Dentrix Ascend Review, Pricing & Features

Dentrix Ascend Review, Pricing & Features

Dentrix Ascend is a popular cloud-based dental practice management system ideal for dental practices with single or multiple locations who have a preference for working with Dentrix.

Pros

  • Cloud-based solution helps you access data from anywhere, and simplifies the process of adding new locations to your practice
  • Ascend's charting and note-taking is an improvement from Dentrix G7
  • Dentrix Ascend includes an open API that your team can use to build custom functionality on top of the core application

Cons

  • Patient engagement module does not include advanced features like review solicitation, email marketing, and robust two-way texting. SoftwarePundit was notified that these features are in beta testing, and will be released in the near future.
  • At $700 per month, Dentrix Ascend is priced as a premium product
  • Platform does not include an employee time clock

Editor's Rating

4.5/5.0

What is Dentrix Ascend?

Dentrix Ascend has the same core functionality as legacy Dentrix products, packaged into a modern cloud-based system with a more intuitive interface. The tool includes modules for basic patient engagement, scheduling, charting, billing, and claims processing. Thousands of single and multi-location practices successfully use Dentrix Ascend to manage their practices.

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Table of Contents

Full Review

Released in 2014, Dentrix Ascend is the cloud-based version of Henry Schein Inc.'s popular dental practice management software, Dentrix. It is one of the most popular cloud-based practice management systems on the market.

Dentrix Ascend offers core features that can help you run your practice efficiently. You can conduct patient engagement, schedule appointments, and manage claims & billing. Additionally, dentists we spoke to highlighted Dentrix Ascend's charting and note-taking as being particularly useful. Although a relatively new product, Dentrix Ascend's team develops and launches new features on a five-week cycle.

Cloud-based practice management software has specific benefits for multi-location practices. You can sync your data across locations, and view it remotely from any internet-connected device. Without being limited to server space, cloud-based solutions offer you scalability without the need to purchase or maintain server hardware. Additionally, Dentrix Ascend offers automatic software updates, data back-up, and unlimited storage.

Although cloud-based systems have specific benefits for multi-location practices, Dentrix Ascend is highly popular among practices of any size. In fact, about half of all Dentrix Ascend users are single practices.

Overall, Dentrix Ascend is a good practice management solution for dental practices with single or multiple locations who have a preference for working with Dentrix. Other cloud-based solutions to consider are Carestack, Curve Dental, and Denticon. If you desire an on-premise solution, we recommend you consider Open Dental.

Dentrix Ascend Pricing & Cost

Pricing for Dentrix Ascend starts at:

  • $500 per month for base subscription which includes core software and eServices
  • $995 initial setup fee
  • $200 per month for Dentrix Ascend’s built-in imaging, which is used by 90% of Dentrix Ascend customers

Key Features

Below, we will discuss the key features of Dentrix Ascend, and how they would benefit your practice. We will also include screenshots of the product to give you an idea of its layout.

Patient Engagement

A solid patient engagement strategy is important to your practice's success. Practice management software typically has tools to build relationships with your patients and improve their experience. Unfortunately, Dentrix Ascend's patient engagement functionality is not as fully-featured as its competitors. However, SoftwarePundit was notified that Dentrix Ascend is currently developing an add-on module for more robust patient engagement. This will include tools for two-way texting, email marketing, and review solicitation. The backend technology will be powered by Demandforce. It is currently in beta testing now, and is on the cusp of launching.

Because Dentrix Ascend's patient engagement module is not yet fully-featured, many customers opt to integrate Dentrix Ascend with a third-party tool like Lighthouse 360 or Weave. For a full overview of options, check out this SoftwarePundit guide to patient communication systems. It's important to keep in mind that Ascend does not yet integrate with all patient communication systems.

Dentrix Ascend provides a useful tool that optimizes your exit workflow. When patients are preparing to leave, Ascend prompts your team to obtain contact information, schedule future appointments, and collect payments. By proactively communicating with patients before they leave your practice, Dentrix Ascend keeps your schedule full and improves collections.

ascend exit workflow

For future appointments, Dentrix Ascend does offer a recall system that sends your patients text and email reminders to schedule appointments. Currently, patients can't use text or email to communicate any questions or concerns they may have about their upcoming appointments.

Appointments & Scheduling

Dentrix Ascend's appointment and scheduling tools help you keep a full schedule, and ensure efficient patient treatment. Some features that help you do this are:

  • Text & email appointment reminders
  • 24/7 online booking
  • Digital patient intake forms
  • Patient arrival notification for clinical staff

The appointment calendar is customizable and can be scheduled by procedure code, provider, or operatory. You can click directly on appointments and view & edit information like patient information, insurance, and medical alerts. The appointment calendar automatically updates when patients confirm appointments through text and email reminders.

appointments and scheduling2

Patient Routing

Dentrix Ascend's patient routing functionality ensures that your patients are being treated efficiently by tracking the status of each patient currently in your office. The patient routing panel provides useful information including:

  • Patient status: arriving, here, ready, chair, checkout
  • Status time tracking
  • Follow-up reminders
  • Premedication reminders
  • Notes and information

The patient routing panel is found in an expandable side panel, and can be viewed anywhere in Dentrix Ascend.

patient routing

Notes & Charting

Dentrix Ascend is a robust solution for your note-taking and charting. You can add procedures, conditions, and clinical notes directly on your charts. Finding past notes is simple with its sorting and filtering tools. Below are several useful features that are easily accessible from the chart view.

