Dentrix Review: Most Popular Dental Practice Mangement Software

Dentrix Review: Most Popular Dental Practice Mangement Software

Dentrix (by Henry Schein) is the most recognizable name in the dental practice management software industry.

Pros

  • Popular product that supports 35,000+ dental practices
  • Reputable company
  • Integrates with many other dental software systems that you may want to use

Cons

  • Upgrades can be cumbersome
  • Pricey relative to some of its competition

Editor's Rating

4.0/5.0

Launched in 1989, Dentrix (by Henry Schein) is the most popular dental practice management software system on the market, and is a consistent winner of the Dentaltown Townie Choice Awards for practice management software. Dentrix has an estimated market share of 25-30% in the US, with more than 35,000 dental practices using the system. With such a strong track record, you can be assured that the dental software has all of the functionality needed to support tens of thousands of dental practices globally. Since Dentrix has so many features and is such a comprehensive solution, it can come with a steeper learning curve for new users, compared to more lightweight solutions. However, if you're hiring experienced staff, there's a reasonable chance that they've used the software in the past, which can help reduce their training time.

If you're in the market for a new dental practice management software, then we think that it's always worth considering the most widely used option, especially given Dentrix's long track record of success. However, since the system has been around for so long, many find the user interface to be quite dated, and the system is less modern compared to some of the newer dental practice management software systems on the market.

Table of Contents

What are the Different Dentrix Products?

Dentrix offers many different products -- so many, in fact, that it can be difficult to decide which is best for your practice. We'll walk through some of their key products.

Dentrix G7

When people refer to Dentrix, they're typically talking about the current version of their locally hosted practice management software, which is Dentrix G7. The software is only compatible with Windows, so Mac users will have to look for another solution. Dentrix G7 is appropriate for single location practices--if you have multiple locations and want to have a consolidated patient database, and a consolidated view of your practice, Dentrix Ascend or Dentrix Enterprise would be more appropriate choices.

Dentrix G7 Pricing & Cost

Here's an overview of Dentrix G7's cost:

  • $6,995 list price.
  • $139/month for support, and additional fees for bundles with extra functionality.

Dentrix G7 Features

Since Dentrix has a strong track record of satisfying a large number of users, the product has virtually all of the functionality that you could want from your dental practice management software. We'll briefly walk through some of Dentrix's key features.

Patient Engagement

Dentrix G7 offers robust patient engagement tools that establish stable communication channels with your patients. These communication channels help keep your schedule full, and create positive patient experiences that will net you glowing online reviews. Here are a few features that will help you build solid relationships with your patients.

Two-way Texting and Automated Reminders

Automated text and email reminders reduce patient no-shows and boost recall appointments without increasing staff workload. With Dentrix G7, you can send customizable messages to tailored recipient lists that remind your patients of upcoming appointments, and encourage them to receive continuing care. Patients can confirm appointments by responding to reminders, and your schedule updates automatically in Dentrix.

Additionally, Dentrix offers robust two-way texting. Your patients can respond to text and email reminders with questions or concerns. The message is delivered to your front desk, and a chat session can be conducted with the patient.

Patient Kiosk

The Dentrix Patient Kiosk helps streamline the patient check-in process by enabling patients to fill out forms and questionnaires through a tablet, instead of having to fill out paperwork on a clipboard. This is a nice touch that can give your practice a more professional feel, while improving your patients' experience.

Surveys

Dentrix G7 automatically sends satisfaction surveys to patients after appointments. It aggregates and displays the results, so you can use it to monitor patient experience in your practice.

Review Solicitation

Dentrix G7 prompts patients to leave reviews for your practice after their appointments. Positive reviews are automatically posted to your website. Additionally, there are buttons in the solicitation message that direct patients to write reviews on major websites like Facebook, Yelp, and Google.

Appointments & Scheduling

Dentrix includes a color-coded scheduler that allows you to book appointments, and view your office's schedule in one convenient location. The scheduler is customizable, which means that you can filter by provider or by day, for example. You can also assign a color to each provider, and easily see each dentist's appointments and availabilities at a glance.

Dentrix Scheduler

Fill Appointment

The Fill Appointment feature helps you fill gaps in your schedule by sending customizable text messages to patients who are likely to book an appointment. This feature is especially useful when facing appointment cancellations and patient no-shows.

Charting & Treatment Planning

Dentrix G7 is equipped with robust charting and note-taking functionalities. Because of its helpful features, most dentists will find Dentrix's charting modules easy-to-use while conducting clinical work.

Odontogram

Dentrix makes charting easy; dentists can take notes by simply clicking on the odontogram. You can color-code each treatment, to indicate its status (e.g. red to indicate completed treatments, and blue to indicate recommended treatments). The software also makes it easy to find the appropriate procedure codes and document them. Whenever you complete a procedure, the information will automatically get transferred to the patient's ledger, which makes for accurate billing.

Dentrix Odontogram

If you mark certain procedures as planned, you can create treatment plans through the software, specify the sequence of procedures, and map them to different visits. You can also print treatment plans (along with the price of each procedure) and show them to patients.

Perio Charting

Dentrix also has perio charting capabilities. One nice feature of Dentrix's perio charting is that users don't have to click around to different sites to enter measurements--after you type in a measurement, the software automatically moves the cursor to the next site or tooth for you to enter your measurements. This helps saves users time, and makes perio charting faster.

Dentrix Perio Chart

ePrescribe

If you need to write prescriptions, you can do so electronically with Dentrix's ePrescribe add-on module. This streamlines the process of writing prescriptions by prepopulating patient information from Dentrix, and enables you to send information directly to the pharmacy. Based on the patient's history of prescriptions, you can also identify possible adverse drug interactions. The ability to e-prescribe is especially important in helping dentists comply with New York's I-STOP law.

