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Email Inbox Window

To open the Email Inbox, in the Manage module, click Email Inbox. Below is a description of each field on the window.

Setup: Access General Email Settings for practice/clinic/group setup.

View Messages for address: Lists all mail addresses the user can view messages for. Click the dropdown to select a different address.

  • Defaults to the logged-on user's email address or the practice/clinic/group email address.
  • WebMail is for Secure Web Mails and only is an option when the logged-on user is a provider.

Inbox / Sent Messages: Inbox lists all messages received by the selected address. Sent Messages lists all messages sent by the selected address from Open Dental. Highlight a message to preview the text in the lower portion of the window. Double click a message to open it in a new window.

Inbox columns: Click a column header to sort the messages alphabetically in ascending or descending order.

  • From: The email address of the sender.
  • Subject: The subject sent with the email.
  • Date Received: The date and time the email was received by the mail server.
  • MessageType: The type of message.
    • Regular email: A clear text email.
    • Encrypted email: An encrypted email.
    • SecureWebMail (sent via the patient portal)
    • Unsent
  • Sig:  'Y' Indicates the message is digitally signed (an encrypted email) and the sender is a trusted source. 'N' indicates there is digital signature, but the sender is not a trusted source yet. Click the N to add a source to your 'trusted' list.
  • Patient: The patient attached to the email.  If blank, there is no patient attached. Open Dental automatically attempts to attach a matching patient to incoming messages using this logic: When an encrypted email with an attached Summary of Care (ccd.xml), the program searches for a match using LastName, FirstName and Birthdate. Otherwise, the program searches for a matching patient based on email address.

Sent Messages columns: The columns are the same as the Inbox, except for the following:

  • Sent To: The email address of the recipient.
  • Date Sent: The date and time the email was sent by the mail server.
  • Msg Type: The status of the message.
    • Sent: A clear text email message was sent.
    • SentDirect: An encrypted email was sent.


  • Refresh: Download new emails. Only enabled when you are currently on the 'Computer Name Where New Email is Received'. Downloaded emails are only copied from the mail server.
  • Compose: Create a new email message.
  • Reply: Create a reply message for the selected email.
  • Change Pat: Attach the message to a patient. Patients are automatically attached to incoming messages when Open Dental can find an exact match.
  • Mark Read/Mark Unread: Change the message status. Bold messages indicate unread messages. C

Search: Search for messages that meet certain criteria.

  • Select the Inbox or Sent Messages tab, select the criteria, then click Search to enter 'search mode' (turns yellow).
  • Click Clear to exit 'search mode'.

Patient: Search by attached patient. Click [...] to select the patient.
Email Address: Show messages received from or sent to an email address.
Date From/To: Show messages sent or received during a date range (DD/MM/YY).
Subject/Body: Show messages that have specific characters in the subject or body text.
Only include messages with attachments: Check to only list messages that have an attachment. Uncheck to ignore this criteria.

Computer Name Where New Email is Received: The name of the computer that can download new incoming emails from the mail server to the inbox. Set this computer in General Email Settings.

This Computer Name: The name of the current computer.

  • When this computer name is the same as the 'Computer Name Where New Email is Received', new emails will be downloaded every time you start Open Dental, open the inbox, at intervals defined in General Email Settings, and when you click Refresh.
  • When this computer name is different, you can only view emails that are already downloaded.

Delete: Delete email messages from the inbox. The email will not be deleted from the email server, however it will not download again.

  • Emails attached to a patient are removed from the inbox, yet still visible in the Commlog and Progress Notes.
  • Emails not attached to a patient are permanently removed.

See Email Settings and Errors.

If using Gmail, all messages will be downloaded, except for spam, trash, and chats. This is a POP3 issue. See https://support.google.com/mail/answer/16418?hl=en. This issue would be fixed by using IMAP protocol instead (Feature Request #3276).


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