About TDO

Journey Toward Excellence: The TDO Software Story



Dr. Gary B. Carr
TDO Founder & President

The short version of the TDO Software story is that TDO® began with the commercial launch of our software in early 2000. The true story goes back much farther than eight years or even ten. It predates our current location and even the name TDO®. In fact, the true story has nothing to do with software, but starts with a group of concerned endodontists trying to better the state of our specialty.

Early in my career I was puzzled by the fact that endodontic surgeries had a 50% failure rate. So with the help and mentoring of Dr. Terry Tanaka, I undertook a microscopic and ultra-structural study of surgical failure using fresh human cadavers. Our study showed conclusively that there were two primary causes of surgical failure. The first was inappropriate surgical armamentarium, which lead to my development of a radically different system of microsurgical instruments. The second was inadequate placement of retro-filling material due to poor visibility, a problem that could easily be solved with a high magnification microscope.

These insights eventually lead to dramatic improvements in the safety and success rate of endodontic surgeries for hundreds of thousands of people around the world. The specialty immediately realized the value in the new microsurgical instruments I invented. Surprisingly, however, my decision to start using a microscope was initially met with skepticism and ridicule (surprisingly because microscopes were already common practice in neurosurgery, micro-vascular surgery, ENT and OBGYN).

For me and a loyal group of like-minded clinicians, it was our first lesson that excellence doesn’t come easy, and that humans are surprisingly resistant to change even when all evidence points to the need for it. Today, training in “Microscopic Endodontics” is required by postgraduate programs in order to become certified. But it took 15 years of lectures, training and workshops through PERF (The Pacific Endodontic Research Foundation) to get this change accepted on a widespread scale.

Then, in the late 1990s, my office manager Amy Taylor and I began developing a practice management software as a natural complement to working with a microscope. The goal was not to produce just another practice management software, but to develop a truly integrated digital office that would simplify and unify all functions within an endodontic practice. At the same time we hoped to create a disciplined way of collecting data that would allow for a scientific analysis of endodontic outcomes as well as provide standardized evidence-based endodontic protocols, which are solely needed in our specialty.

We began testing Version 1.01 of TDO Software in 1998. Thirty dedicated endodontic specialists culled from prior PERF faculty members volunteered to be the beta testers. After two years of extensive beta testing and further refinement of the ergonomic concepts first developed at PERF, TDO Software was introduced commercially in early 2000 revolutionizing the field of endodontic record keeping. Eight years later we are preparing to launch Version 11, and in the future we will continue to regularly evolve our software to stay at the forefront of the field.

As of October 2018, we are proud to announce that Sonendo and TDO Software have expanded their strategic partnership. To read more about this exciting development, please take a look at the following press release: Sonendo® and TDO® Software Press Release

We’d like for you understand what this means concerning the future of the software, the future development of TDO Software, and and why we feel this merger is to the great advantage of all the clinicians and staff who use TDO or are planning to implement TDO at their practice.
As our team worked with the Sonendo team on the TDO integration, we saw that their corporate culture was very similar to ours. It is a culture that has at its core value making endodontics special by focusing on what is best for patients. Their focus is very similar to TDO’s core value: How do we operate so that the patient receives the very best care? The focus has always been: what is best for our patients. They stand for the same thing we do: providing the highest level of care for our patients. It is clear to us they will not tolerate anything less.
Besides our common corporate culture and the enormous synergy that our merge can bring to the TDO community, we feel that it will benefit your office if you are already using GentleWave thanks to the very powerful integration we have created in TDO Software. However, you do not need to be using Sonendo products to take advantage of the benefits that TDO has to offer your office an endodontist.

As a note, TDO will continue to operate as a separate entity and offer the same products, services, and program offerings as before the acquisition. Dr.  Gary Carr will continue to lead the TDO community, and Luiz Motta, General Manager of TDO, will continue to lead day-to-day operations.

TDO® – The Digital Office for Endodontists – is presently the most widely used endodontic software in the world. Through TDO Software we have built a community of quality-centered endodontists united in our search for excellence. Each day, I and my fellow TDO users strive to push the boundaries of our specialty—most recently through the “TDO® Outcomes Project,” the first multi-centered randomized controlled clinical trial in the history of endodontics.

We hope that TDO Software improves your quality of life as it has for countless other endodontists and their patients, and we invite you to join us on our journey toward excellence. Only by working together as a group can we continue to advance our specialty and guarantee our patients the best possible care.


Dr. Gary Carr

Ready to switch to TDO? We’re here to help!