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March 2007


DentaLab News


from Mainstreet Systems & Software...

March 2007

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On the first day of March, one lab called to license DentaLab for QuickBooks. On the second day, there was another...on the third day, one more. At this point, we wondered "Can we keep this going for one more day?" We came to work on the fourth day with a bit of anticipation....and by the time we left, six more said yes!


And so we are into a little March madness here at Mainstreet. Our travels will take us south to Georgia, South Carolina and Texas.


We thank Richard Palmer of Dental Lab Products for his excellent comparative article on computer software for dental labs in the January issue, which brought in over 60 requests for our 30-day trials of DentaLab for QuickBooks.


We also thank all of you who have helped spread the word and recommended us to other labs. We appreciate your not keeping us a secret.


For those who have followed the basketball players and teams we have sponsored, we are again getting ready for the classic Donofrio tournament here in the Philadelphia area in early April. Three of our players have made it to the "March Madness" that culminates in the NCAA Tournament and six are now playing in the professional ranks, with three in Europe and three in the NBA.


ANOTHER REMINDER! In the United States and Canada, Daylight Savings Time was expanded to start three weeks earlier and last one week longer than it has in the past. The start was the second Sunday in March, the end will be the first Sunday in November. Most of you have likely moved your system clocks ahead by now. But remember this: Unless you have a very new computer or atomic clock service, it is likely that your system clock will automatically spring ahead one hour on April 1, the original start of DST, and need to be set back.


Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.



Here are more frequently asked questions from your calls, as well as their answers:



Q: How do other labs handle case changes after the case has been entered?


A: This is a common occurrence and we have seen a variety of ways to change the case record stored in the computer. Many labs rely on marking changes on the work ticket so that the biller can update the case and assure correct billing. Some choose a particular ink color such as red or green to help assure that the changes are noticed. One corporate group provides colored change slips that are completed by the technician or supervisor when changes become known and these are sent to a case entry station. A few labs have a computer station out in the lab where changes can be entered by authorized personnel. For those that bill by due date or in batches, it is critical that the case record accurately reflects the work and transfers this information to the invoice.



Q: What happens to the extra fields transferred from the case to the invoice if some of the user-defined fields are already in use for customers in QuickBooks?


A: Since customers are limited to seven extra fields, we transfer in a priority sequence as follows: 1) patient name 2) teeth 3) shade 4) pan code 5) doctor's request date. The pan code and request date transfers will go into effect with release 1.11.008, as well as a transfer to the invoice ship date. The program tests to determine if user-defined fields are already in place and transfers as many as it can. You will then see which fields are available when editing your QB invoice template and can elect to display and/or print them.



Q: Does the program automatically reschedule work that has not been completed on the scheduled date?


A: No. This is a deliberate decision because many labs inform the doctor, either via the telephone or through email notifications, when cases are scheduled to be completed. The program is designed, however, to give you plenty of information on which cases are behind schedule, which cases have extra time and can be rescheduled, and on the work loads scheduled for each work center and technician, so that you can easily reschedule to whatever extent you desire.


With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.


DentaLab Tips & Techniques


We have come to know dentists better now that our support group is located in the Indian Valley Dental Arts building as well as through our design and development work with DentalRx Online. We now know that the well-established dentists work just three days a week, but these days are long ones. Those not quite as successful have to put in four. Recognizing that this is just a small sampling, here are some things they have told us about dental laboratories:

  1. They want labs to remember their notes, their preferences on how they like their work done and their choices in materials. They do not want to have to repeat this on every prescription.
  2. They try very hard to maximize every minute of their work day and would like to have prompt responses when they call the lab to discuss cases and schedules.
  3. They want to work with just a few labs, but would like a way to quickly compare prices and schedules.
  4. They seem to have no clue as to whether the labs they use do the work in house or send it to other sources or offshore.

Within all of our DentaLab systems are provisions for recording doctors' preferences and alerts, yet we find that not all labs do this. Within each case record, you can also add case-specific notes as well as notes for each line item within the case. In our discussions with well-established successful labs, we have been told that adding this extra attention to detail and professionalism has been a big factor in their strong ongoing relationships with their dentists.


Although DentaLab for QuickBooks is very easy and very intuitive, we have found that some of the features are not so obvious to everyone. Here are some of these. The system follows the standard Windows conventions for use of left single and double clicks of your mouse or other pointing device. But when there are even more options, we make use of right clicks, particularly in grids. For instance, when editing case items, you can right click to designate the last item to be scheduled before the case is sent out for tryin or to change the schedule date and rolldown the rest of the schedule. To find more, just right-click and see what is available.

