Dental Tech Support – Common Remote Support Tickets
Since 1973, our dental techs have provided IT support for dental offices. Andy and Eric, our two senior techs, have been with the company even back when it was a division of Datacon Dental Systems. Dental tech support is what we do, and through our collective experience, we have supported practice management and imaging software suites such as Dentrix, Patterson, Eaglesoft, Datacon, Dexis, XDR, and more.
I have gone through our historical helpdesk tickets, and have compiled some of the more common questions and solutions regarding dental IT and dental office support.
The complexity of a “slow PC” help ticket can run the gambit from very simple, to more complicated. When a PC is slow, we must first determine if it is in fact the PC, or if its the network itself. For Dental Tech Support, the problem is usually a network bottleneck – it is important that the specs of the network equipment (i.e. switches, routers) meet the requirements to handle a large amount of data-flow from multiple locations to the server. It’s important to get the fastest available networking equipment to eliminate network slowdown.
Anti-virus can also cause quite a bit of slowdown, even when the proper exceptions are applied. AV can be resource-heavy, especially when it has the responsibility of monitoring network traffic as well as internet usage. For this reason, workstations that only meet the minimum requirements of the Dental software are not going to perform well. It is important to choose machines that exceed the dental software’s recommendations, so that added anti-virus has no noticeable effect on performance.
If those common sources of slowdown are not the issue, then more diagnostics need to be made. This kind of support ticket can take a while to solve, since software settings, virus scanning, and other diagnostics will need to be tested before the cause is found. Therefore, it is very important that when settings are changed, the dental tech support team stay in contact with the dental office until the root cause is found.
It takes more than the best anti-malware and anti-virus to keep your PCs running clean. In most businesses, viruses can pop up at unexpected times. They are commonly downloaded from mail attachments, or on the web. Typically, a window will pop up signifying that your PC is slow, or some scan is recommended. However, this ruse is designed to compel the user to bypass their security software and install a virus or malware manually. Training and diligence is a necessary component of virus protection.
Luckilly, when a virus is found quickly, it can be removed quickly. As such, having a Managed Anti-Virus solution is ideal – in this scenario, your IT company is notified the minute that virus activity takes place on a PC. This lets your dental tech support company catch and remove the virus before it has a chance to infest the system to the degree of possibly requiring a rebuild.
Practice-Management Related Issues
Even as dental IT specialists, practice-management related issues come in third place. Having dental techs knowledgeable in software such as Dentrix, Eaglesoft, Dexis, XDR, Datacon and others helps streamline solutions, and generally dental tech support means that the IT company has personal relationships with support personnel at Henry Schein, Patterson, and others.
Issues involving dental practice management software or images can arise from a lot of different areas. If multiple PCs are involved, then the issue is likely on the server. The solution can be as simple as stopping and starting the database (especially in the case of Patterson), or may require a server reboot. If the problem is limited to one PC, then settings can be copied from a working PC to the non-working one, and this can be an effective way to get back up with limited downtime on that PC.
Intra-oral Cameras, Sensors, and other Peripherals
This is where having an expertise in dental tech support is extremely valuable. Sensors especially can be very expensive, and some of the imaging companies will lean toward not supporting older technology. Sometimes, there is a simple fix for cameras and sensors that can be addressed remotely. dmi has years of experience with digital dentistry since its entrance into the market, and as such, we have extensive knowledge of sensors and cameras both new and old.
No matter how specialized an IT company is, printer issues top the list for dental tech support. Most business-class printers can be set up as “network printers” or “shared printers” – the difference being that a “shared printer” relies on a single PC to host the printer. Setting a printer up as a network printer is always a better idea – many of our printer tickets are solved by converting the printer from “shared” to “networked”.
Another common issue with printers is when jobs get stored in the queue, but appear frozen, disallowing use of the printer on that PC. Resetting the printer spool service is a pretty common solution – this can be done by typing Windows-R to open a run menu, then typing “services.msc”. From the list, localate Print Spooler – Right-Click on it, and select Restart. If this doesn’t work, then a reboot might fix the issue.
Check out dmi Networking’s dental tech support solutions, and contact us for advice on any problem your office is experiencing.