Carestream Review: Popular Imaging & Practice Management Software

Carestream offers a variety of products, including SoftDent and PracticeWorks, as well as powerful imaging systems, that are widely used across the industry.

Carestream Dental is one of the biggest names in the dental software industry. The company offers popular practice management software systems, as well as innovative integrated imaging products. In 2007, Kodak Health rebranded as Carestream Health, which explains why Carestream is especially known for its imaging products. Carestream claims that 70% of practitioners globally use their products in some capacity.

There are many Carestream software products that are designed to help your dental practice -- we'll help break them down for you.

SoftDent & PracticeWorks: General Practice Management Software

SoftDent and PracticeWorks are two popular practice management software systems offered by Carestream. They have a lot of overlapping functionality, but whereas SoftDent is marketed toward larger, multi-doctor practices, PracticeWorks is more tailored to suit the needs of smaller practices.

Both systems are typically hosted locally and only compatible with Windows OS. SoftDent and PracticeWorks have all of the functionality that you'd expect from a practice management software, including charting and scheduling capabilities, treatment planning, as well as billing. In addition to their rich core functionalities, both systems also offer various add-on modules that provide additional flexibility for customizing the systems to suit your practice's needs.

Carestream does a good job of making sure that SoftDent and PracticeWorks offer features that align with the industry's requirements. A prime example of this is the ePrescription module, which enables you to send prescriptions electronically, communicate directly with the patient's pharmacy, and see this information reflected in the patient's chart. This module was a recent addition to both systems, but it was a key update that enabled NY dentists to comply with New York's I-STOP law, which went into effect in March 2016. Therefore, you can be assured that whether you use SoftDent or PracticeWorks, Carestream will stay on top of regulatory changes and roll out any important updates to both products as needed.

Though SoftDent and PracticeWorks are typically installed locally on Windows systems, Carestream also offers cloud-based versions of the software, which provide the same functionality, along with all of the benefits of the cloud. Most importantly, the cloud versions unlock the flexibility to access your practice's information from anywhere with an Internet connection. Your data is stored in a HIPAA-compliant fashion on Carestream's servers, so that you don't need to worry about backing it up or purchasing additional servers to host it as your practice grows. If you use the cloud version of the software, 2D images can be uploaded directly to the cloud and viewed immediately, but 3D images become available the next day.

One shortcoming found in both SoftDent and PracticeWorks is that they lack custom reporting capabilities, such as the ability to analyze production numbers by insurance carrier. This is important if, for example, a carrier makes significant changes to its policies, and you want to know how much of your production is currently tied to that carrier.

WinOMS: OMS-Specific PMS

WinOMS is a practice management software system that was developed specifically for oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Today, the software is used by more than 5,000 oral surgeons. Like SoftDent and PracticeWorks, WinOMS also offers ePrescription services, which is a convenient feature for oral surgeons.

Another reason the system is so popular among oral surgeons is because it can be fully integrated with Carestream's imaging system, which provides powerful 3D imaging capabilities that are particularly relevant to oral surgeons. The integration enables doctors to view images directly from the patient chart and share them with referring dentists. When used in combination with Carestream's imaging system, WinOMS provides a complete system for oral surgeons. Although Carestream's 3D imaging capabilities are generally well regarded, some users have reported that the imaging system occasionally crashes, which can result in lost X-rays.

3D Imaging

Carestream is known for its imaging solutions, and its CBCT (Cone Beam CT) imaging systems are particularly innovative. The CBCT systems produce high-resolution 3D images that you can manipulate in order to get a comprehensive view that isn't possible with standard 2D imaging. Using this powerful tool can help you make more accurate diagnoses. Carestream's imaging systems also have the unusual advantage of being able to integrate seamlessly with practice management software, because they are made by the same company. The smooth integration between these two types of products explains why many practices opt to use Carestream to handle both their imaging and practice management needs.

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