Another not so obvious feature is that when a report is first displayed, you can use the standard Microsoft print controls to request printing of just one page or a few pages, rather than the whole report. Remember, too, that an additional way to find information quickly is to click the appropriate column header of a grid to sort its information in ascending order or click again for a descending sort.


We are glad that more than half of our licensees realize the value of support for not only trouble-shooting, but also continual education, guidance and enhancement of the system. Each lab's small monthly payment toward the funding of the user group program helps to assure adequate technical support and resources. We request written agreements so that each lab understands just what our commitments are. Over the years, labs have sometimes tried to make us responsible for the work and products of other vendors and sometimes even for hard-used beatup equipment. We can often give guidance on operating, data management, network, hardware and other software systems, but ultimately the responsibility for performance of these lies with the manufacturer or developer.

Our next quarterly release will be numbered 1.11.008 and will be available in April. It will feature a number of additions to the invoicing process, including the transfer of more fields from the case to the invoice, the ability to add more items and have these transferred back to the case record, and a handy calculator. Another new feature will be customer groups with reporting by customer and item within specified groups similar to the reports for product groups. For both customer and product groups, the analysis will include remake percentages. Our special thanks to these labs that contributed their suggestions: Clear Advantage, Crown, Doctor's, Mesa, Nastech.

We have found that our standard installation instructions needed minor additions regarding connectivity, security and permissions for those who have the new Microsoft Vista operating system. Nathan Stiles has developed a new white paper on this topic. Call or email if you need this.


As we move along in our 18th year of offering DentaLab software and our 3rd year of offering DentaLab for QuickBooks, we thank all of you who have contributed to their excellence and to their ever-widening acceptance and success. Whenever you have an idea for new features or conveniences in this software, please be sure to contact us before the thought passes. We will look forward to hearing from you.


Here are two news bulletins from Intuit on its QuickBooks products. With Microsoft's release of its latest operating system Vista, QuickBooks 2007 products have been developed and tested to be compatible. Earlier versions, however, are not supported under Vista and may or may not behave normally. As of May 2007, QuickBooks 2004 versions will no longer be supported by Intuit's technical staff.

QuickBooks is the #1 selling software for financial management and accounting in the world. More businesses choose QuickBooks than all the other accounting software systems combined. Recently, it received PC Magazine's Editors Choice Award with the top 5-star rating for the best software.

They also are very responsive to the needs and requests of their users. Here are some of their new features.

Speedier Cash Flow

For those using the Merchant Services of QuickBooks to process credit and debit cards, the turnaround time to get the funds into your bank account has been shortened. Typically, it will now take only two days. If you want to get started with Merchant Services, call 1-888-335-4541l, tell them you were sent by Elaine Whelan of Mainstreet Systems & Software. This will give you a special offer of no setup fee, no application fee and no service fee for two months.


The Discounts

The Affiliate Program, of which DentaLab for QuickBooks is a part, is now handled by Kowabunga. The banners on our website have changed, but the discount levels ranging from 15 to 20% for procuring QuickBooks products and services through will remain the same.


The Centers

The five centers from one Home Page for customers, employees, vendors, banking and company that were introduced last year are proving to be very popular and easy to navigate. We told Intuit that the only complaint was that some found the text too small...and were very pleased to see that the 2007 versions have bigger fonts and brighter, more colorful icons.


The Tutorials

In addition, there are a number of helps or guides, including online Help with topics, indices and searches, context-sensitive guides as you enter fields.

For one-on-one help, there are many accountants and Pro-Advisors who are expert, educated and experienced with QuickBooks to help you.

Training courses are available throughout the world. On their websites ( and are a number of tutorials to help you get started and to guide you at any time you need it.


Google Searches

The 2007 versions introduce new options to do Google searches within your QuickBooks data. In addition, a new service for Google Marketing Tools is available.

Together, QuickBooks plus DentaLab for QuickBooks provide the most comprehensive well-supported software for running your dental lab…and at very affordable fees. Let us know your plans and ideas and how we can help. We are always happy to hear from you.


Customization is available for all products.


Dental RX
We have been working with dentists on an alternate version of DentalRx that will be web-hosted and offered as an online service. The initial version will be for the USA and will include ADA insurance codes and dentist notes and preferences. Our goals for this second version remain the same:

  • Easier-to-read prescriptions
  • Provide accuracy and consistency
  • Fewer errors due to misunderstanding between doctors and labs
  • Convenient tooth chart and calendar
  • Secured access
  • Time and cost-saving features

And much more...look for this in 2007

Call 1-800-257-4535 or visit to learn more about Mainstreet Systems and our software designed specifically for dental laboratories.

"Thanks. We enjoyed having him here. It is definitely better when we are working in person as he can get a better idea from hearing our discussions. He makes everything sound simple and doable. We appreciate his expertise."

New Jersey

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