Dental Mac, the popular Mac application for dentists, is no longer being developed. Originally developed by Unident, Dental Mac was purchased by PracticeWorks last year. Now it’s in “maintenance mode.”
“We are no longer selling the DentalMac program to new clients,” Jeff Moore, manager of PracticeWorks’ inside sales division, told MacCentral. “However, we are continuing to upgrade and support the DentalMac program to the more than 2,500 dental offices using DentalMac.”
PracticeWorks currently supports over 20 different dental software programs. The PracticeWorks Office program and the SoftDent program are their two “flagship” products.
“Unfortunately, more and more of the third-party products that link to dental software are Windows-based,” Moore said. “These companies do not have a Macintosh version available. We feel that the Windows operating system provides the most choices for a dentist looking for dental software. We have told our DentalMac clients and potential Macintosh clients that our ASP product runs on multiple platforms. For dentists who wish to stay on a Macintosh platform, the ASP program provides an excellent solution.”
However, Dental Mac users aren’t happy with the situation. James Agnew, a practicing dentist for 15 years, has used the application since he started. Now he has eight Macs and is considering going Wintel because he’s “having trouble finding feature rich Mac software to use in a dental practice.”
“Several years ago Dental Mac was top of the line software; now it is probably better than a lot of Windows programs, but has several limitations that limit its usefulness,” Agnew said. “If the product was still being developed, I am sure these would be addressed, but since further development is not planned at this point, they probably won’t be corrected.”
Jim Tetz, DDS, a Dental Mac user since 1993, said this is a sad development that will affect “those few (and shrinking) dentists” that enjoy and use the Mac OS for dental office management and clinical integration. He said that Dental Mac seems to be currently the only “Mac program of any scope” for dentists.
“I am sad because I have believed that the Mac was the Modern Computer,” Tetz said. “It is even more sad to me given the imminent release of OS X. I find it hard to believe that with the ease of use that the current Mac software/hardware crop enjoys in the area of photo manipulation, edit, capture that this combo couldn’t really shine. However, as it stands, unless someone can point me in a direction that shows some hope for the Mac on this front, I will have to depart its greatness for the Windblows side of the hill.”
If anyone is developing, interested in developing, or planning on developing Mac-based dental software, let us know by dropping a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. Meanwhile, check out our separate story on possible Dental Mac alternatives.