Avoid biting your lip/cheek/tongue while you are numb. If you need to eat, choose something that is soft and doesn't require chewing (for example a smoothie). Also avoid hot foods (like soup), because you may burn yourself and not know it. 


You may experience some of the following after having dental fillings placed:


  • Tooth sensitivity


Depending on how close the decay reached to the nerve, temperature and biting sensitivity may be felt for weeks to months after a filling was placed. A cavity can cause the nerve to be inflamed, and it can take some time for the inflammation to subside.


  • Jaw soreness/tenderness


Having jaw tenderness is common after having dental work done. We often require you to keep your mouth open for extended periods of time, exhausting the jaw muscles and joints. Alternating hot and cold compresses to tired jaws, and taking anti-inflammatory medications (such as Ibuprofen), and eating soft foods can help alleviate jaw discomfort.


  • Injection site soreness/tenderness


If you received anesthetic injections for your treatment, you may notice some tenderness or bruising at the site of the injection, especially if multiple injections were needed. Anti-inflammatory medications (such as Ibuprofen) can help alleviate injection-site tenderness.


  • Filling feels too high


Once a filling is placed, we do our best to adjust it so it is comfortable to bite on. Typically patients are still numb as we check the bite, and may have a difficult time sensing if the filling feels completely normal. It is common for fillings to need a final adjustment once the numbness has completely worn off. If your filling feels even slightly high, please contact our office to have it adjusted.


  • Possible eventual need for a root canal


In some instances, decay reaches very close to the nerve. When this happens, the nerve becomes chronically inflamed, and can slowly die over a long period of time. Even if the decay is completely removed and a filling is placed, the nerve itself may already be inevitably slowly dying. This is something that cannot be detected in an X-ray initially and usually presents itself over time after other restorative efforts have been made.



If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office at 415-986-6900 or



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450 Sutter St., Suite 1630
San Francisco, CA 94108

(415) 986-6900


Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 8am-5pm

Wednesday: 10am-7pm

Thursday: 9am-6pm

Friday: 8am-5pm 

Saturday: 8am-6pm

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“Dr. Shin is friendly and great at communicating.  The staff are knowledgeable and go out their way to help patients. They are super speedy without compromising accuracy or helpfulness. I always leave Dr. Shin’s office feeling good and smiling wide!”    Claire S.

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