Dental Services

From routine cleanings and fillings to full mouth reconstruction, Greenville Family Dental is equipped to handle all your dental needs. To help you understand your options, we've included descriptions of some of our leading services on this page.  You can also find out more information by clicking a category in the blue box to the right.

Services we offer include:

Emergency Dental Treatment

If you have a life-threatening or severe injury, call 911 or go directly to the nearest hospital emergency room. We can treat a variety of traumatic dental injuries, including teeth that have been chipped, moved, or knocked out entirely. Please call our office for assistance.

Comprehensive New Patient Exam

It has been proven time and time again that our mouth is a gateway to the rest of our bodies. Disease in the mouth has been linked to diabetes, heart conditions, and even preterm labor. This is why Dr.'s Meachum and Blau believe that it is their responsibility to perform a thorough, comprehensive exam at your first appointment. During this exam they will assess your health by inspecting every surface of every tooth and all the soft tissue associated with your mouth. We will begin by reviewing your medical history. The medications you take as well as any illnesses you may have had can influence the health of your gum tissue and your rate of tooth decay. We will also discuss with you any concerns you may have about your oral health and what your dental goals are. We will then take the necessary x-rays (see the section describing digital x-rays). This helps the dentists check for decay between the teeth, cysts, abscesses, impacted teeth, and much more. We will also document any existing restorations (crowns, fillings, etc.). The hygienists will then screen you for periodontal disease (gum and bone disease) by taking measurements of your gum tissue. We will thoroughly examine your whole mouth (including your salivary glands, palate, tongue, even your lymph nodes) and check your teeth for decay, fractured teeth or fillings, and oral cancer. We will also assess your jaw joints (TMJ) and check the way your teeth fit together. Once we have all the information, we will discuss with you any treatment we recommend. Together, we will come up with a treatment plan that works for you.

Crowns and Bridges

Crowns (you may have heard the term “cap”) and bridges are usually indicated to protect a tooth, restore a tooth, or replace a tooth. Many times a crown will be recommended to protect a tooth from fracturing when there is no decay present, but a very large filling exists that the tooth can no longer support. Sometimes a tooth that needs a crown is sensitive but most of the time, the tooth has no symptoms at all. The goal with a crown is to either prevent pain or discomfort, or to make a tooth more esthetic. A bridge is basically three crowns hooked together with the middle crown replacing a missing tooth. Picture how the Mackinaw bridge (I too checked the spelling:)) connects 2 pieces of land, well a dental bridge connects 2 teeth.

A crown or bridge typically involves two appointments. The first appointment will take about 1 hour and 45 minutes and entails first removing old filling material and decay leaving only healthy, sound tooth structure. We then build your tooth back up to construct the foundation for your crown (this is called a core buildup). Then we shape and contour your tooth so it resembles a thimble. An impression is taken and a temporary crown is made so you leave with something to chew on while your permanent crown is being made at the laboratory.

The second appointment takes only 45 minutes. We try in and adjust your crown so it’s comfortable and natural feeling to you and then “cement” it in.

Dentures and Partial Dentures

Dentures and partial dentures can be a good solution for patients with missing teeth. Dentures are plates with artificial teeth that replace all the natural teeth in the upper or lower jaw and use the jaw bone as support. Partial dentures replace only a few teeth and use both the remaining teeth and the jaw bone as support. As one of Dr. Meachum’s favorite dental school instructors once said, “Dentures are not a replacement for teeth, they are a replacement for no teeth.” Many patients don’t realize that dentures are a prosthesis, and just like a prosthetic arm, it takes a lot of practice to use them. Sometimes a more comfortable solution to a partial denture is a bridge or implant.

The first appointment begins by taking impressions of your teeth. If you are being fitted for a partial, many times Dr. Meachum or Dr. Blau needs to reshape some of your teeth so your bite will feel even when the partial is delivered. We then try in the framework, or in the case of a denture, record how your top and bottom jaws fit together. Together, we then decide on the shade of teeth you’d like in your prosthesis and then try everything in one last time before the final product is made. After your denture or partial is delivered, it is common to need adjustments as you become used to eating and speaking with it. Our policy is to not charge for adjustments after delivery so don’t hesitate to call us.

Digital X-Rays

In November of 2006 we incorporated digital x-ray technology into our office. There are many advantages to going digital. The first is that the sensors (which replaced x-ray film) are so sensitive that for every x-ray we take, we can use 60% less radiation than we previously used with traditional film. The second is that x-rays can be easily emailed or printed if the need arises for you to see a specialist. Another advantage is that we no longer accumulate lead foil in our office (which was a part of each x-ray film) and we no longer use the harsh chemicals needed to process traditional film. Therefore, we no longer have to dispose of these items into our environment.

