«  View All Posts

What's the best dental practice management software? How to make the right choice

January 23rd, 2024 | 5 min. read

What's the best dental practice management software? How to make the right choice Blog Feature

Print/Save as PDF

Choosing the right dental practice management software (PMS) is a pivotal decision for any dental business. It can significantly impact the efficiency, productivity, and profitability of your practice, emerging group, or DSO. 

And with the vast array of options available, it’s hard to know where to start when making an informed decision. We suggest you start with deciding what your priorities are and what your dental business needs. 

Keep those in mind while you read this article, which covers 4 questions that will help you select the right dental PMS for you. These questions came straight from our experts at DCS, who have worked with all kinds of dental PMS, and thus, helped customers make a switch to a new one.

Here are your 4 questions to ask yourself when choosing practice management software for your dental business: 

1. Is a server-based or cloud-based PMS better for my business?

There are two types of PMS: server or cloud-based. 

Server-based means you actually download and install the dental software on a computer server. Cloud-based means you access your software via the internet with just a log-in — no download required. 

Cloud-based has become a more popular option over the years, due to its user-friendly nature. However, if your internet service is down, then so is your entire practice management system. This can cause a big halt in everything, including appointment scheduling. 

Many consider a server-based PMS a more secure option, as it’s not accessible online through a simple log-in. On the other hand, server-based software may be more costly and require more IT guidance for setup. Depending on your staff and your budget, this is something to think about.

It’s important to note that every PMS is different, with user experiences and security measures that vary widely. Look into both of these factors during your research.

Read more: 3 updates to modernize your dental office and improve revenue

2. What kind of PMS reporting do I need for dental business insights?

Comprehensive reporting within your software is necessary to keep track of your dental office’s performance. By understanding and running these reports consistently, you’ll be able to notice financial trends in your dental practice — whether good or bad — and swiftly address the changes you need to make. 

Here are a few key metrics your PMS should provide reports for: 

  • Production report
  • Write-offs report
  • Collections report (both insurance and patient)
  • A/R or accounts receivable report (both insurance and patient)
  • Reconciliation report

Read more: 5 Reports Necessary for Running a Successful Dental Practice

When researching PMS for your business, be sure to clarify and confirm with the salesperson which reports the software provides, so that you can stay aware of your business’ performance and make informed decisions.

3. How much money should I invest in a dental PMS?

Another factor to consider when choosing a PMS is your budget. It’s a careful balance: the PMS has to suit your needs but also make sense for your finances.

What can you afford to invest into a dental PMS? This question is completely subjective to you and your dental business. Everyone’s budget is different, so it’s not possible for us to tell you exactly how much you should spend, but here’s a guideline to follow…

When you research PMS options, you’ll see the range of prices and be able to gauge what the average cost is. We recommend not selecting the cheapest option or most expensive option.

In our experience, the cheapest is not likely to be the high-quality product you require. You can expect cheap software to fall short on features and technical support. And the most expensive PMS is likely overpriced and offered by a company that’s more concerned with taking your money than providing a top-notch service. 

So, calculate the average price among the more popular dental PMS options, consult with your dental peers on what they pay for their PMS, and filter out the too-high and too-low priced services from there.

Speaking of popular options…

4. Is the PMS user-friendly, reliable, and widely used?

When conducting your research, consider the PMS’ popularity and reputation. Read through as many reviews as you can to gauge how others experience the software and the company’s customer service.

This will give you a feel for how reliable the software is, and its level of quality. And while article reviews in industry magazines are helpful, it’s product reviews from real customers that will help you gauge how user-friendly it really is. 

You need a PMS that your team can learn quickly and use easily — they don’t have time for a learning curve that holds up production. Consider how your team adapts to new technologies and changes at your dental business, and let that guide your decision. 

Remember, your dental team will be in this PMS day in and day out, so choose something that will be compatible with their skill set. It’s also worth noting that some PMS include training and ongoing technical support as part of their package — be sure to inquire about those during your research and/or sales call.

And one more note about reputation: Be sure to avoid brand-new dental practice management software. While those services have potential to be the best new PMS on the market eventually, for the first year or two, they’re still working out some kinks.

It’s best to stick with a reputable, well-known company which has developed software that is sturdy, dependable, and used by many.

Related: From chaos to control: Relieve the pain points of revenue cycle management in dental practices

Choose the right dental practice management software for your dental team

To recap, be sure to ask yourself these 4 questions when researching the best dental software for your business: 

  1. Is a server-based or cloud-based PMS better for my business?
  2. What kind of PMS reporting do I need for dental business insights?
  3. How much money should I invest in a dental PMS?
  4. Is the PMS user-friendly, reliable, and widely used?

Remember to choose a dental PMS that’s a fit for your budget, your team’s skill level, and your dental business’ needs. 

DCS’ experts work with all kinds of dental PMS, but certainly have a few favorites, including  OpenDental, Curve, Dentrix, and Eaglesoft.

From years of working with each of these PMS, we can tell which one will work best for your dental team, especially when optimizing your revenue cycle.

Let us help you streamline your business: Book a free 30-minute call today.

Related Posts

Dental billing resources