What's New

6/10/21 PATIENT UPDATE: Current Covid protocol.

Dear Families and Patients of Thornton Orthodontics,

We hope this update finds you all looking forward to summer and adjusting comfortably to daily routines. Our team has been steadily tracking Oregon's reopening and the evolving COVID protocols. We are eager to return to the highlights of life that we enjoyed before the pandemic. Dining out, community events, and big hugs from loved ones are all things we hope to see returned to stay over the upcoming months.

Isolated questions from patients about which COVID precautions are required and appropriate in our dental setting have left us feeling prompted to do a current review of our protocols. Below are our responses to the most FAQ that have arisen:

 -Are masks still required when entering the building? Although mask requirements are starting to be lifted in many settings, Oregon Health Authority has not made any changes for dental settings due to aerosol-generating procedures in the office. Our team is eager to start seeing the brilliant smiles we love be unmasked, but we are prepared to wait patiently for health authorities, our staff and our patients to feel safe doing so. For now, face coverings and masks covering the nose and mouth and made of woven material that blocks exhaled particles, are required for anyone in the building, regardless of vaccination status. 

-Do I need to continue calling to check-in from the parking lot? Current vaccine rates, local COVID exposure risk, and the requirement to continue wearing masks in dental settings allow us to phase out this part of our current protocol. You are welcome to continue this check-in option if you prefer, but feel free to check in at the front desk without calling ahead.                         

-How are you screening for COVID symptoms? Per the current Oregon Health Authority requirements for dental offices, all patients who experience flu-like symptoms, have been exposed to someone with COVID within the last 14 days, or have been told to isolate after testing positive for COVID are asked to reschedule their visit. These screening questions are included in all appointment reminders sent from the practice. 

-When do I need to reschedule for illness other than COVID? If a patient has had any potentially contagious symptoms within the last 72 hours, that cannot be explained by a pre-existing condition, we will plan to reschedule the appointment.

 

-Are virtual appointments still an option? YES, absolutely. The new technologies added to the practice have become an essential piece to aid in customized care. Video, phone and remote appointments are some of the tools that allow us to meet our patient’s individual needs. 

As always, thank you for your patience and understanding with changes required to continue providing consistent and exceptional care. We understand that many families are navigating shifting responsibilities and stresses, as is our team. We deeply appreciate your trust in our office.

 

All our smiles,

 

The Thornton Ortho Team

 

 

11/16/20 PRACTICE UPDATE: The Latest Measures for COVID Protection

Dear Families and Patients of Thornton Orthodontics,

We hope this update finds you all healthy and well. Our team has cherished the opportunity to continue caring for you and your smiles during this difficult year. Amongst everything else that we’ve walked through with you, we have closely monitored the state of our community’s battle with COVID 19. We all know that positive cases of this disease are rising in our area. Following Governor Brown’s recent press conferences, we’ve decided to take additional voluntary measures to further reduce exposure risk for guests of our practice, effective immediately. Our goal remains to steadily protect our patients and our team as life continues.

Our responses to FAQ that have recently arisen:

- What should I expect at my next appointment?

  • Please call us to check in from the parking lot when you arrive. We are restricting office traffic by only allowing patients, and guardians as needed, into the building within 5min of their appointment time. If you are early, please wait in the car or outside the building until our team is ready for you. Reduced traffic in the practice is the safest precaution for patients, our staff and everyone's loved ones.
  • All guests entering the building will have their temperatures taken at the front desk. If an elevated temperature is present, the appointment will need to be rescheduled.
  • Our front desk team will continue to facilitate COVID symptom screenings for all parties entering the building. Screening forms are available in paper form in office or digital format on our website.
  • Patients who have been exposed to COVID are unable to be seen in-office until quarantine protocol has been metIf a patient has had any COVID like symptoms within the last 72 hours, that cannot be explained by a pre-existing medical condition, we will plan to reschedule the appointment.
 

-What type of face covering is permissible? Face coverings and masks must cover the nose and mouth and be made of a woven material that blocks exhaled particles. Coverings made of a mesh or sheer material will need to have a clinical mask placed over them while in the building. Face shields do not meet our criteria. Patient masks will be removed only while receiving orthodontic care.

 

-What additional precautions are being taken to reduce COVID exposure? Dr. Thornton and our team take our responsibility as healthcare providers very seriously. We know that when visiting our practice, you are trusting our vigilance to keep COVID risk at a minimum. For your peace of mind, please know:

  • Our team is screened for symptoms and temperature checked at the start of every work day. We also screen any temporary staff at the practice, including technology personnel.
  • Our lunch hours are spent socially distanced.
  • The air filtration units in our office have the highest-level filtration available and is changed weekly.
  • We have added additional direct suction devices during aerosol producing procedures.
  • Training for correct use of Personal Protective Equipment, sterilization and disinfecting measures related to COVID 19 have been completed for all appropriate staff.
 

