Why did I choose to use MacPractice DDS and Apple computers for my periodontal practice? It is an often asked question by every clinician that steps into my office. There are a multitude of options to choose from, and the effect of those choices is critical as they will have a direct impact on how you practice today and well into the future. This is your practice management software, otherwise known as the central nervous system of today's dental office.

Certainly, choosing a system requires significant time and consideration. Many factors come into play, including the total cost of the entire package, such as hardware, software, training, and ongoing support. How do you plan to use the system both today and in the future? Will it be used in the treatment rooms where it will need to interface with digital radiography, intraoral cameras, and other systems? Will you use it for digital charting, patient data collection, electronic treatment planning and the like? What are you looking for in terms of the business software? Most likely you will want the ability to manage all patient data and forms, run key reports to track production, collections, accounts receivable, insurance and more.

The first thing you need to do is decide which type of computer system is best for you: Mac or PC? Although they both have their pros and cons, in my opinion, Macs have many advantages over PCs.

What Are The Advantages Of Using A Mac Over A PC

Operating System:

The main difference between Macs and PCs, the operating system, can be seen as an advantage of Macs vs PCs. Mac OS X is a great operating system. It's easy to use, efficient, and features a very friendly user interface. Mac OS X is a completely different animal than Windows. Windows is a good operating systems, but it does not have the simplicity and stability of OS X.

Operating System Flexiblity:

If you should ever need Windows for anything, you can install Windows on a Mac computer, legally. You cannot however, install Mac OS X on a PC, legally. This is a big advantage of Mac vs PC. Many computer users like to use different operating systems for different things. With Macs, you have the flexibility of OS X+Windows operating systems on one machine. You also have the option of running Windows via Bootcamp, or via a virtual machine, such as VMware Fusion or Parallels. I use Parallels if I need to use a windows program.


Cosmetically, Macs are extremely well designed computers. They are visually appealing with a "high-end" feel. They have the backlit Apple logo, backlit keyboard, Chiclets-style keys, etc... Many PCs are well designed as well. Some are visually appealing and have a "high-end" feel... and some have backlit keyboards. But, did the new Sony Vaios and HP Envys get some design inspiration from Apple? Just saying.


The vast majority of the world's hackers spend the vast majority of their time making trouble for the vast majority of computer users. That's why almost all known viruses, trojan horses, and other malicious applications attack only Windows PCs. Including really dangerous ones that can steal your credit-card and banking information.

Using Mac computers does not let you simply opt out of worrying about computer safety. Still, a Mac owner who runs no security software is vastly less likely to be the victim of a successful attack than a Windows user who is protected up to his eyeballs. This means much more stability, security, and less IT support and cost for repairs and downtime for your practice.

Compatiblility With Other Mac Products:

Apple products just work well with each other. Often times, PCs will have compatibility issues with iPhones, iPods, iPads, etc... Mac computers don't have that problem. If you are a big iPhone , iPod, iPad or Apple TV fan, or the type of person that owns multiple iPods or an iPad, chances are, you will enjoy owning a Mac computer just as much.

MacPractice DDS:

Ok, so now you know why I chose Mac computers for my office. In my opinion, Apple computers are made better, safer, more reliable, and look absolutely georgeous in a dental office. But the bigger question is why did I choose to utilize MacPractice DDS dental practice management software for my periodontal practice.

The first thing I did was an analysis of total hardware, software, and support costs among all the different systems. A lot of people are put off by Apple products because the hardware is expensive, and it is. However, MacPractice does not require a dedicated server, you can use one of your work stations as the server. When I did the math, it was cheaper to go with MacPractice because of the server issue, and I did not have to puchase any additional IT support.

The next thing I looked at was ease of use. If you can use iTunes then you get up to speed with MacPractice in a couple of hours because the two programs look and fuction virtually the same. MacPractice is very good at managing patient insurance. It allows me to keep a database of insurance payments and reimbursment levels. Sheduling is very straightforward and you can also use either digital sensor radiography or phosphor plate technology seamlessly with the system.

MacPractice can interface with my iPhone and iPad which allows me to access and write up patient records remotely. Additioanlly, the system allows for all patient documents to be completed electronically, and has the ability to use email and text messaging for patient appointment reminders.

