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Cavity Fillings in Lehi, UT

Dr. Geoffrey Grant at Canyon Crest Dental will help you to not only rebuild your smile but improve your holistic dental health. Built to mimic the look and feel of your natural smile, tooth colored fillings are impossible to distinguish, easy to apply, and simple to maintain. Metal-free is the way your smile should be – but how much do you know about fillings? Before you visit, read below to learn everything you’d ever need to know about what fillings are and why they help!

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Illustration of Cavity Filling

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What Are Dental Fillings

Dental fillings today are so much more sophisticated than metallic cavity fillings, which are also known as “amalgams.” These types of fillings just sit on the tooth, providing some protection, but fail to properly bond with the tooth’s natural surface.

But you should think about dental fillings like an emergency response and a long-term solution to treating cavities in teeth.

As treatment, we remove the the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fill” them up, restoring both the tooth and its function.

Depending on the material used, fillings can also be used to repair cracked or broken teeth without needing veneers or caps. Even teeth-grinders can benefit from fillings as the material — known as resin — which is used to re-shape and rebuild a tooth’s surface.

Understanding Your Teeth

Tooth colored fillings are a recent breakthrough which came about because we know so much more about the connection between dentin, which is the inner part of the tooth, and the enamel, which is the outer, protective layer.

This outer layer is one of the hardest natural material naturally formed in all animals, consisting of tightly-packed and interconnected calcium crystals but no living tissue.

As you can see below, decayed matter can start off at the enamel, break through to the dentin, and eventually affect the pulp or delicate nerve endings within the dentin.

Cavity Infographic

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The dentin is quite porous and its structure closely resembles our natural bones. If you’ve ever cracked a bone, seen it dried up, or even view it under the microscope, you’ll see a web-like, interweaving pattern. Viewed up close, the dentin is made of microscopic tubules of collagen, with calcium crystal deposits.


You may be surprised to learn that dentin is actually a living substance. As such, it’s sensitive — it has actual nerve tissue embedded in it and feeling is transmitted through these endings in the center of the tooth.

You may be able to understand now why metal or amalgam fillings are simply a poor mimicry of this very organic matter. They may also pose a health-risk: Approximately 50% of amalgam or “silver” fillings are composed of mercury.

Mercury-Free Dentistry Infographic

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Increasingly, dentists today rely on dental composite resins made of a plastic resin and silica filler.

Composite resin gives that natural look and natural feeling within the teeth. Dental porcelains or ceramics are also reliable because they easily mimic the enamel part. Many dentists rely on these materials to address outer or surface issues.

The result of these technological breakthroughs is a positive experience of fillings. For patients looking to restore the health of their teeth and their smile, this is an experience far more comfortable, sensitive, connected and protected.

Restoring and Rebuilding Your Teeth

The goal of cavity fillings should be to restore and rebuild your teeth’s natural strength and purpose. That’s why we focus on tooth colored fillings as a solution that’s both aesthetic and functional.

Restoration depends on a strong bond between the resin materials and the enamel and dentin of the tooth. This bond determines how much sensation you feel — when you bite down, is there force or stress felt?

Bonds between the resin and the natural anatomy of the tooth matters so much because you want a bite that is strong, certainly, but not rigid. Your smile will thrive naturally when we can align your tooth colored fillings with the form and function of your natural set of teeth.

Benefits of Tooth Colored Fillings

Tooth colored fillings offer patients multiple benefits, ranging from a better look to more natural feel:
  • Using your smile’s natural form, tooth colored fillings consider the internal shape and the action of the specific tooth
  • They provide outer protection on the enamel as well as form a bond between the resin and dentin that is sensitive to bite
  • They may prevent further tooth decay or further cracking, unlike amalgam or other rigid materials
  • Tooth coloured fillings have a more comfortable after-filling sensation as well as a faster and easier fillings procedure

Types of Tooth Colored Fillings

You may know that molars are used extensively when biting down and chewing food. So these need to be strong and sturdy, able to withstand repetitive use and impact.

Know that the position of your tooth and its function will greatly affect what type of tooth colored filling is chosen.

In general, there are a few options, beyond the amalgam or gold fillings we used to see.

Composite Fillings

Known as plastic or white fillings, composite fillings are directly applied — which means they can usually be done in just one sitting. They’re the same color as your teeth and cost less than gold but more than amalgam.

Once we clean up the decay within your teeth, the composite resin is placed into the cleansed area in thin layers. We harden each layer with a special light held over the tooth. Once the final layer is placed, we shape the filling so it looks and feels as natural as your real teeth.

The Dental Fillings Process

Since each of our Canyon Crest Dental patients have a unique smile, the procedures and solutions we recommend are just as personalized. It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation.

But if you’re curious about what the process looks and feels like or how long it takes, in general, read on.

Dr. Grant will usually numb the area with a local anesthetic and use an air abrasion instrument or even a laser to remove the decayed area. How do you know which to choose? We will speak to you about your options because it really depends on the location and extent of your decay.

Next, we’ll test the area to make sure we’ve got every last bit of the decay. After everything has been removed, we prep the empty space by cleaning it, making sure there’s no bacteria or leftover debris hiding. Then comes the filling process.

Direct Fillings: The most common type of application, and the easiest, direct fillings involve the dentist applying small amounts of restorative or composite material and building it up, step-by-step.

Indirect Fillings: This may happen if the decay has progressed to larger areas. The result is a more complex restoration. There’s simply not enough healthy tooth left so we will use other processes such as molds or crowns to replace and restore teeth.

At the end of it all, this composite resin is shaped, excess material is trimmed off, and the final material is polished.

Behold the timeless beauty of a healthy smile!

Need a Cavity Taken Care Of?

If you’ve been feeling a prolonged period of bite or tooth sensitivity, or sensation around your gums, this could be the first signs of tooth decay.

It’s not conclusive, though, so book a stress-free consultation with the help of Dr. Geoffrey Grant and the team at Canyon Crest Dental. We can examine your issues, discuss your options, and give you multiple solutions that match your end goals and budget.

From cracked or chipped teeth, to decayed or discolored teeth, tooth colored fillings are a flexible but highly functional solution that may do more than just restore the beauty of your natural smile — it may actually save your dental health.

Contact us today to restore your natural smile!

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