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ACE Dental review

The scalable dental practice solution

ACE Dental
(Image: © ACE Dental)

Our Verdict

ACE Dental offers a compelling package of dental practice management services.

For

  • Library of tutorial videos
  • Upfront pricing
  • Choice of tiered plans
  • All plans include prescription writing

Against

  • Limited telephone support hours on weekdays only
  • No mobile apps
  • Lacks in person onboarding
  • eReminders to recall patients are time limited on all plans

ACE Dental goes back to 1993, and in fact claims the longest ownership of a software company by the same owner in this segment. Feedback has helped to shape this company, and hone their product. ACE Dental endeavors to provide the best value in the industry, which it originally did by leveraging the burgeoning internet for gains of efficiency, with dividends of cost savings that could be passed on to their users.

Features

ACE Dental is strong on the clinical side of things. As part of their electronic dental record, there is 3D Restorative Charting. This allows for entry of a treatment plan, with the teeth represented as on an odontogram. Far better than the index cards that dentists used years ago, via this tool, the dentist can enter the current tooth condition, the completed treatment, along with the proposed treatment that is pending. Buttons are provided to prompt the dentist, to easily enter tooth issues including a bridge, a crown, a veneer or a seal. The 3D presentation also makes it possible to document movement of teeth such as drifting, or a rotation issue. Perio charting is also enabled for comprehensive documentation.

The front office, critical to any dental practice, and is managed well with ACE Dental. For example, appointment scheduling is easy to use with plenty of useful features, such as having patient images displayed in the appointment block. Changes can also be done with the ease of a drag and drop maneuver. There is also support for appointment preblocking to facilitate making appointments when the dentist is available.

The business side of things is also supported via ACE Dental. Checkouts are streamlined to get patients out of the office faster. It is common for dental practices to treat multiple family members, and to address this is the Patient and Family Ledger, so appointments can be coordinated between multiple family members. 

ACE Dental then can check for remaining dental benefits for the individual, and then prompt front office staff to create an insurance claim. This can then be sent in to the insurer via a paper claim, or via an electronic claim- both are supported. Electronic claims get batched, with all the day’s cases submitted once after the office session gets completed. With X-Charge credit card integration, directly from the checkout screen, patients can be charged for their portion of the payment, which enhances cashflow by keeping accounts current.

Even communication in the office gets optimized. There is a Call Light feature that can be used to locate providers throughout the office. There is even a Room to Room Chat feature for instant messaging between office members for direct communication.

Drawbacks

ACE Dental is designed to be used via a browser only. Unfortunately, there is no support for mobile apps, which are increasingly popular, and particularly useful for accessing patient charts when out of the office, such as when on call.

Another criticism is the initial learning is via videos, and not in person. While this keeps the cost down, some offices are frustrated, and would prefer to have some education, such as a demonstration on their own equipment, as to how the process is done. Finally, there is a lack of options to customize reports to some users' likings.

Support

(Image credit: ACE Dental)

Support

Support for ACE Dental gets done via a smattering of methods. A toll free number is provided for direct contact, and is available for limited support hours from 9 AM to 6 PM, Eastern Standard Time, and limited to weekdays only.

There is also an email address, although this is not HIPAA compliant. A contact portal is also available, and problems can be submitted along with the account info to initiate contact.

Self guided help can also be found, which has both a Quick Start Guide, and a series of tutorial movies. The list of topics is fairly comprehensive, and ranges from “Digital Signature Documents,” to “Making Appointments,” along with “Perio Charting.”

Plans and Pricing

(Image credit: ACE Dental)

Pricing

Unlike most of the software in the dental practice management segment, ACE Dental has a detailed pricing list that is most welcome. It is based around three tiers of plans.

On the lowest rung is the ACE Basic plan, that costs $99 (£82) per month, for an unlimited number of users. It has tons of features, such as appointment scheduling, prescription writing, lab case tracking, and visual treatment planning. It also includes three months of free eReminders and eRecall for followup patients.

Moving up a tier is the ACE Advanced plan, which increases the cost to $199 (£164) monthly. This adds a number of features, including perio charting with graphing and comparisons, auto clinical notes, and restorative charting with 3D teeth. The free eReminders also increase to four months.

The top tier is the ACE Bundle for $299 (£247) monthly. This plan includes everything from the lower plans, and also includes a Time Clock that is $99 (£82) extra with the lower plans, digital signature documents, and a scanner bridge for TWAIN scanners. The eReminders also increase to six months.

Final verdict

ACE Dental provides for a comprehensive array of services to manage a dental practice. The pluses cover integrated instant messaging, refreshingly upfront pricing with three tiers to choose from, and support for digital signature documents. The minuses include the lack of mobile apps, no in person onboarding, and no chat available for support. Overall, when compared to the competition, ACE Dental does show their decades of experience in this segment, and offer a dental practice management software package that is more than competitive.