Health History

The Health History module allows you to track patient allergies, conditions, and medications. It is integrated with patient questionnaires, and responses are automatically recorded into the module without manual entry.

Billing

Dentrix G7 offers several features that make the billing process quicker & easier. Important tasks you can perform in the billing module include:

  • Manage payment options
  • View balances
  • Create and send electronic billing statements
  • Manage credit & debit adjustments

Along with these core features, Dentrix G7 provides a variety of nice-to-have features that accelerate the billing process.

Credit Card Processing

With Dentrix Pay, you can process credit card payments directly in Dentrix G7. You can charge patients directly from the ledger using credit cards, debit cards, or mobile payment applications. Patient card information can be stored securely in Dentrix, and used for future visits.

Credit Balance Management

The Allocate Credit Balances tool allows you to easily correct misallocations and ensure accurate collection totals. There are multiple ways to view account balances, and adjustments can be made directly in this tool. By selecting one of the allocation methods found on the right side of the window, Dentrix will automatically determine which patients or providers should be credited or charged in order to balance the account.

Dentrix G7 Allocate Credit Balances

Using the Provider Credit Balances Manager, you can easily identify accounts that have provider imbalances, without looking at different ledgers or aging reports. This tool shows you all providers with credit balances, which can indicate the need for adjustment.

Dentrix G7 Credit Balance Manager

Claims

Dentrix G7 helps you quickly and accurately process insurance claims. Using Dentrix will help you maintain a high first-pass acceptance rate, which accelerates payment collections from carriers and patients. Here are several important tasks you can execute using Dentrix G7.

  • Track patient eligibility
  • Attach required images and documentation
  • Automatically validate claims
  • Manage credit and debit card payments

Automatic eClaims Attachments

Dentrix G7’s Automatic eClaims Attachments feature automatically identifies and attaches required documents and images to your claims. This feature reduces the chance of human error, and frees your staff to work on more important tasks.

Reporting

Dentrix comes with many standardized reports, which can help you use data to increase your practice's revenue. Though users can customize these reports by adding various filters, the software doesn't currently support custom reports. So, you're somewhat limited in creating new reports if they don't already exist. However, there are some 3rd party programs you can purchase that will enable you to query your data and generate custom reports. This would be an additional purchase that isn't included with the software, and is only compatible with Dentrix G5 and above.

Dentrix Ascend

For a full analysis, read this in-depth review of Dentrix Ascend from SoftwarePundit.

Dentrix Ascend Pricing & Cost

Here's an overview of Dentrix Ascend's cost:

  • $500/month for up to 10 users
  • $995 initial setup fee

With the rise of the cloud and all of the benefits of cloud-based software, Henry Schein has more recently begun developing a cloud-based solution called Dentrix Ascend. However, this is still a relatively new solution, and was built from the ground up--it's not just Dentrix hosted on the cloud. This means that there are still some kinks being ironed out, and improvements to the product being made.

Imaging is one of the challenges that cloud-based dental software faces. Dexis created an imaging solution that integrates with Dentrix Ascend, known as 'Dexis for Dentrix Ascend', which is a cloud-based imaging solution that enables users to take high-quality images and upload them directly to the cloud. However, this comes with an additional charge that should be factored into your price estimate--this is the only way to upload images to the cloud directly with Dentrix Ascend. Otherwise, you'll have to store your images locally, which takes away some of the convenience you normally get by using a cloud-based solution, since you'll still have to pay for servers and backup your data.

If you're interested in cloud-based dental practice management software, but are looking for a more mature solution, then we'd suggest taking a look at Curve for solo practices, and Denticon for multi-location practices.

Dentrix Enterprise

Dentrix Enterprise Pricing & Cost

The price for Dentrix Enterprise is not published. Contact Dentrix Enterprise to receive a quote.

With the recent rise of group dental practices, Henry Schein created Dentrix Enterprise, which was designed to address the challenges faced by group practices. Specifically, group practices may use a separate database in each location, which means that in order to get a consolidated patient profile, you'd have to pull data from each location's database. This also makes it difficult for enterprise practices to generate reports across locations and analyze their performance, since they have to query data out of each database and combine it in order to get the information that they need.

Dentrix Enterprise addresses these issues by combining data from multiple locations into one centralized location. This means that you can have a single patient record, as well as a single provider record, as opposed to one record per location. Since Dentrix Enterprise is designed specifically for large group practices, its price is also substantially higher than Dentrix, which makes it unsuitable for smaller dental practices.

If you are a large multi-location practice, it's worth looking into Dentrix Enterprise, as well as Denticon (by PlanetDDS), which is also designed for enterprise dental practices. These are the two most reputable solutions designed for this specific market, whereas most other products are mostly catered to smaller practices. Since there are only a limited number of commercial products that are designed for this specific market, we'd suggest that group practices look into both of these products.

Bottom Line

If you're looking for a dental practice management software system, then Henry Schein offers various Dentrix products to suit your needs. Dentrix is the most popular product, and is used by more than 35,000 dental practices. For most dental practices, Dentrix is the product from Henry Schein that would be most relevant.

  • Dentrix G7 is ideal for single location practices that desire an on-premise solution, and are loyal to the Dentrix brand.
  • Dentrix Ascend is a good option for practices that are looking for cloud-based dental practice management software. However, since it's a newer product, it may take some time for the product to become as rich and mature as Dentrix.
  • Dentrix Enterprise was designed specifically for group practices, and is one of few commercial products catered towards this specific market.

To learn more about Dentrix, you can visit their site here. You can also read our interview with Dr. Eugene Gamble, to learn more about Dentrix from the perspective of an experienced periodontist.