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September 2021

DentaLab NewsSeptember 2021
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News


Happening in September

In between power outages caused by Hurricane Ida's flooding of a number of our local PECO substations, we have been busy getting ready for the release of Windows 11 in October as well as the quarterly release for DQB 1.68, also scheduled for October. 

Here are some of our findings from working to assure that DQB is compatible with Windows 11: 

  • The Start button has been moved to the center of the screen.   There is an option to return it to the bottom left. 
  • It appears from this and other navigation features that they are trying to emulate Apple.
  • If you have an older version of  Microsoft SQL Server for your database,  you will need to update to SQL Server 2019 or 2021.
  • And yes, DQB will continue to be compatible with this latest Windows version. 

If you would like to update your Microsoft SQL Server version in preparation for Windows 11, give us a call.    To cover our costs, there is a fee of $100 for this update.  

QuickBooks Online vs Desktop

As longtime Intuit developers we were recently given insights into the status and plans for both the online and desktop versions of QuickBooks.  As we develop software for both DentaLab and custom systems that have synchronized with all the versions, we also develop our own critiques and preferences.  It was interesting to learn that some of these match those of Intuit and others less so. 

For QB Online (QBOE), the greatest success has been with very small businesses, those having 20 or fewer employees, who do not need job costing, inventory or customization.  For this marketplace, Intuit has gradually been adding more internet financial services such as payment processing and banking services such as checking, saving and loan accounts.   The challenges have been, as they are for all web-based operations, on the issues of security, service interruptions and price competition.  

The more capable versions such as Advanced (QBOA) have had to share the marketplace with other competitors.    When it comes to synchronization for custom applications, however, it is the Advanced version that we like the best.  Whenever a lab is OK with the QBOA monthly fee, this is the one we recommend for use with DentaLab to provide for tracking inventory and for transferring case fields to QB custom fields. 

The QB desktop versions (Pro, Premier and Enterprise) emerged from Quicken, Intuit's original flagship product for personal finances, in the 1990's.   They have had a steady beat of enhancements and new capabilities as well as a reputation for reliability and accuracy.  At this point in time, they are considered more advanced and more capable than the online versions. 

Of the three levels, we as software developers like the Enterprise version best because it is SQL based, which provides for greater reliability and volumes of data as well as coordination with many other software systems.   It also provides for more advanced inventory and costing as well as more custom fields for industry-specific needs.     With the desktop versions, you have a choice of keeping and controlling your information in-house with remote access choices such as AnyDesk or placing it on one of the many highly secure web-based services available such as Amazon Web Services.   

Because of the necessity to keep up with ever increasing internet security measures, Intuit like many of the other leaders in the computer industry has been promoting combining licensing with ongoing updates through subscriptions.  Particularly for those aspects of our software service that require patient privacy and high levels of security such as the DentalRx web portal and the Advanced Backup Protocol, we have recognized the need for ongoing service agreements and staying up-to-date.

Plans for the October release

Here are some of the highlights of work underway for DQB 1.68 scheduled for release in October 2021: 

More Update Choices from Graphic Schedules

In the Master Schedule and Weekly Schedule graphic calendars, we are adding the ability to select and record the technician who completed each case item along with the date/time.  If this has already been recorded from another source such as barcode scanning or the tablet workflow app, this information will be shown to the user.  

In the Daily Schedule graphics, we had already included the capability to record the technician.  Completion had been automatically set to the current date/time.   We are adding the capability to override this.

Patient Matching Streamlined 

In Options/Case Settings, you can indicate whether you want the program to check for On Hold, Out for Try-In, Pre-booked and/or Open/In Lab cases with a matching doctor and patient name when entering a new case. You can also indicate whether you want to have a button in case entry for Prior Patient Search so that you can check for already entered cases having the same doctor and patient as the case at hand.    The presentation of the results to show the matching cases has been streamlined.  You will now be given these choices:  

  • View/Edit Selected Case   - this will switch to the case you select to simply review and/or edit it
  • Reactivate Selected Case - this will set the status of the case you select to Open/In Lab, check the case settings on whether to reset the enter and start dates, add to the rescheduled count  
  • Continue Case Entry        - this provides for continuing with your current entry     
  • Exit

If there are multiple matching cases, you will be able to review whichever ones you wish before determining the next step.

DQB Invoice Settings:  Add Alerts Tab for More Choices

Currently there are a number of potential alert messages that can occur when invoicing a single case. 

  • You can set the default case status but also indicate you want to have the option to change the case status.  
  • You can set an indicator to limit overwriting an invoice to the same day.

In DQB Options/Invoice Settings, we plan to add an Alerts tab to include these options:

  • Do not show an alert for case items not yet scheduled.
  • Do not show an alert for case items not yet completed.
  • Automatically mark all case items completed when invoiced with invoice date/time.

New Advanced Installer

Plans are underway to develop a more advanced installer with these goals: 

  • Eliminate interruptions due to conflicts with SQL Server from other software
  • Provide more guidance and education for the user

Expansion of Email Capabilities to Individual Logins

When setting up logins and passwords in Options/Users & Security, you will be able to also provide individual authorizations for email exchanges on cases. 