-Are virtual appointments still an option? YES, absolutely. The new technologies added the practice have become an essential piece to aid in customized care. Video, phone and remote appointments are some of the tools that allow us to meet our patient’s individual needs. Please contact us with as much notice as possible to reschedule appointments.


-Am I still able to start braces or aligner treatment? Absolutely, and don’t wait to reserve your needed appointments. Due to a high demand for care, scheduling availability is limited. 

 

We deeply appreciate the support and patience of every patient, grandparent, parent, care taker, friend and additional care partners as we have navigated the turbulent ride of 2020. We couldn’t do what we love, if it wasn’t for all of you. What you do notably matters.

 

All our smiles,

 

The Thornton Ortho Team

 

 

9/29/20: Practice Update: Scheduling Tips from Our Team
 
Dear Families and Patients of Thornton Orthodontics,

 

We hope this update finds you all doing well. Over the last 6 months our team has worked hard to care for the ever-shifting needs of our patients. In order to ensure quality orthodontic care, it is important that both parents and patients understand the manner in which we schedule your appointments. Our goal is to be the best part of your day and we make it our priority to value both you and your time. Therefore, we make every effort to stay on or ahead of schedule. Inconveniencing your work schedule and interrupting your child’s studies as infrequently as possible is very important to our entire office. Since a large portion of our patients are of school age, it is unavoidable that some school-time appointments will be necessary. We've seen that COVID precautions have caused academic demands and schedules to vary greatly for each family.

As school has now resumed for many students, we are taking this opportunity to revisit our office guidelines used to build a cohesive schedule for our practice. We are glad to work around your student's important classes and provide your child with school excuses for scheduled orthodontic appointments. Because we have families of our own, we understand your scheduling concerns and will do everything we can to ensure your child’s treatment goes as smoothly as possible.

  • LONG APPOINTMENTS, BANDING AND BONDING: These are more detailed and technique-sensitive appointments. Therefore, these visits will be scheduled during our quieter morning hours when Dr. Thornton can dedicate more focused attention to the appointment. TIP: Schedule the next appointment before you leave the office or call from the parking lot. Long visits will be much easier to work around important classes when scheduled 6-8 weeks in advance.
  • EMERGENCIES: (Pain, Swelling, or Bleeding) This usually results from trauma to the face or mouth. These patients will be seen as soon as possible with either appropriate care given to relieve pain or a referral to another specialist provided for treatment. TIP: If you're not sure whether what you're experiencing is an emergency, feel free to contact our team to check in. Emailed photos can also be very helpful to show what is bothering the patient.
  • REPAIRS: (Loose bands or brackets, broken arch wires or ties, broken appliances or retainers) These appointments are always scheduled during school hours since they are long visits. The vast majority of your appointments over the course of treatment will be short appointments. By seeing our long-visit patients during school hours, it leaves more room in our schedule to see patients during after-school hours. We realize that discomfort can also arise from a poky wire and loose brace or appliance. TIP: Often times we are able to save you an appointment into the office by gathering more information about the root of the issue, where the patient's progress in treatment is, and how long the area of concern has been a problem. Many areas of discomfort can be addressed at home with appropriate coaching from our staff.
  • APPOINTMENTS MISSED OR RESCHEDULED WITHIN 48 HOURS: Another appointment will be scheduled but may require waiting four to six weeks. An appointment made during school hours may be arranged sooner. A $25 rescheduling fee is applied to appointments missed or rescheduled without 48 hours notice, as that appointment may have been needed for another family. TIP: Utilize our appointment reminder system to confirm/cancel scheduled appointments. We will be promptly notified of your response. For cancelled visits, the appointment will be removed from our schedule and we will contact you to reserve a new appointment time.

Thank you so very much for understanding! Dr. Thornton understands that daily life has gone through many unforeseen changes during 2020. We take pride in continuing to provide you with the highest level of care.

Warmly,

The Thornton Team

 

 

9/9/20: Practice Update: Effects of Holiday Farm Fire

Dear Families and Patients of Thornton Orthodontics,

Several of you have reached out to touch base on how the practice is operating with the active fires around our community. Dr. Thornton and our team have been closely watching the progression of the Holiday Farm Fire as it continues to devastate the area that we serve. Our hearts are broken for all of you that are being affected by fire damage, power outages and evacuation, amongst the other trauma we are experiencing in our world.

