What is Dentrix Ascend?
Dentrix Ascend is a cloud-based dental practice management system that is best for dental practices with multiple locations. This tool includes modules for basic patient engagement, scheduling, charting, billing, and claims processing. Dentrix Ascend functions similarly to Dentrix's offline version, making it an easier transition to the cloud to those familiar with Dentrix.
Table of Contents
- Full Review
- Dentrix Ascend Pricing & Cost
- Key Features
- Is Dentrix Ascend right for you
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 basic 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.
Cloud-based practice management software is ideal 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.
Overall, Dentrix Ascend is a good practice management solution for multi-location practices who prefer Dentrix products and are ready to move to the cloud. 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/month for up to 10 users
- $995 initial setup fee
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.
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. Some missing features includes:
- Robust two-way texting
- Email campaigns
- Reputation management
- Patient portal
Because Dentrix Ascend's patient engagement module is not 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's primary patient engagement offering is focused on optimizing your exit workflow. When patients are preparing to leave, Ascend prompts your team to obtain contact their 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.
For future appointments, Dentrix Ascend does offer a recall system that sends your patients text and email reminders to schedule appointments. However, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dexis created an imaging solution for Dentrix Ascend, known as Dexis for Dentrix Ascend. This cloud-based imaging solution enables dental professionals to take high-quality images and upload them directly to the cloud. It is important to note, if you want to integrate a device other than a DEXIS device, you may incur additional costs for the purchase of drivers. Here's a list of integrated devices.
Does Not Offer Lab Case Tracking
A major downside of Dentrix Ascend is the absence of lab case tracking. Users have to rely on a third-party service to manage and track lab work being done for your patients. Relying on third-party services for common tasks makes your work flow inefficient and increases your workload.
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
"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.
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.
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
Is Dentrix Ascend Right For You?
Dentrix Ascend is an ideal practice management system for multi-location practices who want a cloud-based solution. Cloud-based software frees you from worrying about updates, data back-up, limited storage, and purchasing & maintaining server hardware. Also, it functions similarly to Dentrix's offline version, making transitioning to the cloud easier to those familiar with Dentrix.
Its charting and note taking is intuitive, and its patient routing panel helps maintain an efficient practice. Also, it integrates with most imaging devices.
However, Dentrix Ascend’s patient communication is not as advanced as its competitors. Additionally, Dentrix Ascend lacks several essential tools such as lab case tracking, time clocks, and full patient medical history forms.
For a free demo, visit the Dentrix Ascend website.