What Makes Flex’s Paperless Forms For Open Dental So Smart?

What Makes Flex’s Paperless Forms So Smart?

Flex’s online forms for Open Dental are smart. Like, REALLY smart. In fact, if our forms were any smarter, they could write this article themselves.

Exaggerations aside, there are some very intelligent features that we’ve designed for our online forms that make a big difference in your practice’s workflow and in ease-of-use for the patient. And, while there are many options out there for online paperless forms, there are some considerable differences between Flex and other technologies. So what makes our forms so smart? It boils down to our team’s understanding of how forms affect the user experience of both practices and patients while developing features that simplify key workflow challenges.

Communication With Your Open Dental Software

First off, any online form you are utilizing should be able to communicate with your practice management software. Otherwise, you’ll save paper but you won’t save time because you’ll have to manually add all form data into your management system. Flex’s patient communication tools have a super-tight integration into Open Dental practice management software, so all data captured by our forms gets automatically added to the patient chart. This means, no importing, transferring, or downloading forms. All respective fields will be updated with the patient's input. And, the communication works both ways (it's like best friends that never stop talking to each other). Not only can Flex write to the patient chart in Open Dental, but our forms can also access/import information to save your patients time when completing their new patient or medical history forms. More on that shortly. 

With regard to uploading forms to Open Dental, Flex knows exactly where to place each kind of data. For example:

  • A PDF copy of the legal document is stored in the Images Module
  • Patient information, referral source, communication preferences, etc. sync to the Family Module
  • Medical history, service notes, and custom questions are placed in the Chart Module


We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions, especially in the dental industry. Every practice has its own unique processes, so technologies should adjust to meet their needs. We built our forms to be highly customizable, so your practice can get any patient information you deem necessary for each appointment. Need an extra field? No problem. Want to remove fields? No problem. Have you started placing implants and need a specific form for the new service you’re offering? Again, no problem. 

Not only do we offer a high level of customization - our team also excels at helping you get everything dialed in and set up just the way you want it. While we have made our forms simple to update and edit with a quick copy/paste or click/drag, we understand that there are times you may need help from a Flex-pert. All you have to do is reach out! 

Choice of In-Office or Remote Forms

Paper forms were great in the 20th century but it’s time to step into the 2020s. With Flex, you can choose between two options for having patients complete their forms:

  • In-office - You can always have patients complete forms in person via Flex. When your patient arrives at your practice, they can complete their new patient, medical history, or consent forms on a tablet. The form information is automatically uploaded into the patient’s chart in Open Dental (in all the right places) and they’re good to go.
  • Remote via email or text prior to their appointment - Flex forms for the win! You can send a link to your patient securely via email or text prior to their appointment so that they may complete any needed forms beforehand and be ahead of the game when they arrive at your practice. Any form that is sent is documented in the patient’s communication log in Open Dental. Once the patient submits the form, the data immediately syncs to the patient chart in Open Dental (again, in all the right places) and an alert is added in Flex that their forms have been completed. Your patient will be ready to get in the chair as soon as they step foot through your door. It's that easy!

Dynamic, Pre-Populated Fields

A hallmark of building efficient workflows is limiting tasks to their essential elements. In other words, you don’t want to make patients spend time completing the same form fields every visit or fields that aren’t relevant to their demographics. 

For example, if you email or text your patient a health history form via Flex, all of their demographic data will be pre-filled based upon the current data stored in their chart in Open Dental. This is especially useful if the patient needs to complete multiple forms. So their name, date of birth, address, etc. will all be pre-filled.

Flex forms also feature dynamic fields that adjust based upon what information is provided and what questions are relevant to their demographic or medical history. For example, if the patient is a 65-year-old male, our forms will not ask questions about whether the patient is nursing or pregnant, as those fields would not be relevant to this particular patient’s situation. This helps reduce the number of questions asked and improves the overall patient experience. Again, it all comes back to efficiency.  


Integration, customization, dynamic/ pre-populated fields, and the ability to have forms completed remotely all make Flex forms pretty smart. But, automation is the secret sauce that makes our forms

The foundation that Flex was built upon revolves around a vision of technology as a means to drive efficiency for your staff and your patients. Automation allows Flex to perform routine tasks at scale, so you don’t have to spend your time sending emails or making phone calls - these automated processes are triggered by your workflow in Open Dental and then executed by Flex. 

For example, when you have a new patient schedule an appointment, Flex will know by the appointment type in Open Dental that this patient will need to complete onboarding forms. You can set up Flex to automatically email or text onboarding forms to every new patient that books an appointment with your practice. You can also automate health history updates for existing patients and consents for those patients with a pending procedure scheduled. Rather than manually sending out all of these forms, Flex takes care of it for you. How smart is that?

The Flex Paperless Workflow For Open Dental 

To recap, let’s take a look at the workflow of our forms, how they save you time, and improve your patient’s experience: 

  • Your patient books an appointment either over the phone or online via FlexBook.
  • The applicable forms are automatically emailed or texted to the patient via Flex.
  • The patient completes the forms remotely on their own device. All demographic data is pre-filled and only relevant questions are asked due to the form’s dynamic fields.
  • You are notified via Flex that the forms have been completed. The patient’s file is updated in preparation for their visit.
  • The patient arrives and they are ready to be seen by the doctor. 

We realize that there’s no time for wasted time in a busy dental practice. After all, Flex was developed in a fast-paced start-up practice (read more here). We also understand that the technologies you embrace in your practice can have a sizable impact on your customer’s experience, so we’ve kept that in mind as well. We want your patients to love using Flex as much as you do.

Ready to learn more about Flex?

While we have stuffed a ton of Einstein-level smarts into our forms, they are only one aspect of what Flex has to offer. Please visit our learning center to see more features that Flex includes to supercharge your practice. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly at chris@flexdental.co or contact a member of our team via the button below.   

If you’re an Open Dental user looking for a patient communication solution, please ask for opinions of our solution from other Open Dental practices. We pride ourselves on creating Flex fans for life. The words of our customers are our best reference and we think you’ll like what you find.

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