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February 2012

DentaLab NewsFebruary 2012
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News


Significant changes are coming  your way

They seemed far away at first, but as the dates for the new government compliance requirements here in the USA close in, it is time to start planning for the software support that will be needed as development and testing do not happen overnight.  

One of the new federal requirements will be the excise tax on medical devices that will be applicable for most of the work produced by dental laboratories. QuickBooks already provides for automatic taxation if you specify that an item is taxable and then assign a tax item to specify the rate and chart of accounts entry.   For those who are in states and/or counties that also require taxation,  you will need to assure that you are tallying multiple taxes accurately for government reporting.

Another will be the unique device identification (UID) that will require a barcode to identify the manufacturer, manufacturer contact information, date of origin, lot number, date of shipment, product class device, risk classification.   This will likely require that a barcoded label be affixed to any packaging and possibly also the invoice or case materials disclosure form for the patient's records.  It is anticipated that a unique barcode will need to be generated for each case and shipment date.   Labs will need to register with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to obtain their UID.  

If you are in another country that is implementing new taxation and/or patient safety procedures, please let us know the details to help determine if, how and when these will need software changes.

We are also mindful that Microsoft plans to release Windows 8 at some point in the upcoming year.   This new version will include both the classic view of Windows and a new metro view comparable to what has become available on the IPad and other tablet computers.


A  Pop Quiz!

What would you guess is the most frequent beginning to dental lab names?

1) A word beginning with "Dent"

2) An adjective conveying a positive quality such as "superior"  or "reliable"

3) A family name or set of initials

Our answer was gleaned from our extensive database of prospective and existing customers.   Submit your guess by February 22 and if correct, we will put your name in the hat for a drawing to win a prize of $200 toward software, customization or support.   Only one entry per lab, please.  We will post the answer and winner in our next newsletter.

Take a little time each year...

The response to our offering at the beginning of the year to perform annual reviews has been very satisfying.  In each of the ones we have already completed, we found there were areas where a little coaching was helpful, where some extra effort was needed.   Once more, for those who have not yet scheduled theirs, here is a rundown of what the annual reviews cover.

The small measures to assure that your system is well-kept and in tip-top shape are well worth the effort to prevent problems and to maintain a high level of efficiency.  To help with this, we offer annual reviews to everyone who has licensed DentaLab for QuickBooks, whether or not they have an up-to-date service agreement.  Typically, the process includes an interactive session via logmein to review:

  • critical DQB processes such as case scheduling, standard procedures, materials disclosure
  • your security measures
  • backup/restoration practices
  • recent additions/enhancements to DQB
  • whatever concerns or issues you may have

The annual reviews typically take about two hours and include a writeup on our findings and recommendations.   If you have a service agreement and have not used your monthly no-charge hour(s) for other purposes, this can be applied to the annual review.  Call to let us know when you would like to schedule yours


    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What is the best way to respond to the frequent calls we get from dental offices asking when a case has or will be shipped?

A:  There is no single way to be considered "best" but here are some of the alternative ways you can handle these calls:

1) In DQB you can go to the Case List or the Customer Center to find the case.  Typically, the two criteria used are the customer and patient names, but there are a number of other ways to find the case.  Next you will want to check the case status, the ship date (this will be the planned date if the case is still open/in the lab). If the case status indicates that the case is no longer in the lab, you can check the shipped and/or the invoice date. 

2) If you get a number of these calls and/or if you want to provide an extra service to your customers, use the Email Notifications supplement to send at scheduled intervals a report on the cases received and recently shipped. 

3) For an even higher level of service, consider using the DentalRx supplement to provide for both online entry of prescriptions and case lookups by the dental offices.

Q:  Is barcoding only for large labs?

A:  Although most of the labs that have implemented barcoded case tracking and technician productivity are medium-to-large, we have also seen effective use of barcoding in smaller labs.   What has made barcodes so popular for so many years has been that they take care of entering information into the computer very quickly with great accuracy and they are virtually cheat-proof.   Our barcode supplements have been divided into two so that the base provides for case tracking, quality control and shipping and then the second one measures techncian productivity and calculates incentive or piece rate pay.

Q:  Is there a forum for users of DentaLab for QuickBooks?

A:  We have just started an educational blog within Google on topics specific to and surrounding DQB ( that has provision for your comments.  One of the blogs titled "Surrounding Yourself with Good People"" discusses the more general forums that are currently active for dental labs.  Take a look and then let us know what you would like to see.  

   With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

Worthwhile ways to use the Internet

Both QuickBooks and DentaLab for QuickBooks (DQB) offer a number of worthwhile ways to use the Internet:

  • QuickBooks invoices, statements and reports can be emailed to customers.
  • Credit/debit card and other payment solutions can post directly into your QuickBooks customer accounts.
  • DQB email notifications provide reports to the dental offices on cases received and shipped.
  • Through the DentalRx supplement, online prescriptions, preferences, pickup requests and other memos from the dental office communicate directly with your DQB database.  This can be linked directly from your website.
  • Graphics sent electronically by dental offices as well as scanned images and other case documents such as digital impressions can easily become part of each case’s record for quick lookups and communications in DQB.
  • Remote access from an authorized computer can use your lab system for entry, viewing, analysis, and support of both QuickBooks and DQB.

To those labs needing remote access on a regular basis, we recommend  Remote Desktop Services (RDS), which is a technology offered by Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 and above.  Some of the benefits of RDS are:

  1. The users can be local or at a remote location.
  2. Administration and security measures are simplified because software needs to be installed only on the server rather than on each client station.
  3. Application programs can be accessed remotely via a web page, an icon or an access point in the Start Menu of the remote station.
  4. This technology can provide significant long-range savings in time and money that easily recoup the licensing and installation cost.  

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Customization is available for all products.

Contact us at 1-800-257-4535 or

"Dental Lab for QuickBooks easily synchronizes data to QuickBooks for simple and accurate statement creation and reports for my accountant. Scanning has become a big part of submitting cases for us as we scan all Rx's and custom shade diagrams for easy retrieval and also lot and batch numbers for certain items. Plus we download photos of our own or from the Dr. We have also taken advantage of the ability to add digital images to our invoices and statements. Overall, I have been happy with this software for over four years and would highly recommend it."

Kirk Randolph CDT
Randolph Dental Laboratory, Texas

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