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Messaging Buttons

Messaging buttons appear in left vertical toolbar below the module buttons. They work with Messaging to communicate with other computers in the office using light, sound, and/or text. They are a shortcut that is the equivalent of clicking a sequence of messaging elements in the Manage module. Clicking a button can cause it to light up, cause other buttons to light up, or can trigger no light at all. To acknowledge a lit message button, click on it.

To customize message buttons, you must complete two steps:

  1. Set up Messaging Elements (select colors, rows).
  2. Set up Messaging Buttons (button text, position, assign messaging elements). See Messaging Button Setup below.

Example 1:  Notify a doctor they are needed in operatory 1: In this example, clicking one button on one computer causes a different button to light on other computers. This setup is useful when you want to communicate both "who" is needed and "where". You only have to know who you are calling, not the location.

  • On the operatory 1 computer only, set up a button for 'Doctor' with the doctor 'User' element attached.
  • On all computers, have a button for 'Op 1' (this is the default).
  • In operatory 1, the assistant clicks the Doctor messaging button. This lights up the Op 1 button (row 3) with the doctor's color on all computers (blue).

Example 2: Notify all workstations that a patient is ready.

  • On all computers, set up a button for 'PtReady' (this is the default).
  • The front desk clicks PtReady. This lights up PtReady (row 6, pink) on all workstations.

More examples are provided at the bottom of this page. See also: Webinar: Messaging and Messaging Buttons.

Messaging Button Setup
Set up includes selecting the computers a button will show on and the messaging elements that cause a row to light up. Some buttons may apply to all workstation, others will apply to specific workstations.

  • Light row of a messaging element determines the button location (row 1, 2, 3, etc.).
  • Light color of a messaging element determines the light color.

A few messaging buttons are preset to help you get started.

  • Op 1, Op 2, Op 3
  • PtReady: Intended to be used by the front desk when a patient is ready to go back to the room.
  • PhAsst: Intended to be used when the person answering the phone is on the phone and needs assistance.
  1. From the Main Menu, click Setup, Manage, Messaging Buttons.

  • All computers in the office list on the left. The computer that you are currently on is indicated by (this computer).
  • All buttons currently set up for the selected workstation show on the right, listed in row order. If -1-, -2-, etc. shows, the button is blank on this workstation. Click the up/down arrows to reorder buttons.
  1. Select the computer(s) this button will be set up on (an individual computer or All). Some buttons will be the same for all computers (e.g. Op 1, Op 2, Op 3, Pt Ready, Ph Asst). Others should be specific to each operatory (e.g. Doctor to Op 1 should be set up on the operatory 1 workstation only. Doctor to Op 2 should be set up on the operatory 2 workstation only.)  
  2. Double click the Button row to set up (on the right). 

  1. Enter button criteria, then click OK.
    • 'Applies to all computers' vs 'Only applies to one computer' is set on the previous screen.
    • Text:  The exact label that will appear on the button. About 7 characters fit on a messaging button line.
    • Synch Icon (optional): Refers to one of the cells in the 3 x 3 grid in the main program icon.   The cells are numbered 1-9, right to left, starting with the top row and working down. So the top row is 1-3, second row is 4-6, and bottom row is 7-9. If you specify a cell, it will light up when this message button is clicked. Then, if Open Dental is minimized, or covered up by another program, you can still see the light in the taskbar. It's small, but still visible.
    • To User, Extras, Message: Select the Messaging Elements that will determine the behavior of this button. Light color, sound, and light row is determined by each element. 

In the example above, this messaging button will only show on OP1's workstation. Clicking 'Doctor' will call the user 'Doctor' into Operatory 1. The Op1 button will light up blue on all computers ('To Op 1' has a light row of 3 which is the row of the Op1 button; blue is the doctor's light color).

Other Messaging Button Examples
Message button that calls the Assistant to operatory 2: On the Op 2 computer, clicking Assistant will light up the Op2 button pink on all computers ('To Op 2' has a light row of 4 which is the row of the Op2 button; pink is the assistant's light color. The sound will be 'Assistant Op 2'.)

Message button for a location (Operatory 1): Clicking this button sends no message. Rather, it shows on all computers and lights up (using the user's color) when a 'To Op 1' message is sent is from operatory 1.

Message button that lights PtReady on all workstations: On all computers, clicking this button will light up the Pt Ready button and the sound will be ''Patient Ready'.

Hints: To quickly change the default messaging button setup for your office, here are a few guidelines.

  • The first and second row are initially blank on all workstations. On each operatory workstation, set up a 'this computer' setting that calls a user (e.g. Doctor, Assistant) to that operatory (e.g. To Op 1).
  • If you have more than three operatories, create more 'location' messaging buttons (e.g. Op 4, 5, 6, etc.). You will need to create new message elements for each (To Op 4, To Op 5) and in each element set the correct light row. Move the PtReady and Ph Asst buttons down a few rows to accommodate the new buttons.
  • If you have more than three users that you want to call using a button, create more 'user' message buttons (DrA, DrB, Hygienist) that call each user to each operatory (To Op 2, To Op 3). In each user message element, select a unique light color and sound. Move the Op, PtReady, and Ph Asst buttons down to accommodate the new buttons.


  • 'Message' element properties will override 'user' element properties.
  • Specific buttons can be set up on specific computers.  However, if on computer A you set up an Op1 button in row 5, and for all computers you set up an Op 2 button in row 5, computer A will never see the Op 2 button setup for all computers.
  • For buttons to work correctly, the light row in a Messaging Element and the button location (row) in Messaging Button Setup must match. 
  • Synch icon doesn't work: This may be due to your operating system. Contact us.


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