Default Work Center

In Basic Lists-Work Center, we plan to provide for designating one work center as the default work center to be used whenever the user fails to select a work center for an item so that scheduling the case can proceed.  

Note that in Basic Lists-Items, you can select a default work center for each item.   This is also true for Basic Lists-Standard Procedures.  If you have multiple work centers and want to implement an efficient workflow with convenient tracking, it is best to do this.  



    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

To answer your questions....

Q: We had an alert displayed both in case entry and again at invoicing.  Can you tell us the source for these? 

A:  In Case Entry, you can enter a case communication and check the indicator to also make it an alert.  Case alerts are displayed for the specific case and do not have an expiration date. 

In Basic Lists-Customers or the Customer Center, you can enter an alert for the specific customer and check indicators to choose where you want it to be displayed in actions for that customer.  The choices are:

  • Case Entry   
  • Invoicing/Advance Bills & Estimates/Credit Memos  
  • Schedule Pickup

You can enter an expiration date for the customer alert.  For both case and customer alerts, you can specify who entered the alert.  The alert message will say whether it has been entered as a case alert or a customer alert.  If both are applicable for a case, the messages will be combined into one alert.

Q: We sometimes need to go beyond our standard item descriptions for a case.   How can we do this with DQB? 

A:  If you or the doctor have special instructions applicable to the whole case, it is best to record these in the Case Additional Notes field in Case Entry. 

If the special notes are applicable to one specific item, from the case item grid you can click on any item to display the case item detail screen.  Here are the ways you can add special notes:

  1. You can enter text in the Notes field for a specific case item. 
  2. In the Notes field of each item within a standard procedure, you can add text.  If you use the standard procedure to design the case, this will be transferred to the Notes field shown in the detail screen for the corresponding case item. Sometimes labs use the note to request that the entry person make a choice or specification.  You can change and/or add further text in this field.  
  3. In Options/Custom Fields or Basic Lists-Items, you can create up to 10 custom fields for your items.  Labs often use these for custom shades and tooth numbers applicable to a specific item.  The custom fields are available for entries in the case item detail screen.  Note that in Options/Invoice Settings, you can specify up to two of the custom fields be transferred to the QuickBooks invoice in the Other1 and Other2 fields.


      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

Mastering the Case List

In DQB, the Case List is most often used to search for and then select a case for further review and/or editing.  It can, however, be a powerful tool for pinpointing issues, improving your workflow, providing superb customer service and many other management functions. Here are the basic rules followed by a few examples to help get you started.

  • Whenever applicable, you can select the type of date and the range from the two graphic calendars plus any other criteria you wish.
  • For text fields, you can choose whether to match from beginning or anywhere in the field.
  • From the action menu (bottom left) you can customize columns to choose which fields you want to see.
  • You can click each column header once to sort in one direction and again to sort in the opposite direction
  • There are many reports and queries to provide information but often the case list can provide faster answers.
  • After each search, the program will provide case counts and from the action menu, you can export the results to Excel.
  • Remember to refresh to clear all your prior search criteria.

To pinpoint cases that may be incurring too many try-ins or remakes:

  • From the action to customize columns, set on rescheduled.
  • When applicable, select your date type and range. 
  • Click the rescheduled column header to sort to get the highest counts at the top.

To help assure that cases are being shipped on schedule:

  • From the action to customize columns, set on ship scheduled and ship scan (actual date/time). If you are capturing shipment tracking codes, also include this column.
  • Select date (range) for ship date.
  • Review columns for ship scheduled vs ship scan.  You can note the date and time. 

To quickly pinpoint cases to be shipped but still in the lab:

  • Compare the columns for ship scheduled vs case status for open/in lab and status change date.
  • You can also check the invoiced columns for date and time.
  • OR select ship date on left, then open/in lab status to find cases not yet ready

To provide priority service or special attention to your customers:

  • Setup one of the custom fields for cases for priority service (or a comparable name such as special attention).   Indicate that you want this custom field to be available during case entry. 
  • When in the case record you can enter a note in this field.
  • From action menu to customize columns, set on priority service.
  • Review the priority services you want to fulfill.

To know which cases were submitted by the dental office via DentalRx:

  • Select the date (range) for entered date.
  • Enter DRX in the entry by field.
  • Click Find to get a list of the cases and the count.
  • Typically most of the case entry will be done as well as transmission of digital files so you just need to confirm and proceed to schedule the work into the lab.

To determine if cases have been on hold or out for try-in for a long time:

  • From action menu to customize columns, set on case status and status changed (date).
  • Do not set on a date range unless you want to limit your search.
  • Choose case status for on hold or out for try-in.  Click Find.
  • Review status changed date to determine how long each case has been in the chosen status.

To share your favorite or special ways to use the case list or for more guidance:   215-256-4535 or

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Customization is available for all products.

Contact us at 1-800-257-4535 or

"I really wanted to say thank you for all your understanding and patience during the last few weeks. I am sure to go far with this system now, the versatility is endless with it, and I am confident that the support is second to none."

Christopher Kelly
Orthoplant Dental Lab
Sydney, Australia

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