Our Blog

Gearing up for Summer!

June 1st, 2017

Here at the office we can smell summer right around the corner. There are plenty of fidgety kiddos, anxious teenagers and even more anxious teachers sitting in our chairs everyday. For us Summer tends  to the the busiest time of the year and instead of winding down for an easy season, we are gearing up for a bonding palooza and other summer events.

We are kicking off June by participating for the first time in The Great Cycle Challenge. This is a nation wide cycling event that lasts the entire month of June and helps raise awareness and funds to fight childhood cancer. When we heard about it, we felt compelled to get involved. We have dedicated our lives to helping kids smile bigger, better and boldly. With that in mind, we felt the least we could do was throw our hat in the ring for all those kids, in our practice and across the nation, who are struggling to stay healthy. Together our team is working hard to ride 950 miles and raise $1000 for this cause. For anyone interested in joining our team, the invite is open to all our friends of the practice. You can get involved by going to www.greatcyclechallenge.com.

Secondly, throughout the summer we will be bonding braces left and right. Many families find that the lazy days of summer fit really well to start working orthodontics into their lives. Last year we helped nearly 250 families take a step toward a healthier smile by either starting care, having their initial evaluation or marking important growth to plan future treatment. Our schedule is already filling up with adults and kids starting their smile adventure in Invisalign or braces. We can't wait to see who this year brings to our practice!

Finally, we are looking forward to the 9th annual Patient Appreciation Pool Party at Amazon Pool. We've set the date for July 30th and are diving straight into making this a stellar party! Back by popular demand, we'll have Dr. Thornton in the dunk tank so guests can playfully unleash any pent up aggression. Pizza, drinks and a killer raffle are also in the works. Don't miss this or you'll be sorry you did! The remaining details will be in an email invitation, so make sure you keep an eye out for it.

Summer at Thornton Orthodontics has always been an action packed, fun in the sun kind of smile party and so far this year is looking like it won't disappoint! We can't wait to hear what all of you have planned.

Our new Itero scanner is our "Magic Machine"

May 3rd, 2017


Everyone remembers the timeless messy impressions at the orthodontist. They fill up a metal tray with this gloppy goo that, if you're lucky, has been flavored like bubblegum. Then they put it in your mouth for what feels like a lifetime, during which you focus with all your brainpower on not tossing your cookies. The entire process is almost a right of passage when it comes to braces...BUT...with Dr. Thornton these memories are a thing of the past! About a year ago we transitioned to capturing most models with our digital Itero scanner and keeping a computer image of your teeth to use for records. These digital records can be easily used to fabricate custom Invisalign aligners, as well as additional custom appliances. Our magical Itero machine has made a huge difference to our smile team and now we welcome the next generation of the technology.

Soon to be delivered, is the latest model of the Itero, the Element. This machine has made dramatic improvements to the already impressive technology. It can now produce a digital model in under 2 minutes with incredible accuracy. Once the model has been completed, it can be uploaded in seconds to provide an alignment prediction and...SHAZAM...you can watch the step by step alignment to your dream smile. From that software Dr. Thornton can submit the desired movements to Invisalign, where he carefully plans each aligner in your series. The digital file also gives him the capability to print a 3D model in our very  own office.

It's true that there are still some situations where a traditional impression is best, but we have still done our best to make that as smooth as possible. We have enough flavors to open an ice cream shop and the material we use sets up in 30 seconds.

Don't miss the demo video of our magical new Itero machine here!

Patients of All Ages Love Dr. Thornton!

March 9th, 2017

"Adult patients are some of my favorites! They take great care of their teeth and do exactly what I need them to. I feel very privileged to finally give them the smile they have always wanted!" - Dr. Thornton

We've heard Dr. Thornton mention this more times than we can count. Of course it's exciting to help any patient get started on the road to a more confident smile, but there is something really special about helping adults. Sometimes it's a mom who has put 3 kids through braces and now she finally says, "It's my turn!" Other times it's a retired person who realizes they still have so much life to live and they want to do it with a smile just as bright as their spirit. There are a lot of reasons that adults in the Eugene area look to Dr. Thornton for braces or Invisalign, and the benefits last a lifetime.

Since teeth are dynamic in nature, over time they wrinkle just like skin, whether or not you've ever had braces before. There is a tendency for them to drift forward causing crowding. People might like not the way that looks, but it can also cause a challenge with cleaning and lead to bone loss, as many dentist have told their patients. Those are some of the prompts for patients to schedule an orthodontic exam. During that time, Dr. Thornton evaluates the needs carefully and then clearly explain the details and benefits of all treatment options.

Once treatment has begun, Dr. Thornton works hard to maximize the progress at each appointment. Whether it is small or large changes needing to be accomplished, modern orthodontics offer many different options to reach those goals. Dr. Thornton loves Invisalign in particular for adults, as it allows him the freedom to control each step of the tooth movement before the patient even gets the aligners. And since adult patients are often motivated to get in and out of treatment as quickly as possible, they do a great job complying with the aligners.

In the end, what we hear is, "If I knew how easy it was going to be, I would have done this a long time ago!" And it is our pleasure to make that happen. Here are just a few of our many adult patients:

A closer look at Invisalign

February 8th, 2017

There are many clear aligner systems out there claiming to be able to do all that braces can do in correcting teeth, but Dr. Thornton has found that is often not the case. He has tried several of the available choices, but has found that Invisalign is the one he can count on to reach the exceptional results that are his standard. In fact, he has been successfully treating patients with the system since he begun his practice in 2008. Over those many years he has learned 3 important keys in working with Invisalign.

First off, you have to start off on the right foot. Each series of aligners are fabricated all at the same time, so Dr. Thornton carefully evaluates the records taken before treatment begins to make sure each step of the tooth movement is carefully planned. He has gained valuable experience in predicting the sequence of movements that are necessary to get patients to their final healthy smile.

Secondly, patient partnership is crucial. Each set of aligners are worn for 1 to 2 weeks a piece, depending on Dr. Thornton's treatment plan. The aligners have to be worn an average of 22 out of 24 hours a day for 1 to 2 weeks. When patients commit to wearing the aligners as needed, they sail through the alignment process. Without that commitment, the full tooth movement of each aligner is not able to be accomplished, so the teeth end up a step behind when switching to the next set of aligners. After enough of "the two steps forward one step back" game, we often notice that alignment is not progressing as planned, so treatment may need to be halted while a new series of aligners are made.

Finally, you can't under estimate what those aligners can do! Not everyone is an ideal candidate for the Invisalign technology, but Dr. Thornton has been surprised countless times with what can be accomplished. He has seen dramatic changes with severe crowding, closing excess spacing, misaligned bites and countless other complex dental issues.

In conclusion, Dr. Thornton loves Invisalign! It has proven to be innovative, reliable and an overall great option for a lot of patients. Please check out some of the before and after photos on our Invisalign page and at the main Invisalign website.

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