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Meet Dr. Thornton

Dr. Robert H. Thornton, DMD

Hello, my name is Dr. Robert H. Thornton, DMD and I’m a Bioesthetic Dentist in Tupelo, Mississippi. I have been practicing dentistry since 2000. I’m passionate about my health-based practice centered around individualized care with minimally invasive dentistry for every stage of life. I love being a Dentist and I am excited to get to know you and learn more about your oral health goals.

I serve children, adults, and senior dental patients in the Tupelo, MS area as well as the greater Northern Mississippi region. I provide Minimally-Invasive Bioesthetic Dentistry, TMJ/TMD Therapy and Facial Pain Relief, Airway and Breathing Disorder Therapies including Sleep Apnea Therapy with the VIVOS® System, Myofunctional Therapy and Tongue-Tie Laser Therapy, Minimally-Invasive Biomimetic Dentistry which is an excellent biologic alternative to conventional crowns, General Dentistry, Family Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Implants, Crowns, Bridges and Dentures.

My Dental Philosophy

I want to be able to help my patients and bring health, wellness, and vitality back to their lives. I personally believe that for patients to have the best experience and achieve optimal, lasting results, there must be a systematic approach to treatment.

My philosophy of dental health care is based upon the study of healthy mouths and chewing systems rather than the treatment of symptoms. I believe that it’s important to utilize a scientific approach and focus on the biological factors affecting your health and what caused symptoms to arise in the first place.

My goal is for us to work together to create a plan for restoring your dental health long-term so you can enjoy improved comfort, confidence, and an overall better quality of life.

Why I Became a Dentist

My interest in Dentistry began at a young age. In the fifth grade, I proudly told my teacher, who is the mother of one of my dearest friends, that I wanted to be a Dentist. Since then, she has reminded me of this moment many times and continues to do so today. Growing up, my mother would take my brother and me to see a Pedodontist in Jackson, MS. Every time we went to visit, my Dentist would talk to me not only about my oral health but also about his life and interests outside of work. He shared how he had the freedom to really enjoy life to pursue his hobbies hunting and attending ball games and it was fun to just hang out with him. I always looked forward to our visits. He took the time, made the effort, and was always genuinely interested in me, my health, and my interests. Later on, I realized that I wanted to be able to provide that same great experience for others. I believe that patients are most invested in their health when they trust their Dentist and have a good relationship with them.

Education and Professional Background

I went to college in Mississippi and graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in 1998. I began practicing Dentistry in a small town called Philadelphia, Mississippi, which is close to where I grew up. Then, I moved to Louisiana and practiced in Hammond, and, later, Baton Rouge, Louisiana for about six years. Afterward, I moved back to Mississippi to enter into practice with a friend of mine and worked in a dental office located just outside of Jackson in Brandon, Mississippi. I moved to Tupelo almost ten years ago it has really become home for me. I love the town, the people, and the community.

I enjoy all aspects of Dentistry, but I am especially passionate about the therapeutic treatments that produce big changes in my patients’ lives. Many of my family members, myself included, have suffered from TMD and Airway Dysfunction. Early on in my practice, I felt a calling to help people who were suffering from these types of complex issues. Many of my patients were suffering from TMJ disorders, bite problems, muscle pain, facial pain, headache pain, and jaw problems. I recognized that there was a piece of the puzzle that was missing and that there was a need for more advanced Dentistry in North Mississippi.

Continuing Education

My quest for knowledge and true answers is what finally led me to seek out The OBI Foundation for Bioesthetic Dentistry where I was taught a philosophy of oral health care called Bioesthetic Dentistry. Finally, and for the first time in my professional career, I found a philosophy of dental health care that was based upon the study of healthy mouths and chewing systems rather than the identification and spot treatment of pathology! I started listening, studying, and learning. I was convinced that this was the answer for which I had been searching.

In 2008, I embarked upon a 4-year journey to further advance my skills in the diagnosis and treatment of complex patient cases involving degenerating chewing systems using Bioesthetic Principles, which focuses on complete dental restorative treatment for patients who have (TMJ) temporomandibular joint issues. I am a Level 4 Graduate having completed all 4 levels of training at The OBI Foundation for Bioesthetic Dentistry. I also had the privilege of becoming an OBI Board of Director Officer, in October 2022, and enjoy serving with colleagues.

Over the course of my career, I have completed numerous ongoing education courses and studied at the finest post-graduate programs in the world including The Schuster Center Business School For Dentists, The OBI Foundation for Bioesthetic Dentistry, and The Stewart Center for Minimally Invasive Dental Medicine (formerly The Texas Center for Occlusal Studies & Minimally Invasive Dentistry.)  I have learned many wonderful things from all of these teaching institutions and am very grateful for the opportunities they have awarded me. As a lifelong learner, I believe strongly in continuing education.

While I have been trained in a variety of oral health afflictions in General & Cosmetic Dentistry, I have been and continue to be extensively trained and highly-effective in treating oral health afflictions including TMJ Disorder and Airway Dysfunction, providing Airway-Centric Dentistry.

  • Leveraging my training as a Level 4 Graduate of The OBI Foundation for Bioesthetic Dentistry, I apply my expertise utilizing the most effective treatment for TMJ Disorders by providing MAGO (Maxillary Anterior Guided Orthotic) Splint Therapy, which is the only method scientifically proven to be effective in treating TMD. Usually, for the patient, this involves wearing a specialized occlusal splint (the MAGO) for about two to three months. The MAGO helps stabilize the TMJs (jaw joints) and keep them in their proper position. Over the course of treatment, patients visit my office once I week so that I can check in on their progress and make calculated adjustments to the MAGO device. Once the jaw is stable, we can take a closer look at what the underlying problem is and what we need to do to fix it, long-term.
  • In addition to treating TMJ Disorder, I also focus on Airway Dysfunction and provide Airway-Centric Dentistry. When I began working with patients who had TMD and taking 3D scans of the head and neck, I started noticing that airway problems were also common among these individuals. Specifically, in many cases, the airway was not wide enough, and it was as if the patient was trying to breathe through a straw. This inspired me to educate myself on Airway Dysfunction and I got involved with a company called VIVOS®. I learned how to treat airway issues using Airway Dentistry to open up the airway and grow the face and upper arch, which houses the lower floor of our airway. By doing so, we can restore the functionality of the airway and keep people off of CPAP machines. No one wants to be attached to a machine, including myself. I want to be able to enjoy my life and live life to the fullest, and I want that for my patients as well. The particular technology that I use to treat patients who suffer from Sleep Apnea is called the VIVOS System. VIVOS® oral appliance therapy provides individuals who suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnea with a comfortable, all-natural alternative to CPAP therapy. I am also highly proficient in treating Tongue Tie & Lip Release therapy utilizing the LightScalpel® Laser method including ensuring pre and post Myofunctional Therapy to achieve optimal results.

Professional Credentials & Affiliations

Enhancing Smiles and Elevating Dental Wellness.

Ready for a dental journey that prioritizes your health and comfort? Dr. Thornton offers innovative solutions to optimize your health and wellness. Embrace a new level of dental care – Contact Us today and experience our personalized services!

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