Don’t Reinvent the Wheel…Use Appointment Lists Already Available in Dentrix

Learn how to access and use various appointment lists accessible from the Dentrix Appointment Book.

Some dental offices have different methods of keeping lists of the patients who want to be seen sooner than their next scheduled appointment, if possible. These offices might use a Microsoft Word or Excel document to keep track of patients who would like to come in sooner. While these methods can work, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel! Dentrix already has a few appointment lists which are built into the software that are more efficient and easier to use.

The ASAP List

When a patient schedules an appointment and lets your office know they would like to come in earlier if possible, you can change the appointment’s Schedule Type to ASAP. When you do this, the patient’s appointment is added to the ASAP List. It’s very beneficial to have a list of patients who would like a sooner appointment because you can use that list to fill any last-minute cancellations in your schedule and avoid losing production.

The OPEN List

You can use the OPEN Schedule Type for patients who may be open to moving their appointment. It’s great for patients who have flexible schedules, such as retired patients or school-aged children on summer break. This is another list you can use to fill any cancellations in your schedule.

The Unscheduled List

The Unscheduled List is where appointments are moved once they have been broken in the Appointment Book or if you select Wait/Will call within the Appointment Information dialog box.

  • I recommend using the Break Appointment feature whenever an appointment is canceled without adequate notice, such as when a patient no-shows or cancels at the last minute. Using the Break Appointment will result in a missed appointment being recorded in the patient’s Family File.
  • Marking an appointment as Wait/Will Call is a great option if the patient cancels their appointment but isn’t ready to reschedule right away.

By moving these types of appointments to the Unscheduled List, you have the ability to follow up with those patients at a later date to reschedule their appointment. If you attempt to schedule an appointment for a patient who has an appointment on the Unscheduled List, Dentrix will warn you that they already have an unscheduled appointment. It’s important to always view the appointment on the Unscheduled List and reschedule it from there when it’s for the same procedures, to keep the Unscheduled List current.

Custom Lists

Dentrix also gives you the ability to create your own Appointment Lists and save them for future use. This allows you to be more specific in filtering the patients you are looking for. For example, remember how we talked about marking patient appointments with the OPEN Schedule Type? To easily find the list of patients you marked as OPEN, you could create a custom list.

Or maybe you want to combine two lists into one for a more comprehensive list. For example, you can create a list of patients that have an appointment scheduled with DDS1 and DDS2 within the next fourteen days and have either an OPEN or ASAP Schedule Type.

One of my favorite things about the Appointment List is how easy it is to use. You can select the column headers to sort the list. You can access a patient’s information in other Dentrix modules without leaving the list by first selecting the patient, then the desired module. Multiple appointments can be sent to the Pinboard at once to be rescheduled, and multiple appointments can be selected at once to be deleted if you find your list needs to be cleaned up. You can even drag an appointment right from the list to the Appointment Book to reschedule an appointment.

While there may be other ways of keeping lists of patients who want to come in sooner for appointments, using the Dentrix Appointment List is a better, more functional option to use!

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By Charlotte Skaggs
Certified Dentrix Trainer and The Dentrix Office Manager columnist

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for over 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at