Recovery Depends on Your Treatment
Generally speaking, we will provide instructions after each procedure to make sure you understand the steps you need to take during your brief recovery. Of course, the instructions depend completely on the type of work we do.
If you had a temporary filling placed on a tooth or just received a new crown we always ask you to wait 30 minutes before eating for the materials to fully set. If you had a filling done, the tooth-colored composite fillings do not require a waiting time to set (another advantage of composite fillings since amalgam requires a 30-minute wait before eating).
However, if you had local anesthesia and your lower lip and/or your tongue is numb, we do ask you to wait until the numbness goes away before eating. First, it’s just easier to eat when your mouth’s not numb, and it also helps you avoid biting your tongue or cheek while eating.
The numbness will usually last for a few hours. The length of time depends on the processing time of the body, the amount of anesthesia used, and the location of anesthesia. Numbness in the upper lip usually doesn’t affect eating because it's generally difficult to bite your upper lip.