OpenDental Recall Setup & Information

A patient's recall appointments are determined by their Recall Type(s).  Every patient is either a Prophy or Perio recall type, and you can add other recall types as needed.

A patient's recall type(s), along with due dates and scheduled dates, shows in the upper right of the Family module, Recall grid.


Red entries indicate the patient's recall appointment is overdue.

Prophy vs Perio: By default, every patient starts with a Prophy recall type. Prophy and Perio are mutually exclusive. To quickly toggle between Prophy or Perio, click Set Prophy/Set Perio.  To set a patient as perio, you MUST manually click Set Perio.  Just completing a perio procedure is not enough to trigger a perio recall. 

Every time a recall appointment is set to complete, recall dates, status, and notes are reset.

Age Limits: Only Prophy Recall Types can automatically change based on age. Other recall types (e.g. bitewings, pano, FMX) do not. If other recall types are age-specific, when a patient reaches the age limit, you must manually delete the current recall type, then add the new recall type. For example, if children 12 and under use the 2BW code (D0272), but adults use the 4BW code (D0274), first add the 2BW recall type to children 12 and under. When a child turns 13, delete the 2BW recall type and add the 4BW recall type. There is currently no automation. See Feature Request #3726.

Recall and Confirmation List Defaults

Recall and confirmation setup options control default behavior when sending reminders from the Recall and Confirmation Lists.

In the Main Menu, click Setup, Appointments, Recall.


Customize a Message
To change message text, double-click on a row.


Text with brackets [NameF] indicates variables you can use to pull information directly from the database. For example:

"[NameF], you are due for your regular dental check-up on [DueDate]"

will look like this in the message:

"John, you are due for your regular dental check-up on 01/12/2015."


  • There is a 160 character limit. If using Integrated Texting, a carriage return add two characters.

  • The following characters are allowed: a-z, A-Z, 0-9, . , : ; ! ? ( ) ~ = + - _ \ / @ $ # & % If other characters are used the message will fail.

  • If using CallFire, adding a carriage return (Enter) to the message will cause it to be cut off at the carriage return when the message is sent. 


The status determines the default status applied when you mail, e-mail or text message a reminder from the Recall or Confirmation List.

  • Status for mailed recall, Status for e-mailed recall:  Customize options in Definitions, Recall/Unsch Status.

  • Status for e-mailed confirmation, Status for text messaged confimation:  Customize options in Definitions, Appt Confirmed.


The following default options apply when you print postcards from the Recall List.

  • Postcards per sheet (1,3, or 4): The number of postcards to print per sheet.

  • Show return address: Check the box to print the Practice's return address on postcards.

  • Adjust Postcard Position in Inches: Change the offset when printing.

Recall List Defaults

The settings below determine which patients show in the Recall List and how they are grouped.

  • Types to show in recall list: Highlight the Recall Types that show. If you add a custom recall type, you may want to add it. To highlight multiple types, click and drag, or press Ctrl while clicking.

  • Recall List Default View: Select default view options.

    • Group Families: Group patients in the same family together.

    • Days Past: Determines the default start date. The farther back you go, the less patients will slip through the cracks. Once you get your recall under control, consider leaving it blank to include all previous patients.

    • Days Future: Determines the default end date.

  • Exclude from the list if recall scheduled: Exclude patients with a scheduled recall appointment.

  • Exclude from the list if any future appt: Exclude patients who have any scheduled appointment.

  • Also show in the list if # of days since: Each patient will first show up on the list when they are due for recall. Once a reminder (Commlog of type Recall) is created, they will disappear from the list until they are due for their next reminder. The following options set the reminder criteria:

    • Initial Reminder: The number of days from the first reminder until the second reminder is triggered (e.g. 90 days from first reminder).

    • Second (or more) Reminder: The number of days from the second reminder until the third and subsequent reminders are triggered (182 days from the second reminder).

    • Max # of Reminders: The maximum number of reminders before a patient is removed from the list. Some offices believe there should be no maximum; in these cases leave the box empty.


The Use e-mail if setting determines when e-mailing is the default method for a patient recall reminder.

  • Has Email Address: When a patient does not have a Preferred Confirm or Recall Method set on the Patient Edit window, but has an e-mail address entered, e-mail will be their default method.

  • E-mail is preferred contact method: E-mail will be a patient's default method only when set as the preferred option on the Patient Edit window.

Please refer to Open Dental Manual at for more information.

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