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Sending Email Messages

Email must be set up before you can send emails. Regular email is not a secure method of sending PHI. See Encryption of Data in Transit.

You can send emails from several areas of Open Dental including:

The Edit Email Message window will open so you can enter email details.

When sending, the window is in compose mode. The Sent/Received status will be Neither and the Date/Time will be Unsent.

  1. Enter and verify information about the recipients and sender.
    • From: Defaults to the default email address in General Email Settings or the logged on User's Email (if set up). The dropdown to the right lists all email address options for this user. Click the dropdown to change, or manually enter an alias (e.g. If bob@gmail.com is selected in the dropdown, and "Sparkly Dental <bob@gmail.com>" is entered, the recipient will see "Sparkly Dental" instead of "bob@gmail.com". Email addresses tied to digital signatures cannot be edited.
    • To: Defaults to the patient’s email address on file. If you begin typing a new email, a recommended contact list will populate. You can select from the list, or continue typing the address.
    • CC (carbon copy): Enter email addresses that will receive a copy of the message. Blank by default.
    • BCC (blind carbon copy): Enter email addresses that will be sent a copy of the message, but who will not show as a recipient on any other recipient's email copy. Blank by default.
    • Signed By: Only shows if Encrypted Email has been set up on the local computer for the 'From' email address. Click Sig to see details (see Digital Signatures below).

  2. Enter the email message subject and body.
    Subject: The subject of the email message.
    Body: The message text. If an email autograph is associated with the "From" address, it is inserted by default. If the autograph is associated to multiple email addresses, the autograph listed first is inserted.

    To insert an Email Template, select it and click Insert. The template’s subject and message will replace any existing text (including autographs) and associated attachments will be added.

    To insert an Email Autograph, select it and click Insert. The autograph will automatically insert at the end of the email body text.

  3. To attach images or files, click Attach, select the file, then click Open.
    Double click an attachment to preview.
    Right click to Open, Rename, or Remove the attachment.

  4. To send a clear text message (not encrypted), click Send.  The message will be sent out immediately.
    To send an encrypted email (standard or Direct), click Direct Message. Encrypted Email must set up for the sender and the recipient must be a 'trusted source'. If you experience issues sending encryped email, it can be a permission issue. Try running Open Dental as an administrator.

All messages are permanently saved. They can be viewed in the Email Inbox, Sent Messages tab, and in the Account and Chart modules.

Save: Save an email without sending. Saved emails attached to a patient list in the Chart module and Commlog. If Open Dental shuts down unexpectedly, emails that are in progress are automatically saved.

Delete: Delete a sent email from Open Dental. It will remain on the mail server, but will not download again.

When you add an attachment, you will be prompted to locate and select the file.

  • If images and documents are stored in a local or network folder (see Data Paths), a list of all images in the selected patient's A to Z folder on the local or network folder will display first. Locate the file and click Open to select it.
  • If images and documents are stored in Dropbox, a Select Files window will open listing all images in the selected patient's Dropbox A to Z folder.

Double click a file to select it, or highlight it and click OK.
Click the right arrow to refresh the list.
Click Preview to view a selected file on-screen.
Click Select Local File to search for the file on the local drive.

Digital Signatures
When sending encrypted email, a digital signature is sent with the message. To view signature details, click Sig.

See Email Settings and Errors.


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