Choosing the Right Dental Practice Management Software

Posted by Rajpatil on July 13th, 2016

For many dental practices today, success depends upon practice management (PM) software programs. Although there is no perfect solution because of the constantly changing dynamics of a dental practice, software companies invest significant research and development to continually upgrade their products and services to meet the varied needs of their clients.

Most Clinic management software and dental practices already have PM software—a survey conducted in 2010 by the California Healthcare Foundation found that 93% of respondents use PM software.1 However, according to a 2006 survey on use of technology in the operatory—ie, clinical computing—only about one quarter (24.6%) of general dentists were using computers chairside.2

It would be useful to dentists to have programs that help them transition to a digital patient record that incorporates all administrative, clinical, and electronic communication applications into a single system that is secure, cost-effective, intuitive, and open to new and developing applications. This is a challenge for software companies, because dentistry is still predominately composed of solo practitioners (56%), with an additional 11% having associates and 8% partners.1 These small businesses have limited resources to attain many of today’s leading technologies, and their needs vary significantly.

There are many PM solutions from which to choose that will deliver excellent results; the quality of the results achieved will depend upon how well the user implements the program’s resources and solutions. The vast majority of dentists still only use a fraction of the applications they have already purchased. Dentists should invest in staff training and re-training each time they upgrade software.

Although an exhaustive list of all companies and PM software is beyond the scope of this article, it is important to note that three major corporations provide PM software programs to more than 82% of the desktops in dental practices3: Henry Schein Practice Solutions; Patterson Dental; and Carestream Dental. Other companies that supply products to a smaller percentage of the dental market, many of which serve more focused niches, will also be presented.


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