Treatment Planner

Dentrix Ascend's treatment planner can be quickly accessed on the chart, and its drag-and-drop functionality allows you to move procedures into corresponding cases efficiently. The treatment planner has built-in templates and descriptions, allowing you to quickly create a plan to present to your patients. Additionally, the treatment planner automatically tracks plan acceptance, scheduling, and patient progress.

ascend treatment planner

Quick Exam

Dentrix Ascend offers a way to quickly create baseline charts for your patients' initial exams. With its simplified interface, you can efficiently chart conditions, note existing work, and assign treatment plans.

ascend quick exam

Perio Chart

Dentrix Ascend's perio chart allows you to record standard perio metrics, such as mobility, probing depths, furcation grades, and more. The perio data can be viewed numerically and graphically. You can track periodontal progress over time in a single view that combines tasks and patient information.

ascend perio chart

Imaging

X-rays can be attached directly to the patient profile. You can add annotations and density readings on your images. Images maintain their quality when uploaded & downloaded to the cloud, and Dentrix Ascend offers unlimited data storage. Additionally, you can use virtually any sensor with this software.

Although Dentrix Ascend can integrate with a variety of imaging solutions, the vast majority of customers use Dentrix Ascend’s built-in imaging software. Using Ascend’s built-in imaging makes workflow more efficient because it can be accessed directly from your charting module.

Chairside Dashboard

By enabling Dentrix Ascend’s chairside dashboard, you can view your odontogram, notes, images, and perio data in one view. Images can be viewed from the side column, or by clicking on the number adjacent to each tooth on the odontogram. The numbers are colored in different shades, which indicates the age of the image.

dentrix chairside dashboard

Billing

For most practices, generating and sending billing statements every month is a convoluted, time-consuming activity that lends itself to error and frustration. Dentrix Ascend solves this by helping you create accurate billing statements, and sending them to your patients easily.

Dentrix Ascend has many accounting features that help you quickly generate billing statements. Some tasks you can perform include:

  • View balances
  • Set guarantor portions to the bill
  • Manage payment options
  • Add statement messages
Additionally, Dentrix Ascend has a couple unique features that dentists find particularly valuable.

"If Not Billed Since" Functionality

You want to make sure delinquent payments are received, but you don't want to accidentally confuse and annoy your patients with multiple statements. Dentrix Ascend solves this problem with its "If not billed since" functionality. This functionality allows you to categorize patients who already received statements for walk-in appointments, so they aren’t mailed another billing statement in one cycle.

ascend billed since

Ledger

Dentrix Ascend's ledger is an intuitive tool that optimizes the check-out process. The ledger helps you organize your patients’ payments, procedures, credit & debit adjustments, and insurance claims & payments. Filtering and sorting tools helps you quickly find and arrange this information into a coherent document. The ledger accelerates the billing process, so you can quickly print walk-out statements, and reduce check-out times.

ascend ledger

Claims

Dentrix Ascend helps you manage insurance claims and optimize your revenue cycle. It provides tools to make sure your claims processing is accurate, which will increase your rate of claim acceptance.

Dentrix ascend will also make processing insurance claims more efficient. Because claims are fully integrated in the practice management system, you can make claims without opening third-party software. You can submit an unlimited amount of eClaims, with the exception for Medicaid, which costs $0.35 per claim.

Dentrix Ascend is equipped with other features that allow you to manage your insurance claims. Examples include:

  • Monitor patient eligibility
  • Find rejected claims
  • Change patient insurance plans
  • Archive expired plans

Reporting

With Power Reports, you can generate a variety of customizable and interactive reports that visualize key performance indicators and identify improvement opportunities. Power reports cover a wide range of categories including:

  • Organizational
  • Auditing
  • Clinical
  • Financial
  • HSPA
  • Insurance
  • Patient
  • Recare
  • Schedule
  • Treatment Plan

One particularly useful report shows a geographical map of the patients you've seen. You can use this to understand where your patients are coming from, as well as the best communities to target with patient acquisition marketing campaigns.

dentrix power reports 2

Another useful report analyzes insurance utilization among your patients. Ascend quickly analyzes and organizes useful information like most-used carriers, charges, net production, and write-offs.

dentrix power reports 3

Friendly User Interface

Dentrix Ascend has been particularly focused on building an intuitive interface for Dentrix Ascend. The interface is designed to reduce the number of steps that a user must take to complete a given process.

For example, the company has created a home page with the most important KPIs that the team can review each morning.

dentrix user interface

You can click into any component on the dashboard to learn more and take action. For example, you can click into the Unresolved Claims report to see your unresolved claims and follow up with individual insurance companies. One nice-to-have feature is that Ascend groups unresolved claims by insurer, making it possible to follow up on all unresolved claims in one conversation.

dentrix user interface 2

Is Dentrix Ascend Right For You?

Dentrix Ascend is a cloud-based practice management software trusted by thousands of practices of all sizes. It is equipped with all the major functionalities found in most practice management systems including scheduling, charting, and reporting. One differentiator for Dentrix Ascend is its easy-to-use interface that optimizes most workflows.

Starting at $500, Dentrix Ascend is priced as a premium product. Many customers are willing to pay more for Dentrix Ascend over its competitors because they value the reliability of it being developed by Henry Schein One.

If you're in the market for a cloud-based practice management system, Dentrix Ascend should definitely be on your short list.

For a free demo, visit the Dentrix Ascend website.

Lloyd Park

Lloyd Park is a Junior Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit, where he conducts in-depth analyses of software markets and products. Lloyd also has experience managing the development of software platforms and is an expert in content production & media software.