I have loved working with my hands ever since I was little. My furthest memories go back to about six years of age when I wanted to be a dentist, and I found it fascinating. My parents always thought that I would change from that, but all through the years, I didn't deviate, dentistry was what I've always wanted to do. My manual dexterity is where my skills are, and it is the biggest joy in what I do, being able to use my hands and do dentistry. Endodontics is even more intensely necessary for manual skills, very precise, very intricate, very detailed. And so it plays to my wheelhouse, so I enjoy that very much.
The other side of it, is I'm an introvert, I have a hard time being outward, but having patients come to me and talk with me about dentistry and endodontics and implants, it's like I'm making new friends every day. It's so wonderfully satisfying to meet all these new people and get to know them. When you come here, you're like one of our friends, you get to know every one who took part in your care. You are one of our family as one of our patients here, it is rewarding to have you actually leave and say, "That was so much easier, I can't believe that I was so worried about this. It was much better than I thought it was ever going to be."
I have a rich and varied educational background. I had different thoughts and grew along the way. I started off doing a bachelor of science in chemistry with a minor in business, knowing all the time I wanted to get into dentistry, but chemistry was my backup plan. I made it into dentistry. I at times struggled in dental school, but I actually graduated number three in my class and with one of the two gold medallions for my work in dentistry.
So, after dental school, I went to private practice for a couple of years because I felt it was important that any specialist should understand what it takes to be a general dentist first, because invariably, they are the master coordinator of your treatment plan. And so I was a general dentist for two years, after which time I went to grad school to study endodontics, I got my specialty training in endodontics, and also a masters degree in material science related to my research work which is published nationally, and is one of the 10 most highly cited articles in endodontics. So kind of a long history, lots of education, 14 years of post-secondary education, had anyone told me grade 12 would not have been the halfway point, I would have laughed at them in grade 12, and here I am, 14 years of college later.
When he was a young boy, Dr. Ernest Reeh enjoyed building model boats, cars, and airplanes as well as woodworking and repairing watches. Being good with his hands and being a keen visual learner came naturally to him. This, along with his desire to help improve people’s dental health, is what made him want to become a dentist when he grew older.
Dr. Reeh received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Calgary, Alberta with a major in chemistry and a minor in business. He completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Alberta School of Dentistry and was awarded the James McCutcheon Honor Award (one of two gold medals awarded to graduating students).
Dr. Reeh worked as a general dentist in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and received two years of specialty training in endodontics from the University of Minnesota. His master’s work was presented at an annual meeting and won the top award. He completed his master’s degree in material science and his doctorate degree in biophysics from the University of Minnesota with a related field minor in engineering.
Dr. Reeh was a faculty member of the University of Minnesota’s endodontics division while practicing dentistry privately. He had always enjoyed the academic community but not as much as private practice, so he decided to start his own practice. He missed the academic environment, however, and continued to do volunteer research at the University of Minnesota, developing two products for which he holds two patents. He eventually left research at the university and went into private practice full time.
Dr. Reeh’s other professional and civic accomplishments include:
- Specialty certification, board certified endodontist
- Fellow, American Association of Endodontists
- Licensed, State of Minnesota
- Guest lecturer for Dental Residency Program, Veterans Administration Hospital, Minneapolis, MN, and many others
- Consultant for 3M (Dental Division), Carestream Dental (Kodak Imaging)
- Named a Top Dentist in the endodontist category by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine
- Adult leader in Boy Scout Troop 9132
Dr. Reeh has also conducted extensive endodontic research throughout his career. His findings have been published in numerous professional journals, case reports, and abstracts, and he has given lectures both nationally and internationally. Dr. Reeh also holds two dental technology patents.
At River Valley Endodontics, patient care and comfort are Dr. Reeh’s primary concerns. He explains patients’ needs in a calming way that they understand. Dr. Reeh also enjoys the conversations with his patients. He uses humor when appropriate to help patients relax and eliminate their anxiety. He has created an office environment that is very calming and soothing, and he has hired team members who are understanding and compassionate. He loves our staff and feels like they are family.
Dr. Reeh has even been known to draw pictures or write upside down so he can talk face-to-face with patients about their treatment plans. He always presents them options and gives them all the information needed to decide what’s best for them. His patients appreciate that he does what he says and says what he does. They also appreciate his outstanding fine motor skills, a trait highly suited for endodontics. One of his referring dentists even calls him “Canal Man” not just because he does root canals but because he finds more canals than any of the other endodontists he works with.
For Dr. Reeh, the best part of his job is the “ta-da” moment at the end of a patient’s care when they see the great results they wanted and are surprised that it was much easier than they expected.
In his spare time, Dr. Reeh likes to do projects in his woodshop, tinker with a hobby car, and tend to his yard and garden.