ClearCorrect

ClearCorrect can help you achieve a beautiful smile without bonding braces on your teeth. It basically works by wearing removable, clear, plastic aligners that are made to nudge your teeth gently into position. Dr. Meachum has seen the best results in patients who have previously had braces and just need a “tune-up” or in patients with minor crowding in their teeth. After a consultation to assure you are a good candidate, we will take impressions and photographs of your teeth. This information is sent to a laboratory where they analyze the data and send us back 3-D computer imaging program which shows us what the end result will be. Small tooth colored attachments are then bonded to your teeth and your first set of aligners are given to you along with instructions for wear. Wondering if you are a candidate? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Meachum by calling our office today!

Spectra Cavity Detection

The Spectra handpiece looks like a wand and has special LED lamps that emit blue-violet light at a wavelength of 405nm. Light of this particular wavelength causes cavity producing bacteria to fluoresce.  Cavities fluoresce red whereas healthy enamel in contrast fluoresces green.  The Spectra camera, then takes a picture that looks a little like a Doppler radar screen and this picture is saved in your file on our computer. The Spectra gives us a reading in the form of a number so if an area of your tooth looks suspicious, we can record the reading and compare to readings in the future.  We have found that there are some pretty darkly stained grooves that don’t have any decay at all and we have also found that there are some perfectly healthy looking teeth that have decay. Early detection of decay leads to much smaller fillings and a healthier mouth.

Lumineers

Lumineers are a type of porcelain veneer that can be made as thin as 0.2mm, similar to a contact lens. Lumineers are used in cosmetic dentistry to correct stained, chipped, or misaligned teeth in 2-3 appointments. Because they can be made so thin, many times we don’t have to remove any enamel from your tooth. This eliminates the need for local anesthetic which makes the procedure more comfortable. If you have a question as to whether or not you’re a candidate for Lumineers, feel free to call our office and schedule consultation appointment.

Sealants

Sealants are a great way to protect the grooves of your teeth from becoming decayed. After thoroughly cleaning your tooth we flow a liquid resin in the grooves and harden it by shining a blue light on it. This sealant acts as a physical barrier by helping to prevent sugar and bacteria from attacking your tooth and causing decay.

TMJ Treatment, Grinding Teeth/Migraine prevention

Stress, clenching, or grinding your teeth can all lead to Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) which is characterized by clicking or popping of the Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ), limited jaw opening, pain in the TMJ, or an excessive wear pattern on the biting surfaces of teeth. Sometimes this can also lead to headaches, pain in the neck or shoulders, or tooth sensitivity. We may be able to help lessen these symptoms with either a U of M style bite splint or a NTI device. These devices help to protect the teeth from wear, as well as relaxing the TMJ muscles and ligaments to help relieve pain.

White Fillings

There are two main benefits to tooth colored fillings (composites). The first is that they are more esthetic than silver fillings. The second is that they chemically bond to the tooth which both preserves tooth structure (because we don’t have to drill so much of your tooth away) and helps to prevent your tooth from fracturing.

In the past, most cavities were filled with silver fillings (amalgams). For the most part, amalgam fillings did the job pretty well. What we've has noticed, however, is that these fillings corrode and expand within the tooth over time causing hairline fractures in the enamel. This is often the reason why many teeth that have a moderate size amalgam filling require a crown.

Composites are placed much like amalgams. After anesthetic, we clean and shape your tooth and bond the resin-filled composite material in a shade that matches your enamel. The new filling is hardened by shining a blue light on it and we then contour and polish it so your bite feels even.

Whitening (Bleaching)

Whitening your teeth is a safe, effortless way to brighten your smile. Many patients accumulate stain on their teeth throughout their lives that leaves their teeth yellowed or discolored. Over the counter whitening products such as mouthwashes or toothpastes may claim to whiten teeth but patients rarely see results. The take-home whitening kit that our office provides uses prescription strength gel and a custom fit tray to remove the surface stains with little or no sensitivity. Please realize that tooth colored fillings and porcelain restorations will not whiten.

We begin by taking impressions of your teeth so that we can make a custom tray that is both flexible and comfortable. We will give you enough whitening gel for one session and instructions for use. One “session” lasts approximately two weeks and we will take before and after shades so you can see how many shades your teeth have whitened. The great thing about take-home whitening is if you need a boost 1 or 2 years from now, you simply need only to purchase a refill gel kit as your trays should still fit. We also offer an in-office booster to jump start the whitening process.