ToothPics, a product from Cygnus Technologies has been serving the Mac-based dental community since 1985. This tradition looks to continue with a planned Mac OS X version.
“We are aggressively revising ToothPics to take advantage of Apple technologies and plan an OS X release for next year,” Gary Pulis, ToothPics product manager, told MacCentral. “In the interim, our version 5 and Mac OS 9.1 works well and can easily bridge the gap until OS X is the mainstream operating system. We also intend to serve the needs of those DentalMac and other users that wish to move forward with the Mac platform.”
ToothPics is built on a custom distributed network relational database. The turnkey operation of the program makes networking very easy to configure and maintain, according to Pulis.
ToothPics uses separate windows to list patients, dental codes, insurance companies, employers and service providers. Using a copy and paste metaphor users create and modify links from patients to employers and insurance companies. An interactive odontogram provides input for the creation of transactions describing preconditions, treatment plan and services performed.
A cashier window is used to enter financial records. Treatment transactions can be transmitted electronically to a clearinghouse for distribution to the carriers. Claims are sent via direct modem connection to avoid Internet security issues.
Treatment entries can be printed on plain-paper insurance forms, walkout statements and a ledger card billing format, as well as the standard office summary and detail reports. The walkout statement includes the treatment plan and the colored odontogram. Treatment plan graphics are printed in red, existing conditions are black, and treatment performed is in blue. Patient education and acceptance of treatment plans are facilitated by the odontogram.
Using QuickTime, ToothPics can capture and record images from a variety of sources, and can be viewed and printed directly from the program. Images can be viewed at any ToothPics workstation, can be opened by any QuickTime compatible software, and can be e-mailed from any Internet client software.
Using file sharing and program linking, ToothPics can interface with word processing and scheduling software. ToothPics defines a series of folders that store files associated with word processing and scheduling. These folders help users administer their systems by enforcing centralized storage and facilitating backup and restore, Pulis said.
A complete export facility provides full control over field selection and file format, he added. Report selection criteria include filters for dental codes, insurance companies, employers and service providers.
Cygnus Technologies is a leading manufacturer of Dental imaging systems and, last year, was the first to market a FireWire intraoral camera. ToothPics was the first Mac dental application to capture those images. The CygnaScope FireWire Series Intraoral Camera is packed full of clever features that have been overlooked by other less-experienced manufacturers, according to Pulis. The device brings Cygnus quality to an intraoral camera that you can hold in the palm of your hand. The CygnusRay MPS Digital X-Ray System delivers images with quality better than film, Pulis said. The company will also introduce USB based digital radiography, and, again, ToothPics will be the first Mac application to utilize Cygnus digital radiography, he added.
Cygnus Technologies now sells its products via national and worldwide dealers. This has opened up tremendous marketing channels that ToothPics had not had access to in the past, Pulis said.
“As an Apple Premier level developer, Cygnus is committed to the Macintosh, and is positioned perfectly to continue to serve the dental community,” he added.
Meanwhile, there’s another an upcoming product that may interest Mac users in the dental field. A product called MacDentalSuite is currently approaching beta status and should be available late next month. According to its developer, James Bredijk, it will offer a full set of practice management features including client/server (TCP/IP or AppleTalk) or single user configurations, eclaims, custom reporting and many “assistants” and automated features.
What’s more, it will be Mac OS X ready and will offer “history conversion” from Dental Mac, Bredijk told MacCentral.