So I just watched A Cure For Wellness, and wasn't very impressed by it.

Normally when I watch movies I keep an eye out for plot holes and continuity errors, because it often entertains me more than the movie itself.

Typically such plot holes, etc, are well hidden for the most part, so to my astonishment I found myself surprised to find what I feel as an extremely glaring one in a Cure For Wellness.

The issue, much like the title suggests, is about the fact that Lockhart's tooth seems to magically cure itself (fully reappears with zero damage to the surrounding gumline) towards the end of the movie.

To me, this seems like a major continuity error in the film, especially due to the fact that the teeth pulling is never referred to again. I also find it difficult to believe that the "healing water" or "vitamin elixir of life" could be responsible for such an astonishing and nearly perfect regeneration, especially when a metric for such a healing factor is never provided in the movie.

We can only assume that it let's you live forever. I also find it difficult to believe that his loss of two teeth was merely a delusion or hallucination, because his lack of a teeth lasts for quite a while in the movie, and much of the plot transpires during it.

My question is quite simple. Was the regenerating tooth a movie error, or am I missing something vital that fills in the blank?

  • probably that's because he took elixir the girl has gave him in the bar
    – E L
    Aug 7, 2017 at 23:45
  • Could it be dentures, like the ones other patients were wearing?
    – Yasskier
    May 28, 2020 at 23:48

5 Answers 5


Don't expect an explanation:

The film’s final twist is the final freeze frame, a smiling Lockhart with all of his teeth intact. Verbinski has spoken about the film’s dream logic, that certain things are unknowable.

However, if you're interested in Dane DeHaan's opinion:

But I was curious if DeHaan had a theory about his character’s swift dental recovery?

“That’s the one thing in the movie I didn’t have to think about in terms of what it means, what it represents,” says DeHaan, “because it’s the end of the movie. Gore and I tried a couple different things, and I think it’s cool because it’s one last surprise, and it’s one last question, and it’s why the cure has side effects and will linger. And it will cause conversations, because [...] there is a surprise in this movie around every corner up until the very last second.

  • that indeed would explain several other questions I had about the continuity of certain subplots
    – Luciano
    Jun 23, 2017 at 8:27

I don't believe the regenerating tooth was an error. As I understood it, Lockhart loses his first tooth as a result of the "treatment". When he goes into town and leaves Hannah at the bar, he speaks to the man who says his tooth loss is probably from severe dehydration (despite constantly drinking the water). We then see Lockhart trying and failing to uncover Dr Volmer's secrets and escape the facility. When we see him show off his new teeth, I understood that to mean the facility's dentist fixed them because Lockhart had given up resisting and accepted the treatment. He eventually snaps out of it, and you know the rest.

So how did the teeth and gums heal so quickly? I chalk that up to a little suspension of disbelief. I don't believe it was meant to imply the elixir has that kind of healing power, only life extension.


My sense of the ending is that this isn't Lockhart, but in fact Dr. Volmer with Lockhart's face. Though a shovel was driven into his head and that he was "consumed" by the eels, the movie establishes that people of the Barron's bloodline aren't harmed by the eels. This is seen in the scene where Hannah menstruates into the pool, and attracts the eels without being attacked by them. Due to the cut scene, it is unclear whether Dr. Volmer had survived the incident, or what actually happened to Lockhart.

In the final scenes, the Lockhart in question looks at the burning sanitarium with some sort of familiarity in his face. The final menacing smile could be a subtle confirmation, that the Barron lives on after the destruction of Dr. Volmer and transformation into Lockhart.


So I am watching the movie again just for the sake of the broken/unbroken tooth. The point of change is not at the end of the movie but that was to get your attention, in case you missed it during the point when his missing tooth became whole again (on Netflix, it is at 2:04:38). Prior to that, example 1:59:22 where he was struggling with all the old people trying to pin him down, his missing tooth was very obvious. 1:59:51 where he is in the chamber, his mouth partially agape to show us the missing tooth. A lot of such scenes, if you are looking out for it, until the last one when his nose is pinched for him to open his mouth at 2:01:35 to go through the eel filtration process.

After this, he is seen sitting outside on a bench and Hannah comes to sit beside him. From this point onward, his teeth is whole again, giving you big smiles just to show you that he is cured after the eel filtration process. Yes, he opens his mouth quite a lot to show his whole set of teeth from here on quite a bit.

  • I'm actually pretty sure that this is just a plothole in the movie. Wouldn't be surprised if they just straight up forgot to CGI it out at the end. By the very definition of having not been addressed in the film, or hinted at its possibility, it is a literal plot hole.
    – Krythic
    May 26, 2020 at 16:47

The movie was a psychological thriller which means there are usually underlying reasons for things or things that don't seem to make sense but you need to look deeper into them. And at the end there is a perfect example, the missing teeth were not a mistake at all in fact if you remember the mad scientist used a different face to cover what he really was well that deep smile and him turning down to go back to the career that meant so much to him only tells you one thing that it was not Lockkart at all it was the mad scientist dr in disguise. He used the liquid to keep him alive all these years that he made from the eels (the ones that live up to 300 years. And they said he is not affected or can be eaten by the eels so when he fell in that water you think the eels ate him but in fact if you saw all that blood in the water after he fell in it only means that it was not the dr in the water but lockhart. So in fact he got away again to live out his legacy.

  • 3
    Welcome to Movies.SE! This is a bit hard to read at the moment, would you mind breaking it up into paragraphs and fixing up your spelling and grammar a bit? Thanks!
    – F1Krazy
    Jun 8, 2019 at 13:30
  • 5
    And please don't be condescending because someone didn't interpret the film the way you did.
    – Joachim
    Jun 8, 2019 at 13:34

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