Correspondence Templates

How to create & edit templates for emails, letters , SMS & Word documents. Add logo. Add data tags. Change page size. Add to Recalls Report.

Shelley Withington avatar
Written by Shelley Withington
Updated over a week ago

A template saves you a lot of time and effort. 

A template is a file that serves as a starting point for a new document. When you open a template, it is pre-formatted in some way.  

If you find yourself creating similar documents over and over again, use a template so that you won't have to format your documents each time you want to make a new one.  Simply select the template and start from there.

Use a correspondence template to:

  • ensure that all written communication with patients is consistent,

  • add your branding and contact details,

  • ensure that all patients receive the correct information for them.

To add or edit Templates, you need to have level 4 (Administrator) permissions or you need to have "Can edit Templates" set as an opt-in permission in Settings > Users > Security.

To locate your Templates go to Settings > Templates.

Dentally Templates from Settings menu

Correspondence Templates available

You can edit templates for Letters, Estimates, Invoices, SMS messages, Emails and Word documents. (You can also create templates for Clinical Notes and Treatment Plans. Each has their own web page.)  

Site Specific Templates

Dentally Correspondence Templates - site specific filter

When you set up your templates, for all correspondence, you can assign the template to a particular site. Filter for all the templates for your site here, to enable you to locate your individual site.

To see templates for all locations, select All Locations.

Your Templates

You already have some templates in your template list. Edit these to add in the required text, or use them to copy the layout and format for new Templates.

Dentally Email template selection all locations

Template Preview for Letters

To view a Letter template select the template from the list.

We recommend you preview a letter template before you send it to ensure you are happy with the result.

Dentally correspondence template - Preview button

The letter template will open in a new tab. Close the tab when you have finished viewing it.

If you want your logo on the top of letters, you need to add your logo in Settings > Sites> Options > Logo tab.  

The logo will not appear in any field in the letter template editor. Including the logo is included in the template style sheets. This is one reason that we recommend you Preview letter templates

Headed Paper

In Dentally the details (name, address, logo) which you have entered in Site Settings will appear on the top of any letter templates you create.

If you have your own headed paper, use the "no header" templates.

You are likely to need to change the top and bottom page margins to accommodate your headed paper.

Edit an existing template

To edit an existing template select the template from the template list. Complete or alter fields as you would if you were creating a new template.

Create a new template

To create a new Template, go to the relevant tab (Letter, SMS email, etc) and click on New Template.

Dentally Correspondence Templates - create / edit letter template

Copy an existing template

The easiest and best way to create a new Template is to copy an existing one and change the relevant text.

To do this, select Copy existing template and select the template from the drop down list.


Give your new template a name that is easy to identify exactly what is and what it contains so that it is easy to select correctly from the drop down lists when you come to use them.

If you are editing a template and change the name, this changes the name everywhere for this template. You will need to let all staff using it know that you have changed the name.


Select which site the template belongs to. If it belongs to all sites, select All.


Dentally Templates Salutation tag

To edit the greeting, or salutation, edit the data tags.

The data tags shown above will result in "Dear Mr Anon Other," If this is not what you want, simply delete the relevant tag or tags.

Salutation is only available for Letters and Estimates.

For emails, this is a Subject field. Remember to write a clear email subject heading so patients know what is included in the body of the email.

Body or Content Area

This is where you add the body of your correspondence. It will be a mixture of text and data tags. You can format the content using Bold, Italics, lists, headings etc.

There is no limit to how much editing you can do here. You can write long or short messages. Remember that this template will help you save time by sending it to all the patients you send it to.

Data Tags

Dentally templates show data tags

Data tags help you extract information from Dentally such as patient name, or appointment time, automatically. They have a format of a square bracket [ followed by the data tag name and end with another ] square bracket.

To see all the data tags available, click on show/hide available data tags. You will see a list of the tags, followed by an explanation.

Insert the correct data tag into your correspondence using copy and paste.

Dentally - Data tag - copy tag to add to template

Click on the copy icon - to the left of the tag - and then paste it into your text. When you create the letter using the template, the correct data is pulled in from Dentally.

You will see the data tag in the Preview, but in the correspondence you will see the correct information.

Template Style

How the template is displayed is all to do with the Template Styles. Where some of this is complicated, some is easy to follow.


To see more about the Template Style click on Edit template style.

Style Sheet

The first box you will see is filled with text which is called CSS and is the magic which powers the rest of the template.

EDIT THIS WITH CARE and ONLY if you understand CSS. Otherwise, please ask the Dentally Support Team for help.

Page Size

You may notice that we have set up the page size to A4. If you use different size paper (Folio for example) change this page height and width to change to your paper size. We have an A5 template so if you cannot find this on your template list, ask the Support Team.

You can also change the page margins here. They are set to a standard size but you can alter them here. REMEMBER they are in mm not cm.

Marketing Settings

Following updated rules for email correspondence from Gmail and Yahoo, and to ensure GDPR compliance we have made some changes to email, and also our SMS and letter templates in Dentally.

Now all marketing communications you send from your practice will have an unsubscribe (opt out) link and Dentally will automatically block any marketing-based communications (SMS, email and letter) that you wish to send to a patient who has not opted in to receive this type of comms from you.

For this to work, as a practice you can now identify which of your correspondence templates in Dentally are for marketing-based purposes, helping you to ensure you comply with the latest regulations and best practices.

All of your communication templates that you use for marketing purposes, must have Marketing set to On/True. This will ensure that any emails, SMS or letters sent via marketing templates are only sent to patients who have opted into marketing. Unsubscribe links will also be added automatically to each one that is sent.

The screenshot shows the settings you need to edit and there is a brief description of each below.

Show in Recall Report

Do you want the template to be available from the Recalls Report? Generally, the answer is YES if the content concerns Recalls, and NO if it does not. Simply click the slider to on if the answer is yes. To learn more about recalls, click here.


You must remember to select this for all marketing communication templates in order for them to have the unsubscribe links included and for Dentally to automatically remove any contact who has unsubscribed from marketing based communication from your practice.


The Active slider, means the template will be shown in the correspondence list. If a Template is set to off, staff with Level 4 permissions can see it in the Template list but it does not display in the drop-down list for use in correspondence. Select it to be inactive while you are working on or creating a template. Templates cannot be deleted. To stop using a template, simply select the slider to be off.

Using a Correspondence Template

Once you've created the template we have a webpage to help you with composing new patient correspondence. Click on the relevant link to go to our help pages.

Additional Support Documents to help with Templates

Correspondence Templates

Clinical Notes Templates

Clinical Templates

COVID-19 Templates

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