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Troubleshooting Slowness 

See Troubleshooting for installation issues.

If Open Dental is not as fast and responsive as you would like it to be, here are some steps that can be taken.

Update Version
Update to the most recent build of the currently installed version.  Or update to the newest stable version.

Settings and Tools

  • Run the Test Latency tool. In the Main Menu, click Tools, Misc Tool, Test Latency. Click Test to view latency.
  • Run the Database Maintenance tool.
  • Clear Duplicate Blockouts: If switching days in the Appointments module is slow, in the Main Menu, click Tools, Misc Tools, Clear Duplicate Blockouts.
  • Appointment Module Preferences
    • Uncheck the box for 'Show ! at upper right of appts for ins not sent'.
    • Check the box for 'Appointment bubble popup disabled'.
    • Uncheck the box for 'Filter the waiting room based on the selected appointment view'.
  • When using Windows 10 and Direct X (Graphics), some users have experienced slowness in the tooth chart. This issue is resolved in version 17.2.21 and 17.3.4 and greater.

Refreshing Data
The Process Signal Interval set in Miscellaneous Setup determines how often Open Dental sends signals to the database to automatically refresh data. If you are experiencing slowness (especially very large clinics with many workstations) decreasing the number of signals sent may help. This can be accomplished by increasing the interval and/or disabling signals when workstations are inactive for a set period of time.

Topaz Signature Pads
A computer that currently or previously had a Topaz signature pad installed may experience significant slowness (10 or more seconds) in certain parts of the program such as procedure edit and commlog edit.  Follow these steps to fix:

  1. Unplug the Topaz pad from the computer if present. 
  2. Uninstall the SigPlusBasic application if present. 
  3. Follow the steps here to reinstall the Topaz pad. 

For each computer you do not want to use the Topaz pad, repeat steps 1 and 2 to uninstall the Topaz pad.

Data Path
The connection to the A to Z folders (OpenDentImages) might be slower than the connection to the database.  This is especially true if using a VPN. This slowness will be noticeable when working with images in the Images module.  If you use patient pictures, then the slowness will be most noticeable in the Family module and the Appt module when hover bubbles come up.  Open the Data Path window.  If the path at the top is a location that is over a VPN rather than in the LAN, enter an override for the current workstation. The override should point to an A to Z folders in the LAN that stays synchronized with the other A to Z folders.  Go around to each workstation and enter the override.

Slow Printing
The most likely cause is a bug in Open Dental. Many of the slow spots were fixed in June 2011, and some more in July. So to fix, just upgrade to a more current version.  If you have already upgraded and it's still slow, call to show us.  We will need to know exactly what you are trying to print.

Slow printing sometimes happens with network printers.  One way to simplify your printing issues is to connect your printer directly to a computer with a USB cable.

Vista and Windows 7 Issues
See Vista

Interference from Other Programs
Antivirus, firewall, and malware programs can cause slowness in Open Dental. The following specific programs have been verified to cause slowness:

  • McAffee (turning off is not sufficient; must be uninstalled) 
  • ZoneAlarm (turning off is not sufficient; must be uninstalled)
  • Dell ControlPoint (also consumes CPU)
  • AVG (sometimes causes issues)

The slowness issue associated with the above programs may have been solved by newer versions of those programs.  But based on this known interference, a Firewall should always be suspected.  The firewall could be software or hardware.

When testing if an antivirus is the problem, you can try using the antivirus 'disable' option, or if that doesn't work, uninstall the antivirus program. To prevent the server from being hacked during the test, unplug the server ethernet cable to disable internet access on the server before turning off the antivirus application. Unplugging the ethernet to the server means that you will test slowness before and after disabling/uninstalling the antivirus service ON THE SERVER. Because the ethernet is unplugged, clients will not be able to connect during testing.

Database optimization
There is a button at the bottom of the Database Maintenance window called Optimize. The process can take a few minutes.  If you notice a significant speed improvement and you have a very large database, you might consider running this tool once per month.

If you are using an older version of Open Dental, you can use the mysql-administrator-1.1.9-win.msi tool to run optimization.

Edit the my.ini File
See myini.

Log Slow Queries
Add the following 2 lines to your my.ini file and then restart the MySQL service.


(note: on older versions of MySQL, the syntax was:)
long_query_time = 2

The log file will be found in the mysql data folder. Examine the log for a recurring pattern of slow queries. Remove those lines when done to avoid impacting performance.

Problem:  Open Dental is running slowly or locking up for long periods of time.
Solution: Try increasing the size of your key ranges (Setup, Replication).  When new records are created, Open Dental searches for an available key value from the table it is inserting into.  If no more keys are available, Open Dental will be stuck in an infinite loop.

Problem: In one of my offices, from any client machine, Open Dental freezes just after the Log On Screen.
Solution: Restart the MySQL service, then restart the MySQL replication thread by running these SQL commands: SLAVE STOP; SLAVE START;

Electronic Prescriptions
If using Electronic Prescriptions, sluggishness when loading the Chart module may be caused by the eRx vendor's servers being unavailable. Please check the Open Dental home page, http://www.opendental.com, where we will notify customers of known issues. If you do not see a notification, please Contact us.

Open Dental takes a long time opening certain patients, or gradually gets slower over time.
Solution:  If patients were entered without setting a guarantor, this can cause slowness when opening a patient account. To see if this is the cause, run this query: SELECT COUNT(*) FROM patient WHERE Guarantor=0;
If less than 10 results are returned, this is not the cause of slowness.  If more than 10 results are returned, Contact us and we will fix it for you.
If using a version of Open Dental earlier than 7.1.24, simply update to a version greater than 7.1.24 and the issue should fix itself.


Open Dental Software 1-503-363-5432