Suppose a dentist is going to prepare a cavity using a drill... but he drills in the wrong spot away from where the cavity is...

Does this damage the tooth?

Also, is it possible for the outer surface of the tooth to look fine, but the tooth has a cavity inside... how does the dentist ensure he drills in the right spot if there's no visible markers for where the cavity is... (ie: he only has the x-ray). Can the tooth be messed up while the dentist looks for the cavity?


1 Answer 1


A dentist will prepare cavity based on principles of cavity preparation. Sometimes it may require extended preparation for the longevity of filling and further caries prevention. Anyway the caries has to be removed completely (all soft areas or infected dentin).

Now I will answer your second question. A cavity or dental caries can be hidden in many cases. The surface enamel may be intact in such cases.In these cases x ray is of great use. Though you cannot identify by bare eyes where the cavity is, a dentist with adequate illumination can detect the minor colour change of surface enamel if there is underlying caries. It has to be restored as soon as possible in order to prevent further loss of tooth structure.

  • So suppose there is actually no cavity, but the dentist made some kind of mistake expecting a cavity... The dentist does cavity preparation. Does he damage the tooth? What happens to the healthy tooth in this case? Aug 26, 2016 at 1:49
  • 1
    In theory, the tooth structure is weakened, but if the restauration is minimalist, done properly, and you maintain proper hygiene, there should be little difference with the original/healthy tooth.
    – enap_mwf
    Aug 26, 2016 at 3:30
  • 1
    @enap-mwf is right.
    – aelin_s
    Aug 26, 2016 at 5:44

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