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Auto Codes  

Auto codes work behind the scenes to insert and validate the correct procedure code depending on a variety of tooth conditions. Auto codes can be associated with Procedure Buttons. Open Dental comes preloaded with many auto codes, but you may want to add more.


  • When you select a primary tooth, two surfaces, then click the Amalgam procedure button, the auto code will insert the correct procedure code (D2150).
  • While Entering Treatment, if you select three surfaces for a two surface procedure code, Open Dental will recognize the mismatch and prompt you to change to the recommended three surface procedure code. To set whether or not staff is required to accept auto code suggestions, see Chart Module Preferences, 'Require use of suggested auto codes'.

To reset auto codes to the default settings, see Procedure Code Tools.

Also Available: Webinar: Procedure Buttons, Quick Buttons, and Auto Codes.

Add or Edit Auto Codes
Examples of auto codes you may want to add:

  • Immediate denture
  • Non-ADA codes such as Crown Seat which could automatically select between PFM seat and All Ceramic seat based on Anterior/Posterior.
  1. In the main menu, click Setup, Auto Codes.

The auto codes listed above are the defaults. To restore the defaults, run Procedure Code Tools, Autocodes.

  1. Click Add, or double click an auto code to edit.

All procedure codes associated with the auto code will list.

  1. Enter the Description of this auto code.
  2. Add each procedure code that should be associated with this auto code and define the conditions that will trigger it. All possible conditions must be defined for the auto code to work correctly.

    Composite example (above):
    • There is one procedure code for each possible combination of Anterior/Posterior and number of surfaces.
    • 2 locations (Anterior/Posterior) multiplied by 5 surfaces equals 10 auto code conditions that must be defined for a Composite.
    • Since four-surface and five-surface fillings share the same ADA code, there will be some duplicate codes. The four surface and five surface conditions should not be put on a single auto code item, since that would require that both conditions be true for that code to be selected, which is absolutely impossible.

a. Click Add or double click an existing auto code to edit.

b. Click Change to select the procedure code from the Procedure Code List.
c. Highlight the conditions that will trigger this procedure code, then click OK to save.
d. Repeat steps a - c for each procedure code in this auto code.

When selecting conditions, there are some logical groupings. You should never select two conditions from the same group since both conditions can not possibly be met simultaneously.

  • Anterior and Posterior are opposites.
  • Anterior is also part of the Molar/Premolar group.
  • The five surfaces are a group.
  • First is the opposite of EachAdditional.
  • Maxillary is the opposite of Mandibular.
  • Primary is the opposite of Permanent.
  • Pontic is the opposite of Retainer.
  • The AgeOver18 condition is non-functional and should not be used.

Most of the conditions are simply based on tooth number.

  • For instance, for tooth number 5, the Anterior condition is false, the Posterior condition is true, and the Premolar condition is true.
  • First and Each Additional really only apply if you have selected multiple teeth on the chart and click a procedure button, perhaps for a PA. The first one meets the First condition, and the remaining will be Each Additional.
  • Pontic and Retainer are also unusual. A tooth is considered missing if it has been marked as missing in the Chart module (an extraction or using Missing Teeth). So the Pontic condition is met if the tooth is missing, and the Retainer condition is met if the tooth is not missing.
  1. Click OK to save the auto code.

Other options:

  • Hidden:  If checked, this auto code will not be available for selection on the Edit Procedure Button window.
  • Do not check codes in the procedure edit window, but only use this auto code for procedure buttons:   If checked, this auto code will only be used when entering treatment using a Procedure Button.  It will not be used for validating procedure codes entered on the Procedure Info window.  Thus, the validation message usually triggered when an entered procedure does not match the entered procedure code will no longer popup. To restart the validation message, uncheck this box.


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