At this point, our patient care is able to continue like normal. We have power, internet and sufficient staff to operate the current schedule. Due to COVID, our team has ample access to N95 masks to protect our breathing while we work. If we lose any of those essential components of our operations, you will be the first to know.

We can't tell what the future holds, so we will continue to manage the situation at hand. This year has posed an unrivaled opportunity to prioritize our patient's needs and we've risen to the challenge through committed team work. Our cloud based software allows us to access our computers from a remote location and contact families quickly if there needs to be a change to a scheduled appointment.

If you have an appointment that needs to be rescheduled due to an unforeseen circumstance, please contact us by phone, email or through the appointment confirmation system as soon as possible. The visit will be reschedule in as timely a manner as we are able.

Thank you for your continued trust and commitment to our small business.

 

You're One of the Reasons We Smile,

The Thornton Ortho Team

 

 

6/30/20 PRACTICE UPDATE: Maintaining a Safer Normal.

Dear Families and Patients of Thornton Orthodontics,

Over the last month our team has continued to monitor the progress of our community in fighting COVID 19. We've made a habit of routinely reading the latest updates from the CDC, the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Dental Board, in addition to many other sources. World events are changing quickly. Our goal is to steadily protect our patients and our team as life continues. The practice will maintain most of the precautions we put into place on May 1st. We love being able to work daily to build stronger smiles, and we want to keep it that way! Dental offices have made a long career of being proactive and using universal precautions, so the additional criteria needed to keep our community safe is nothing new to us. 

Here are a few FAQ answered since our last update:

-Do I need to complete the two online COVID forms again, if I already did them?

  • The COVID Health Questionnaire (https://www.orthoii-forms.com/SupplementalHealthQuestionnaire.aspx?culture=en-US&custid=1332) will continue to be our tool to screen for potential concerning symptoms for our patients. That form will need to be completed at every appointment, the day of the visit. It will help us identify potential risks and ask appropriate follow up questions as needed. It will also be a way to aid Lane County's contact tracer if we ever need to provide information about a potential infection route. If a patient has had any COVID like symptoms within the last 72 hours, that cannot be explained by a pre-existing medical condition, we will plan to reschedule the appointment. Please call if you have any questions related to the information requested on this form.
  • The second form, the COVID Informed Consent (https://www.orthoii-forms.com/COVID19InformedConsent.aspx?culture=en-US&custid=1332), only needs to be done once for each patient. It reviews that we are unable to maintain social distancing while providing orthodontic care. We were initially requesting that too be completed at each appointment, but at this point we are confident that each active patient has had an opportunity to review and consent to the information. Please contact us if you have any questions about the COVID Informed Consent form.

 

-Should I wear a mask? Yes please. All patients and accompanying guests of the practice are to wear a mask when entering the building, unless a medical condition prevents them from doing so. Patient masks will be removed while receiving orthodontic care. We are happy to provide one, if you forget yours.

 

-What can I expect at my appointment?

  • No need to call from the parking lot, unless you prefer it that way. Patients are welcome to enter the building, masked, and check in at the front desk. Seating in the reception area is limited, as chairs are still spaced to encourage social distancing. Guardians are welcome to escort their patient in, if they feel the need, otherwise you can wait in the car or run an errand.
  • Temperatures will be taken for all patients at the chair by the assistant. Any patients with a temperature will be rescheduled.
  • We are asking families to continue minimizing additional visitors to the practice during patient appointments. Reduced traffic in the practice is the safest precaution for patients, our staff and everyone's loved ones.
  • Please schedule your orthodontic appointment before you leave our office, either by phone or at the front desk. Scheduling availability through the end of the year is limited. It is very important that a time be reserved to accommodate all patients.
  • No kid's corner or coffee station, for now. Hospitality is an important value of our team, but safety is higher. We are eager to see these two staples of our office return, but for now they will need to remain TBD. (We will have an exciting new rewards system to debut this summer though!! More to come on that later.)

 

-Are virtual appointments still an option? Absolutely. We've gotten very good at utilizing new technologies to aid in customized orthodontic care. Video, phone and remote appointments are some of the tools that allow us to meet our patients individual needs.

 

-Am I able to start braces or aligner treatment? Yes, and make sure to schedule your appointments ASAP! Summer has always been one of the busiest times of the year for us. With plans to return to public schools in the fall still somewhat uncertain for many families now is a great time to move forward with orthodontic care. Completing long or multiple start appointments now limits time away from classes and allows our patients to adjust to care before returning to school, whether that instruction is at home or in the classroom.

 

To end our update, here is an encouraging reminder of just how lovely the world can be:

 

Don't be afraid to smile,

The Thornton Ortho Team

 

 

5/28/20 PRACTICE UPDATE: No news is good news.

