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March 2008


DentaLab News

from Mainstreet Systems & Software...

March 2008

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Survived Another Winter!

Today as we write this newsletter, it is the first day of spring. Everyone is back on the job and over their late-winter illnesses as we are wrap up the April release as well as several custom projects. We have appreciated your patience and cooperation these past few weeks when we had one person handling the workload of three.

The next release of DentaLab for QuickBooks, scheduled for April, will bring you these new features:

  • When creating a new Product Group, you will be shown a grid of all the active items with a checkbox on each one to easily select those to be included in the group. In addition to each item name, the grid will also show the item description.
  • When creating a new Customer Group, you will be shown a grid of all the active customers with a checkbox on each one to easily select those to be included in the group. In addition to each customer name, the grid will have columns for the account code, the company and address.
  • Pan codes continue to be used in many labs, so at their request, we are showing the pan code in more places such as the grids for batch work tickets and batching invoicing, in the Cases To Be Shipped report.
  • In conjunction with QuickBook's expansion of the item description, we have increased the item description to show up to 1000 characters on the invoice and on the printed item list. Until we complete the upcoming materials disclosure set of features as part of Good Manufacturing Practices compliance, this can be used as an interim measure to show the materials you have used. Due to space restrictions and the desire of many labs to keep these reports as short as possible, we have not expanded the item descriptions on case-related reports.
  • The case entered/received date can now be transferred to the QuickBooks invoice. There will be an entry in your Options/Settings for invoices for the transfer of this date that will by default be checked on. If you wish to show it on your invoices, you will need to use the Customize option in the QuickBooks invoice screen to specify this.
  • For the standard Technician Productivity Report, we have added sub-totals by date for those times when you specify a range of dates.
  • You will now have an option to delete a Standard Procedure you no longer use, even if it has been used in a case . The system will detect if the Standard Procedure has been used in one or more cases and give you a warning so that you decide whether to confirm or cancel the deletion.
  • When creating a new Standard Procedure, if you choose a billable item that has an Incentive Pay by Percentage schedule already setup, you will be asked if you want the items in this schedule transferred to the standard procedure. This is designed to both save time and assure coordination between Incentive Pay and your Standard Procedures.

Those with up-to-date support agreements should call when ready to download the release to get the current authorization codes. Our special thanks to the labs who contributed suggestions for this release: Advanced Cosmetic, Breaux, Killian, Nellmar, RGK, Rogers


Coming to the USA

Chris Kelly, who has been an enthusiastic user of DentaLab for QuickBooks in Australia, will be coming to the USA in June for the SLEEP 2008 trade exhibit in Baltimore, Maryland. He will also be spending some time with us here in Pennsylvania. Through his lab work at Orthoplant in Sydney, he has created a successful product for the treatment of snoring that he would like to introduce into this country. If you would be interested in offering this specialty through your lab, Chris would like to talk to you. To learn more, visit his website at Let us know if you would like to join us during his visit here.



Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many users can we have with your software?

A: If you choose QuickBooks Enterprise, you can have up to 5, 10, 15 or 20 concurrent users depending on the license you choose. With QuickBooks Pro and Premier, you can license for 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 users. With DentaLab for QuickBooks, you can choose from 1 to 200 concurrent users. Both systems are programmed to detect how many stations have the program loaded at the same time and will tell you if you are trying to exceed the maximum for which your are licensed. Keep in mind that for DQB case management, you need QuickBooks only for synchronization and for creating invoices.

Q: Can I keep more than one Window open at a time?

A:Yes, this is particularly helpful when needing to go back and forth between the Case List and Case Entry. We do not recommend, however, having a huge number of windows open at one time as this will ultimately slow your screen reaction time and may cause confusion. We do recommend that if you are in the process of making an entry, take a few seconds to finish it, save it and close the window. This is a lot less confusing than having a bunch of unfinished tasks.

Q: What is the purpose of the item note field?

A: The item note is a free-form text field available for you to record anything special about a specific item that you would like to see recorded for the case history and shown on the standard work ticket. For instance, if one item requires a special shade or applies to just one tooth or needs special attention, you can record this in the item note field by double-clicking to edit the item from the case item grid.


With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.


The Hardest Job of All

One of the hardest things we have to do is rescue a lab that encounters hardware or personnel problems but has failed to follow the basic guidelines for all computer systems. Since the start of the year, four labs have called in reporting hardware failures. Three out of the four could not find their installation CD and guide, had not kept their system up-to-date and most serious of all, had not performed a backup recently, With enough research and gathering of resources, we can generally take care of the first two of these, but there is no way we can recoup all of your data if your disk has gone bad and you do not have a backup copy. Both QuickBooks and DentaLab for QuickBooks have convenient, easy-to-use backup and restoration procedures available. But you have to be the one to make sure this is being done on a regular basis once or twice each day.


Recently, we added to our backup procedures a lightweight portable hard drive from Iomega that can hold up to 160GB of data in a little silver sliver measuring about 3 x 5 inches and weighing a couple of ounces, making it very easy to take off-premise. Two other increasingly popular media are web-hosted backups if you have high-speed broadband connection to the Internet and the tiny flash drives. All of these are very inexpensive, all super-convenient.


Microsoft Vista or XP?

Vista is Microsoft's most recent operating system. Its two most prominent features have been the striking screen graphics and its security features. It has tried to solve the issue of ever-increasing malware (such as viruses, spyware, adware, trojans) by only allowing software with specific permission. It has not been a smooth ride, however, as use of this operating system requires more learning and more settings than many users can handle. There have been many conflicts and frustrations as users give permission for one software program but do not understand that there are other software programs that are called upon in the process of using the first one. It has not always been clear which controls and which settings to use for various software programs.

We have heard from many labs that they tried Vista and asked to go back to XP. Our computer journals report that this has happened in many other businesses. If given a choice, we would recommend XP unless you are willing to go through the learning curve or for some reason need the extra security of Vista. XP is still supported by Microsoft and still available for licensing.

In our own lineup of computers, we have one station with Vista to assure compatiblity with our software, but have not licensed it for the rest of our development and testing statons. Like many others, we are hoping that as service packs become available from Microsoft, Vista will become easier to use and understand.



Customization is available for all products.


Product Costing
Knowing the cost of producing a product or service is essential to any business. This knowledge can become critical if faced with competitive pricing or with opportunities for new business based on meeting price requirements. Cost analysis is an important part of maximizing profits. At times it may uncover ways to reduce costs.

  • Estimate production costs
  • Allows for price experimentation, potential profits
  • Easy to understand samples included to get you started
  • Clear and comprehensive reports
  • Integrate with QuickBooks, DentaLab for QuickBooks, or create your own entries


Available now at a special introductory price.

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

"I first met Elaine in 2002 when she was supporting my employer's DOS based version of Dentallab (DLAB). From the start, she proved to be not only cordial, but an extremely knowledgeable source of information. We constantly asked her for customization and functionality that were well beyond what her software was originally intended for. She did it quickly and accurately. Best of all, she did it because her company is focused on customer satisfaction."

Shane Purnell
Phoenix Business Systems

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