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Store Images in Database

Storing images directly in the database is one of three options available for storing scanned images and documents (see Data Paths). Most users will not use this option, but it is important for Multitenant Hosting.


  • To prevent users from accidentally switching to this method, a password is required (password = abracadabra).
  • The decision on which method to use should be made when you first start using Open Dental. If you switch back and forth between methods, various files and images will not follow.
  • We do not recommend using Replication with images stored in database, except for distributions where the Images module is not used.

This table describes the different places where the A to Z folders are used and how the behavior differs when storing images directly in the database.

  A to Z folders Database
Images module    
Images Files are stored in A to Z folders within a sub folder by patient last name.  Thumbnails are stored in a subfolder. Images are stored in the database in document.RawBase64 and document.Thumbnail.
Statement are stored in patient images. Can email, print, view archive, etc. Statements are not being properly archived. Unhelpful error message.
\EOBs folder    
Claim Payment images Files are stored in the EOBs folder.  References linking claim payments to those files are stored in the eobattach table in the database. Images are stored in the database in eobattach.RawBase64.
\EmailAttachments folder    
Email attachments Files are stored in the EmailAttachments folder.  References linking emails to those files are stored in the emailattach table in the database. Stored in local temp folder, which does allow sending email, but does not save the attachment for later.
Claim Edit window, attachment section (this is currently a useless feature) Files are stored in the EmailAttachments folder.  References linking claims to those files are stored in the claimattach table in the database. --
\Forms folder    
Template Forms Put template forms in the Forms folder. --
\Reports folder    
RDL Reports When starting program, any .rdl files present load into a Reports button at the top. --
\SetupFiles folder    
Update Every time a Setup.exe is downloaded, it is archived here for later.  Example: Setup_12_3_21.exe --
\SheetImages folder    
Sheets Files stored in SheetImages folder.  Filenames stored in sheet.FieldName, so shared by multiple sheets. --
\Sounds folder    
This folder is obsolete and should be deleted.  All Messaging button sounds are now stored in sigelementdef.Sound. -- --
\UpdateFiles folder    
After an Update Deletes the UpdateFiles folder.  Then, recreates it and fills it with a copy of all the local files in the OpenDental folder as well as a Manifest.txt. Deletes the existing UpdateFiles row from the documentmisc table.  Then, inserts a new row containing a zipped copy of all the local files as well as a Manifest.txt.
Update version upon startup. If the program version does not match pref.ProgramVersion, then OD knows that it needs to update the local program. Looks in AtoZ\UpdateFiles\Manifest.txt to decide if those files are the right version. If not, gives user option to download new Setup.exe. Old behavior was to always download a new Setup.exe from internet.  As of 12.4, it can update the local files by pulling them from the db.
Update Setup window, Recopy button. Recopies local files to UpdateFiles folder. Compresses local files into a zip file, which then gets saved in the UpdateFiles row in the documentmisc table in the db.
\Wiki folder    
Images in the Wiki. Images are stored in the wiki folder. --
Setup.exe The most recent Setup.exe is available directly in the A to Z folders in case it needs to be run again. --
Claim Form backgrounds These are stored directly in the A to Z folders, except for ADA2006.gif and ADA2012.gif, which are baked into the exe for copyright reasons. Claimform editing is blocked, and using custom claimform backgrounds is not supported.
Document Info window Shows file size and path.  Open Folder button to jump to the A to Z folder for one patient. Shows file size as stored in database.
Backup tool Can include A to Z folders --
Sheets Can add an image to a sheet. The button to add an image or patient image to a sheet def is blocked.
Patient Picture, in both Appts and Family module Shows --
Chart module, Images section Shows thumbnails --
Chart module, daily hospital report Shows patient picture --


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