Images Module

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

When you scan forms or images, they are saved as simple jpg files, making them always available to other programs. In addition to scanning forms, you can also import other file types, including Word, PDF, and Excel formats.

Note: For more complex digital imaging requirements (e.g. x-rays), you need imaging software. It is very common to use one program for dental practice management and a different program for image management. See Program Bridges for information on using the many bridges that we support.

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 Images Module Preferences to determine whether the tree view is collapsed or expanded.
See Definitions: Image Categories to customize folders/categories.

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 Information below).

Images Toolbar

Printer: Opens the Select Printer window so you can print the selected image. The image will automatically be sized to fit the printed page.
X: Delete the selected image.
I: Display image information, such category, name, date, type and description. Some information can be changed. See Image Information below.
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.
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.
Import: Import an existing file from your computer or network. You can only import one file at a time.
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 an item from the clipboard into the selected image folder.
Template: See Template Forms.
Capture: Capture an image with a Suni Sensor.

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

Slider: Click and drag each edge of the slider left or right to adjust the pixel windowing values for the selected image. Windowing is useful for images like radiographs because it isolates gray levels. Changes are visible in the preview as you drag. For more details, see Enhancing Radiograph Images.
Crop tool: Click to activate, then click and drag to draw a rectangle around the part of the image you want to keep. When you release the mouse button, a confirmation message will show. Click OK to remove the parts of the image outside of the drawn rectangle. This cannot be undone.
Hand tool mode: Click to activate, then click on the image and drag to move it around the preview pane.
Magnifying Glass: Zoom in and out in 50% increments. Click 100 to view at 100%.
Rotate: The last three buttons let you flip and rotate the image in 90 and 180 degree increments. Flipping only changes the way an image is displayed, it does not change the actual file. The reason being that the image is in a compressed format, and changing it would result in a slight loss of data as the image is recompressed.

Image Information

To access and edit file information, click the Info button in the toolbar or right-click on a file, then click Info. This window will also open when you scan or import a file.

Categories: Correspond to folder names. Select the category the image should be stored under. Customize options in Definitions, Image Categories.
File Name: The name and location of the file. Files are automatically named using this format: LastnameFirstnameUniquenumber (the autoindex number of the document table in the database). They are stored in the patient's A to Z folder.
Date and Time: Defaults to the time the image was captured. Affects sort order.
Type: Determines the type of document you have entered. Changing the type will change the file icon in the list.
Tooth Numbers: If this file pertains to a tooth, you can enter numbers for reference.
Optional Description: This will show in tree view with the file date.
Audit Trail: View a log of all changes to the item (creating, editing, deleting).

Moving Files into the Images Module

To move files into the Images Module, you have four options.

  1. Scan the documents or images. See Scanning.
  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.


Error: HRESULT E_Fail has been returned from a call to a COM component.

Solution: This error can occur when you select a PDF image in the Images module and your internet browser does not have the proper plugin. To resolve follow these steps:

  1. Set Internet Explorer as the default internet browser.
  2. Verify that Adobe Reader plug-ins are set correctly. See
  3. Open the PDF file using Internet Explorer. The PDF should open in Internet Explorer, not Adobe.
  4. In Open Dental, Images module, open the PDF file. It should now be viewable.

If desired, you may change back to your original default internet browser.