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Dental PMS conversions: why, when, and how?

Key considerations for before, during, and after dental software conversions

Team Wisdom

Pertaining to dental practice management softwares, the decision to switch from one software solution to another is a significant undertaking. Whether prompted by the need for enhanced functionality, improved efficiency, or better support, dental offices may opt to convert to a new software system to meet evolving needs and stay competitive in the industry. In this blog post, we'll explore the reasons why dental offices choose to make the switch, along with the pros and cons of conversion, and provide tips to prepare for a smooth transition.

Why Dental Offices Consider Converting Practice Management Software:

1. Enhanced Functionality: Newer software solutions often offer advanced features and capabilities that may better align with the needs of dental practices. Whether it's improved scheduling tools, enhanced reporting functionality, or better integration with other systems such as clearinghouses, the desire for enhanced functionality can be a driving factor in the decision to switch software. Many growing offices with large teams, and/or multiple locations may opt to convert to a cloud based software to allow easier access from any location. 

2. Improved Efficiency: Streamlining workflows and optimizing practice efficiency are critical priorities for dental offices. A new software system may offer workflow improvements, automation features, or a more intuitive user interface that can help practices operate more efficiently and effectively, outside of just dental revenue cycle management. 

3. Cost Considerations: Cost is always a factor in business decisions, and dental offices may find that switching to a new software solution offers better value for money. This could be in the form of lower subscription fees, reduced maintenance costs, or improved return on investment through increased productivity and revenue.

Pros and Cons of Converting Practice Management Software:


  • Access to Advanced Features: New software may offer features and capabilities that were not available with the previous system, allowing practices to improve efficiency and patient care.
  • Better Support and Service: Switching to a new software vendor may result in improved customer support and service, leading to faster issue resolution and a better overall experience.
  • Cost Savings: A new software solution may offer better value for money in terms of subscription fees, maintenance costs, or increased productivity, resulting in long-term cost savings.
  • Competitive Advantage: Adopting new technology can give dental offices a competitive edge by staying current with industry trends and offering enhanced services to patients.


  • Learning Curve: Transitioning to a new software system requires time and effort to train staff and adapt to new workflows, potentially causing temporary disruptions in practice operations.
  • Data Migration Challenges: Converting data from the old system to the new one can be complex and time-consuming, with the risk of data loss or inaccuracies if not handled properly.
  • Integration Issues: Compatibility and integration with existing systems and hardware may pose challenges during the conversion process, requiring careful planning and coordination.
  • Contractual Obligations: Existing contractual agreements or commitments with the current software vendor may impose restrictions or penalties for early termination, adding complexity to the conversion process.

Tips to Prepare for a Conversion:

  • Evaluate Needs and Goals:Identify the specific needs and goals driving the decision to switch software, ensuring that the new system aligns with the practice's objectives.
  • Research and Demo: Thoroughly research potential software solutions and request demonstrations or trials to assess their suitability and compatibility with the practice's workflows.
  • Plan Ahead: Develop a detailed implementation plan, including timelines, milestones, and resource allocation, to ensure a smooth transition with minimal disruption to practice operations.
  • Train Staff: Provide comprehensive training and support for staff members to familiarize them with the new software system and ensure a successful transition.
  • Data Migration: Work closely with the new software vendor to plan and execute data migration from the old system to the new one, verifying data accuracy and completeness throughout the process.

Expert Tip: Data migration includes, but is not limited to: extracting patient records, treatment histories, appointment schedules, financial data, and other relevant information from the current software and formatting it to fit the data structure of the new system. Data migration requires careful planning, validation, and testing to ensure the accuracy, completeness, and integrity of the transferred data. Oftentimes, insurance claims do not transfer, and must all be recreated in the new software. Be sure to ask your point of contact at any software company you are considering to utilize what data will have to be migrated manually, and plan/choose accordingly. 

In conclusion, the decision to convert practice management software is a significant undertaking for dental offices, driven by factors such as enhanced functionality, improved efficiency, better support, and cost considerations. While the conversion process may present challenges, careful planning, thorough research, and effective communication can help practices navigate the transition successfully and reap the benefits of a new software solution tailored to their needs.

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