This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. Please help improve it by removing promotional content and inappropriate external links, and by adding encyclopedic content written from a neutral point of view. (October 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met. (November 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Open Dental
open dental Logo
Screenshot of open dental
Practice Management Software
Original author(s)Dr. Jordan Sparks
Stable release
20.2 / July 20, 2020; 20 months ago (2020-07-20)
Preview release
20.3 (Beta) / July 20, 2020; 20 months ago (2020-07-20)
Written inC#
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows[1]
Available inMultiple Language Packs [2]
Typedental practice management software
LicenseGNU General Public License

Open Dental, previously known as Free Dental, is a dental practice management software licensed under the GNU General Public License.[3] It is written in the C# programming language compatible with Microsoft .NET Framework and was first released in 2003. Current versions of the software require Microsoft Windows. Earlier versions of the software had supported other operating systems, but Linux support has been dropped.[4] The full function version is only available under the commercial license because it includes royalty bearing, licensed materials from the American Dental Association (ADA), the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT).

Open Dental is owned and sponsored by Open Dental Software, Inc., which is incorporated in the State of Oregon in the United States of America.[5] Being an open source software, any programmer has the freedom to develop and support Open Dental. The company makes money through its monthly technical support fees, which are required for the first 6 months of use. The first open dental customer bought the technical support services on July 22, 2003.[6]


The database uses the dual licensed MySQL database program. Both local preferences and those which apply to every computer in the office are stored in the mySQL database.

The database schema is published and publicly viewable.[7]

Relational database benefits to dental practice

There are documented benefits to using a relational database when storing and retrieving data: the relational model offers "advantages over the hierarchical and network models through its simpler data representation, superior data independence and easy to use query language".[8]


Relational databases like Oracle and MySQL have mechanisms that can be used to keep the availability (of the database) very high. For instance, with MySQL replication, "the active primary database ships transactions to one or more standby databases. These standby databases apply the transactions to their own copies of the data. Should the primary database fail, one of these standby databases can be activated to become the new primary database".[9]


Mobile dental programs have special needs including offline data collection, central data availability and public health reporting. All of these needs are met with Open Dental. An example of a mobile dental program that has published[10] their experience using Open Dental is the St. David's Dental Program.[11]


Structured Query Language (SQL) allows the user to pull data from the database for analysis. Open Dental provides over 1,100 user queries that have been requested by users,[12] and advanced users may write their own queries to get specialized information from the database.[13]


Open Dental can be scaled from a single, one-computer user in a small office to dozens of computers per server over multiple physical locations.[14]





Treatment Plan






Best Dental Practice Management Software Provider 2018, Global Health & Pharma (GHP) [23] 2017 Dental excellence Awards: Best New/Updated Software/Service[24]

See also


  1. ^ "Open Dental Software - Linux and Mac". Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Open Dental Software - Region and Language".
  3. ^ "GNU". Open Dental Software Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  4. ^ "Open Dental Software Manual - C#, Linux, and Macintosh". Open Dental Software Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  5. ^ "Business Name Search". Oregon Secretary of State. State of Oregon. Archived from the original on 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
  6. ^ Downes, P.K. (2007). "Putting it all Together: Dentistry and the Internet". British Dental Journal. 203 (2): 74–86. doi:10.1038/bdj.2007.633. ISSN 0007-0610. PMID 17660777.
  7. ^ "Open Dental Database Documentation". Open Dental Software Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  8. ^ Coronel, Carlos; Peter Rob; Keeley Crocket (2008). Database Systems. Cengage Learning EMEA. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-84480-732-1.
  9. ^ Sam Drake; Wei Hu; Dale M. McInnis; Martin Sköld; Alok Srivastava; Lars Thalmann; Matti Tikkanen; Øystein Torbjørnsen; Antoni Wolski (2004). Architecture of Highly Available Databases. International Service Availability Symposium (ISAS). pp. 1–16.
  10. ^ Jackson DM, Jahnke LR, Kerber L, Nyer G, Siemens K, Clark C (2007). "Creating a Successful School-based Mobile Dental Program". Journal of School Health. 77 (1): 1–6. doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.2007.00155.x. PMID 17212753.
  11. ^ "St. David's Community Health Foundation Leadership: Dental Program". St. David's Community Health Foundation. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  12. ^ "Open Dental Query Examples". Open Dental Software Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  13. ^ "Open Dental Software Manual - User Query". Open Dental Software Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  14. ^ "Open Dental Software Manual - Multiple Locations". Open Dental Software Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  15. ^ "Open Dental Software - Appointments Module". Open Dental Software Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  16. ^ "Open Dental Software - Family Module". Open Dental Software Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  17. ^ "Open Dental Software - Account Module". Open Dental Software Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  18. ^ "Open Dental Software - Treatment Plan Module". Open Dental Software Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  19. ^ "Open Dental Software - Chart Module". Open Dental Software Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  20. ^ "Open Dental Software - Images Module". Open Dental Software Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  21. ^ "Open Dental Software - Manage Module". Open Dental Software Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  22. ^ "Open Dental Software - eServices". Open Dental Software Inc.
  23. ^ "Global Health & Pharma - Open Dental Software". Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  24. ^ " announces the 2017 Dental Excellence Award winners".