Imaging Module

The Imaging Module is a place to scan and store most images, radiographs, forms, and letters that you would normally store in a paper chart.

When you scan or capture forms or images, they are saved as simple jpg or tif files. In addition, you can also import other file types, including Word, PDF, and Excel formats.

External Software versus Open Dental

For many years, we focused on building Program Bridges to other imaging software. We have now added enough features that you should not need any separate imaging software. You can take your radiographs directly in Open Dental. See Sensor Compatibility

Images Toolbar

Print: Opens the Select Printer window so you can print the selected image. The image will automatically be sized to fit the printed page. Not available for PDFs.

Note: Printing an image with a type of Radiograph will include a header with patient and mount information (if applicable).

Delete: Delete the selected image.

Info: Open Item Info window to view or edit image or document information (e.g., category, name, date, etc.)

Sign: Open the Signature window to attach a note to the selected image and electronically sign it. See Electronic Signatures.

Scan Document: Use the flatbed scanner of your attached device to Scan a single page document.

Scan Multi-Page Document: Use the automatic document feeder (ADF) of your attached device to scan multiple pages. Multi-page documents are saved as PDF files.

Scan Radiograph: Select when you are scanning a radiograph. The pixel windowing settings set in Imaging Setup will be used as the default. Also see Enhancing Radiograph Images.

Scan Photo: Scan a photo. Will automatically select Photos image category.

Note: Scanning steps may vary from workstation to workstation depending on settings selected in Imaging Quality and the selected scanner.

Mount / Acquire: Click to take images using an imaging device. See Select Mount and Acquire. To utilize imaging in Open Dental, first set up Imaging Devices and Mount Definitions.

Video: Click to open the Video Capture window. Use the live feed to take images and intraoral photos.

Note: An active registration key is required to utilize the Mount/Acquire and Video capture features to take images, except in the Trial Version.

Import: Import an existing file from your computer or network. Set a default path to import images from by entering the Default import folder in Preferences. When an image is imported, the Item Info window will pop up to enter notes and information.

Note: Import Logic:
  1. If an Image Category is selected, the imports go to the selected folder.
  2. If no Image Category is selected, and there is a Default Image Category set in Preferences, imports go to the default category.
  3. If no Image Category is selected, and there no default Image Category set in Preferences, imports go to the first folder in the Image Categories.

Export: Export a file to another location on your computer or network.

Copy: Copy the selected image to the clipboard. Does not work with PDFs.

Paste: Paste files or bitmaps from the clipboard into the selected mount position or image folder.

Forms: Click the dropdown to quickly add frequently used PDF files or images (e.g., surveys, after care instructions, brochures) to the selected image category. Once added to a patient, click Sign to add notes or an electronic signature. To add forms to the dropdown, navigate to Forms in the OpenDentImages folder. Paste any documents or images into this folder. Restart Open Dental to view newly added templates.

The options below only work with image files, not PDFs.

Image Categories

Files are organized in tree view by categories (folders). The documents within a folder/category are based on files stored in the patient's A to Z Folder. See Definitions: Image Categories to customize folders/categories.

Collapse All: Click to collapse all folders. Use the +/- symbols on a folder to expand and collapse as needed.
Expand All: Click to expand all folders. Use the +/- symbols on a folder to expand and collapse as needed.

Images are sorted chronologically by the date and time created (hour/minute/seconds). To change the sort order, edit the date and/or time in the info window (see Image Info).

Images stored in the category designated as Show as Thumbnails and in Chart module will display as a thumbnail within the folder.

Viewing Images

To view multiple images at once, select the first image, drag the image to the side using the title bar, then select the next image.

To move an image to a specific spot on the screen, click Windows in the upper right corner of the image.

Moving Files into the Images Module

To move files into the Images Module, you have a number of options.

  1. Scan the documents or images.
  2. Import files from another location on your computer.
  3. Drag and drop files from a Windows folder directly into an Images folder. This will not work if Open Dental is running as an administrator.
  4. Copy/Paste an image from the clipboard. Within another program, copy the image to the clipboard (Ctrl + C or Edit, Copy). Or copy an active window to the clipboard by pressing Alt + PrtScn (Print Screen is usually at the top of the keyboard above the arrow keys). Then, in the Images module, select the category and click Paste. Pasted images will not be compressed, but generally only take up 1/4 of the space of a scanned document. See also Print Screen Tool to capture screen shots that you do not want to save with any particular patient.

    If you copy/paste an existing image that's already in OpenDental, the file size may get bloated, especially if it starts out as a gif. All such images get converted to jpg with zero compression, resulting in some bloat. The current recommendation for duplicating a gif is to copy it directly to the A to Z folders using Windows.Then, return to the OpenDental Images module and refresh. The new file will be picked up and attached to the patient.
  5. Copy directly into the patient's folder. In Windows, simply select and copy the files, then paste the files into the patient's folder in the A to Z folders. The next time you open the Images module for the patient, the files will be automatically added to the tree view, and you can re-categorize or rename. This is useful when copying large quantities of files at once. Once recognized by Open Dental, do not rename or move the files, or Open Dental will not know where to find them.

PDF Files

PDF files use the default app assigned to the PDF file type on the workstation. Typically this is an Adobe product.

When viewing PDF files in the Imaging Module, a Tools Panel appears on the right side. This panel can be minimized:

Viewing PDFs in Open Dental is limited to the third-party program selected as the default PDF viewer for the workstation. If the PDF viewer is not compatible with Open Dental (i.e., causes errors or crashes the program), double-click the PDF from the image category to open it outside of Open Dental. Alternatively, consider enabling the preference, PDF files always launch in a separate window. This will require users to double-click a PDF to open it.