In the last decades, the move of medicine towards minimally invasive treatments is notorious and scientifically grounded. As dentistry naturally follows in its footsteps, minimal access preparation have also became a trend topic in the endodontic field. This procedure aims to maximize preservation of dentine tissue backed up by the idea that this is an effective way to reduce the incidence of post-treatment tooth fracture. However, with the assessment of the body of evidence on this topic, it is possible to observe some key points (a) the demand for nomenclature standardization, (b) the requirement of specific tools such as ultra-flexible instruments, visual magnification, superior illumination, and three-dimensional imaging technology, (c) minimally invasive treatment does not seem to affect orifice location and mechanical preparation when using adequate armamentarium, but it (d) may impair adequate canal cleaning, disinfection and filling procedures, and also (e) it displays contradictory results regarding the ability to increase the tooth strengthen compared to the traditional access cavity. In spite of that, it is undeniable that methodological flaws of some benchtop studies using extracted teeth may be responsible for the conflicting data, thus triggering the need for more sophisticated devices/facilities and specifically designed research in an attempt to make clear the role of the access size/design on long-term teeth survival. Moreover, it is inevitable that a clinical approach such as minimal endodontic access cavities that demands complex tools and skilled and experienced operators bring to the fore doubts on its educational impact mainly when confronted with the conflicting scientific output, ultimately provoking a cost-benefit analysis of its implementation as a routine technique. In addition, this review discusses the
ongoing scientific and clinical status of minimally invasive access cavities aiming to input an in-depth
and unbiased view over the rationale behind them, uncovering not only the related conceptual and scientific flaws but also outlining future directions for research and clinical practices. The conclusions attempt to skip from passionate disputes highlighting the current body of evidence as weak and incomplete to guide decision making, demanding the development of a close-to- in situ laboratory model or a large and well-controlled clinical trial to solve this matter.