One of my favorite features is the ability to generate numerous financial reports. I can track virtually everything from recall, collections, insurance, marketing, and accounts receivable with a click of the mouse. You can track production with dozens of different metrics- by month, by category, type of procedure and provider. You can also see outstanding pre-authorization as well as referral sources which is extremely helpful with marketing.

The software is also capable of utilizing MacPractice Kiosk and MacSpeech Dictate. MacPractice Kiosk is a simple yet powerful, easily customizable solution for a paperless practice that makes registration, health history, HIPAA, consent, treatment acceptance and all other forms available for completion and signiture by patients electronically on a Kiosk computer in the office. After the patient electronically signs their forms on a Mac computer designated to operate as a Kiosk, the forms are automatically incorporated into their Electronic Dental Record in MacPractice. An iPad can be used as a Kiosk, so the patient can simply sign the iPad with a stylus and virtually any paper form may be recreated in electronic format in MacPractice EDR and made available for completion by the paient on the Kiosk computer.

I also use MacSpeech Dictate. Instead of typing my clinical notes, I use my voice to input text, commas, paragraph breaks and signiture. Rather than using a keyboard and a mouse, I just speak commands. This saves me a lot of time writing clinical and surgical notes.

MacPractice also supports National Electronic Attachments.

Here is a list of the software abilities:

  • Electronic Dental Records
  • Digital Radiography
  • Periodontal Charting
  • Restorative Charting
  • Attachments: Insurance, patient intake forms, etc..
  • Scheduling
  • eClaims
  • RX
  • ePrescrbe
  • Notes
  • iPhone and iPad interface. Both remotely and in office.
  • Patient Web Interface
  • Reports
  • Reminders
  • Managers
  • References
  • Help. This is a nice touch. You simply touch the question mark on the software, type in a question you may have and you will get a phone call withing an hour to resolve the problem or answer your question. And this service is not an additional cost.
The software is absolutely amazing. It is extremely user friendly. As I said before, if you can use iTunes, you can use MacPractice. Apple computers are extremely reliable. Although the hardware may be more expensive, not needing a dedicated server offsets that cost. It is actually cheaper than most of the practice software systems I looked at. It is like all other Mac programs. It is drag and drop. You drag a file, x-ray, insurance statement onto the patients name and the software understands what the attachment is and places it into the appropriate folder.

MacPractice is dedicated to developing, implementing, and supporting the premier practice management and clinical software solutions for doctors who prefer to use Macs. For more than 25 years, the developer of MacPractice has listened to clients and responded by creating applications that leverage the powerful features of each new version of Apple’s operating system and developer environment.

The expertise and experience of MacPractice’s design and development team, technical support department, and MacPractice DDS Practice Consultant field representatives is unrivaled. MacPractice for OS X is a revolutionary, best-of-class practice management and clinical software.

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  • We converted to MacPractice. Though we love OSX and Apple hardware we are still after more than a year disappointed with MacPractice software and support. If you are a digital office the conversion does not include anything digital. Ouch! You have to convert all those files by hand. Your salesman is alway an independent which means they can be great, poor or often out to make money off your practice in other ways. Patient account statements are extremely unprofessional and confusing. Process three patient visits with primary and secondary insurances where the patient pays at each visit a portion, insurance pays some and print out a statement. Yikes! Our office receives complaints from patients all the time about statements. Though I may wow them with a Retina display the statements are our last valuable impression upon a patient. Don't even try to get the software to deal with a porcelain to amalgam insurance downgrade. You can base an insurance plan off a fee schedule as you would expect if you update the fee schedule your plans do not get updated. You have to go back and set them all again for every plan. Support is not that helpful for the thousands you are required to spend on it. They often will not respond by email though this is a built in response option. Calling them is not much help as they must return the call to you to get support and this is on their schedule. Trying to see patients and wait for support to call when the get around to it is very difficult. Fixes take years literally. We have had several in they agree they need to work on. Other suggestions just get closed out with no update. I'd say use a lot of caution even if you are a Mac lover. They don't put the heart and sole of Job's Apple into MacPractice. 

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