Dear Families and Patients of Thornton Orthodontics,

We've continued to closely watch Oregon, Lane County and Eugene adjust to the reopening of regular life and continue to be encouraged. The systems our office has put in place to protect our guests and patients will continue to occur until further notice. Call us when you arrive to check in. We will meet you at the car to take temperatures of anyone entering the office. Please wear a mask into the building. We are happy to provide one, if needed. 

Our final thought in this practice update is to encourage everyone to remember kindness. The people you know and love are still the same people. They may be having a hard time adjusting right now. Be kind. Be gracious. Be thoughtful. We'll get through this together. 

Thank you for the countless warm thoughts and appreciative messages over the last 8 weeks. Our team would greatly appreciate an online review to reflect your recent experience with our office. We've worked really hard to provide excellent communication during this difficult time. Everyone has been so kind and we would love that to be shared publicly for anyone searching for an orthodontic office. Below are quick links to our Google Business Page and Facebook.

Facebook Review: https://www.facebook.com/ThorntonOrthodontics/reviews/?ref=page_internal

Google Business Review: 

https://www.google.com/search1590709909087&q=thornton+ortho&spell=1&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjm_8iY4NfpAhVzHjQIHeglBs0QBSgAegQIGhAn&biw=1920&bih=888

 

Thank you for continuing to trust us. You are all irreplaceable.

 

Never stop smiling,

The Thornton Ortho Team

 

 

5/22/20 PRACTICE UPDATE: Week 3 is a success.

Dear Families and Patients of Thornton Orthodontics,

We're happy to keep this week's update short and sweet. The practice has run smoothly during week 3 of patients returning to the office. Here are some highlights: 

-Our Personal Protective Equipment stock is well supplied and ordering additional equipment is readily available. Our team has been fit-tested for N95 masks, to be utilized when needed. We have also registered for the decontamination system for N95 masks, recently available to Eugene and the surrounding area.

-All postponed in office appointments have new reserved dates and times. We are continuing to send notifications of the updated appointments, through phone and text messages, in two week groupings. If you have not received your new appointment time and would like to know when it is scheduled for, feel free to reach out to us. We LOVE addressing specific needs!

-The check in process for arriving patients is going smoothly. Please continue calling when you arrive in the parking lot to inform us of the vehicle you are waiting in. The COVID 19 informed consent form and health questionnaire will be available with your appointment reminder and on our website. (https://www.thornton-ortho.com/patient-forms) Once we can verify that the forms have been electronically submitted, Dr. Thornton's clinical assistant will meet you at the car to take the patient's temperature prior to entering the building.

-Summer is one of the busiest times of the year for Dr. Thornton, so it will be important to plan this time efficiently. Remember to contact us to schedule your following appointment after you return to the office.  We want you to get the date and time you need! If we do not hear from you within a week after visiting us, your follow up appointment will be reserved by our Scheduling Coordinator and you will be notified through text or email.

-Take advantage of open availability on your calendar now to plan the start of orthodontic treatment for this summer. We want to fit everyone into the schedule before Fall brings back busy lives. Don't put off the evaluation appointment you've been wanting.

 

Since returning to normal patient care is going so well, you can expect that next week will be the final COVID 19 practice update. We will continue to monitor our community's guidelines and health as we work through the phases of Re-Opening Oregon. If the 21 day timelines for each phase are successful, we could be finishing Phase 3 by July! It is exciting to consider the possibility of normal life again. If the plan changes, you can count on us to communicate any important details.

Our sincerest thanks to every patient and family for your grace and patience during this trying time. We aren't out of the woods yet, but things are looking good. We welcome any questions you might have.

 

Never stop smiling,

The Thornton Ortho Team

 

 

5/12/20 PRACTICE UPDATE: WE'RE BACK IN OFFICE! :)

Dear Families and Patients of Thornton Orthodontics,

It's so good to be back. We love seeing your lovely faces and hearing about what you've been doing to fill your time at home. Our team's website bios all mention that we love our patients; that has never felt more true! Giving exceptional care to the patients and families that trust us is our driving force throughout the day.

Here are the updates you need to know from our your FAQ this week:

*How do I know when my new appointment is? We will contact you with a new appointment date and time, via email and/or text,1-2 weeks before the visit is scheduled. It is very important that you confirm that appointment or contact us immediately to find an alternate time. Your next appointment reminder will happen the day of your appointment and will provide check in instructions. The day of reminder will happen regardless of whether you confirmed already. You do not need to be concerned if you haven't heard from us yet, but we'd love to talk to you if you'd like quicker specifics on your planned appointment. Once the schedule is back to a standard format, we will restart our automatic reminder system.

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