Should I Inactivate or Archive This Patient?

Learn what the different patient status options in the Family File mean.

A common question I get when consulting with offices is, “What is the difference between inactivating and archiving a patient”? This is a good question because the way you use patient statuses in the Dentrix Family File affects your active patient base numbers. There are four different patient statuses you can assign in Dentrix.


Someone with a Patient status is an active patient in your practice and will be included in search results and reports.


Someone with a Non-Patient status is not seen as a patient in your practice, but can be a guarantor or insurance subscriber for another patient. For example, the father of one of your patients who is not a patient himself would be entered in the family’s account as a non-patient guarantor. Anyone with a Non-Patient status should not have a first visit date or a last visit date listed in the Family File.


Patients are most often changed to an Inactive status when they have not been seen in more than a year and you have tried to contact them without results. Inactive patients are removed from continuing care lists and can be filtered out of reports. However, clearing out an inactive patient’s continuing care or rejecting their treatment plans will help to keep your database clean.


The Archived status is best for patients who have notified you that they will no longer be seen as a patient in your practice, or patients who have died. Archived patients are removed from all search results and continuing care lists, all future appointments for the patient in the Appointment Book are deleted, and all insurance information in the Family File is deleted.

Using these guidelines for how you assign patient statuses will help keep your numbers more accurate in Dentrix and will also help keep your database clean.

So, should you inactivate or archive a patient? Take each status into consideration and make a decision on a patient-by-patient basis.

Learn More

If you found these ideas helpful, learn more about the Dentrix Profitability Coaching Program, where one of our highly skilled and experienced profitability coaches teaches you and your team these and many other great concepts, strategies and ideas.

By Irma Loftis, Henry Schein One Practice Consultant