Dentistry has been listed as one of the 100 best jobs for the seventh year in a row. The field is ever-expanding, and with competition getting stiffer, you will want to always stay on top of your game. Your dental practice needs the best dental practice management software. But with so many dental software providers in the market, where do you start?
How to Choose the Best Dental Practice Management Software
Knowing what to look for in a dental practice management software can help you determine which one is the best for you.
All dental practice management softwares offer a similar base set of features including scheduling, charting, treatment planning, billing, etc. The biggest differences between them are the ease of use, support, and functionality, and integration potential. Most practices do not have a lot of personal experience with a variety of different practice management software, because they are fairly large commitments to pick one over another and practices seldom switch.
As a dental IT provider we are in a unique position to experience first hand a large variety of software and have conversations with practices that use them. Some common themes and experiences have emerged from those conversations and we share them here.
The Best Dental Practice Management Software
Here is a review of the top five most common dental practice management softwares.
Softdent was one of the first dental practice management softwares to hit the market and as a result, grew significantly due to lack of competition. Since its initial prolific spread, the company was sold multiple times and the development began to lag as new competitors entered the market.
Today, much of Softdent’s relevance is still based on its early days of prominence. Currently, Softdent has one of the slowest growth rates of any of the major dental practice management softwares as offices convert to other options available.
#4 Curve Dental
Curve was founded in 2004 and has gained significant traction as one of the leading cloud-based practice management systems in the industry. In general, dentistry has lagged in its adoption to cloud-based software compared to other industries so there is room available for various cloud providers as cloud adoption continues it’s trend in dental as well.
Curve offers the benefit of multiple systems bundled into one including practice management features, image management, and patient communication tools if you are on their highest tier option. While Curve is a competitive option for practice management there is nothing inherently better about the cloud versus other local software options.
Eaglesoft is owned by Patterson and is prominent in the dental industry largely because of that relationship. Both Patterson and Henry Schein have a large sales force and bundle software with other dental services which they sell. Like Dentrix, many offices that use Eaglesoft have also used the parent supply company for many of their dental supply needs.
Eaglesoft offers all of the expected practice management features and support is decent especially if you are on their higher tier options of support.
#2 Dentrix / Dentrix Ascend
Dentrix Ascend is the cloud based version of Dentrix, and although it has a very different look and feel than Dentrix both offer similar functionality and are supported by the same company, Henry Schein. Again, Dentrix has a lot of prominence in the dental market because of its connection to Schein and bundle deals with Schein many other dental offerings.
That being said, it is still generally a good system although one of the most resource intensive practice management softwares. Of interesting note, the largest number of Curve Dental conversions have come from Dentrix and Dentrix Ascend and this is also likely because Dentrix Ascend is the other most prominent cloud practice management software in the market.
#1 Open Dental
Open Dental is an open-source practice management software developed by Dr. Jordan Sparks, a dentist himself. It is still privately owned and not part of a large Dental Supply organization, yet despite this, one of the most prominent dental practice management softwares in the world.
Open Dental’s practice numbers are not public, but it is suspected that Open Dental has a larger user base than any other practice management software on the market. There are a few key contributors to this:
- First, Open Dental is open source and easily available and accessible to anyone who would like to download it.
- As a result it is also one of the most integration friendly practice management systems on the market, with most dental software able to integrate into Open Dental.
- Finally, Open Dental is consistently ranked as one of the most user-friendly dental practice managements on the market and generally very easy to learn.
- Open Dental is also a comparatively lightweight software which means it has fewer IT issues than any other local practice management software.
These are just a few of the reasons why very few Open Dental practices so far have switched to a cloud-based system like Curve or Dentrix Ascend.
A Managed IT Services Provider
Choosing the best dental practice management software for your practice is just one step towards elevating your dental practice. You also want the best IT support for your software.
- A specialized IT services provider can help you maximize uptime by providing 24/7 monitoring of your systems.
- A dental IT support team can help you keep up with HIPAA and HITECH compliance regulations.
- An IT support team can provide IT solutions tailored explicitly for dental services.
- A specialized IT team can provide you with data backup in an emergency.
A managed IT support team specializing in dental services is your best partner towards delivering the best dental care to your patients.
Partner with DMA Tech Solutions
For help implementing new dental practice management software and more, get in touch with DMA Tech Solutions. We are experienced in helping dental professionals leverage technology to take their business to the next level!