How Dentists Give You Cavities Part I: Dental Explorer

Sorry to be “negative” but many dentists don’t know what they are talking about. They will reassure you a million times, dental explorers won’t give you cavities, but plain simple physics prove the exact opposite. All you need to do is break the enamel open–even only microscopically wide–and a dental explorer is the perfect tool for that!dental explorer
Some dentists don’t just poke around, they push the instrument so hard your mouth and neck will hurt more than your tooth…

It turns out the pressure created by applying just 100 grams (3.5 oz) of weight on your molars using a dental explorer is about 100,000 PSI (6,900 bar) !!

If you think the math below is faulty, feel free to email me with your corrections.

According to the 1993 study “Comparative study of the point diameter of dental explorers and the effect of wear on it” available at

The diameter of dental explorers from three companies have been measured at 10, 20, 40 and 50 microns from the end of the tip


Hence, even if we take the largest diameter of 50 microns (50 µm), the radius is 25 µm:

25 micron diameter => 2,000 μm² (sq microns) area

2,000 μm² -> 3.100006*10^-6 sq inches.

Hence, 1/3.100006*10^-6 -> 322,580 PSI when you apply one pound (453 gr) pressure on a 50 micron dental explorer!

Even a “light” touch of just 100 gr (3.5 oz) easily exceeds 100,000 PSI (6,900 bar). Do you think your teeth are that strong not to break when this much pressure is applied? I don’t think so!


So let’s put these 100,000 PSI into perspective (see

The strongest animal bite is under 8,000PSI (saltwater crocodile) and the great white shark disappoints at just 690 PSI…

Car tires are inflated to around 30 – 35 PSI (2.5 bar)

A popular example in physics courses in school are high heels. It’s common knowledge that a 100 lb woman’s high heels will exert well over 1,500 PSI pressure on the floor:

But as you can see from the dental explorer example above, all physics teachers should switch to the dental explorer example and ditch the high heels.

So….if your dentist pokes around your teeth to “find” cavities, your dentist doesn’t know anything about physics, or worse, it’s done with the intention of seeing you again shortly… When you think about how easily this instrument can break enamel, the last thing you want to touch your teeth is a dental explorer, unless of course your tooth is already damaged….

Enough about teeth

Have a read through Hyper V backup and how it protects the ‘teeth’ of your business.