong 20 year track record of helping dental practices run smoothly.
  • The system is easy to learn.
  • Eaglesoft integrates with many other dental software systems.
Read our in-depth review of Eaglesoft.

Carestream

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Best For: Practices with experience using Carestream that prefer to maintain an on-premise system.

Carestream Pricing: Contact Carestream for a quote.

Deployment: On-premise.

Carestream Highlights:

  • Carestream offers a variety of products, including SoftDent and PracticeWorks, as well as powerful imaging systems, that are widely used across the industry.
  • SoftDent and PracticeWorks are two popular practice management software systems offered by Carestream. They have a lot of overlapping functionality, but whereas SoftDent is marketed toward larger, multi-doctor practices, PracticeWorks is more tailored to suit the needs of smaller practices.
  • One shortcoming found in both SoftDent and PracticeWorks is that they lack custom reporting capabilities, such as the ability to analyze production numbers by insurance carrier.
  • Carestream's cloud-based practice management solution is being developed.

Read our in-depth review of Carestream.

Dentimax

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Best For: Practices interested in an affordable, cloud-based solution.

Dentimax Pricing: The most popular Dentimax package is $199/month, which includes practice management, clinical charting, and perio charting. There is a one-time setup fee of $199.

Deployment: Cloud-based.

Dentimax Highlights:

  • Has been on the market for over 12 years, making it one of the most experienced players in the industry.
  • Image sensors are integrated with patient charts.
  • Available as a cloud-based solution as well as a locally hosted/installed option.
  • Full-featured appointment book offers scheduling-focused features, but also links to patient information (ledger, insurance, etc.) and revenue-related data for a comprehensive view of your practice.
Read our in-depth review of Dentimax.

axiUm

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Best For: Dental universities.

axiUm Pricing: axiUm does not publish its prices. You must reach out the company for a quote.

Deployment: On-premise.

axiUm Highlights:

  • Complete practice management system designed for academic institutions.
  • Widely used across 80%+ of dental schools.
  • Helps students learn how to chart, and manage appointments.
  • Enables instructors to sign off on student work.
  • Integrates with coursework, so that instructors can track student grades and clinical performance in one system.
Read our in-depth review of axiUm.
Bruce Hogan

Bruce Hogan is CEO & Co-Founder of SoftwarePundit, a technology research firm that provides advice, information, and tools to help businesses thrive. Bruce has experience investing at multi-billion dollar private equity firms, leading teams at venture-backed Internet companies, and launching new ventures. Bruce graduated summa cum laude from the Wharton School of Business.

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