Deep Cleaning Teeth Cost

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What doos the average deep cleaning teeth cost?

When it comes to maintaining your dental hygiene, The American Dental Association recommends that you must get a dental cleaning at least once a year. But sometimes, you come to the dental office and find out that your dentist recommends deep teeth cleaning. Is that a bad thing?

There is no need to panic. Deep dental cleaning is not as drastic or bad as you may think. In fact, it can improve your oral health. But how much does dental cleaning cost? Will this be an expensive dental procedure?

In this article, we will discuss how much you would probably have to pay for a dental deep cleaning, and various aspects involved in the process such as what happens during dental teeth cleanings, why you need to get one, and how would you know if you need one.

How much does dental deep cleaning cost?

Dental deep cleaning costs vary depending on the fees of your dental professional and any anesthetics that you might need. So, basically, the more scaling and root planing your teeth would need, the more expensive dental deep cleaning can get.

To give you a good idea, a dental deep cleaning may cost anywhere between $150 and $350 without insurance. A typical office visit can cost anywhere between $50 and $200. In case you need x-rays, this will cost you anywhere between $25 and $120.

If you want local anesthetic for a pain-free procedure, it can cost you an additional $300. And if antibiotic injections are needed for the healing process, this can cost anywhere between $30 and $90 for each tooth.

Other factors that would determine the total dental cleaning cost would be your location, dentist and hygienist fees, home care products prescribed, maintenance checkups, and the type of dental insurance that you have.

Of course, the major factor of your teeth cleaning costs would be the condition of your oral health.

What is deep cleaning?

Deep cleanings are usually required if you are at risk of having a periodontal disease or if it has been a really long time since you got a dental cleaning. It is also used to reverse and stop gum disease – as long as it is still in its early stages.

If you have translucent teeth or a thin enamel or your teeth are showing signs of decay, deep cleaning can help your teeth from getting any further damage.

During the procedure, your gums will be pulled back to expose the roots of your teeth. This will help the dentist remove all the plaque and tartar above and below your gum line. The procedure usually involves periodontal scaling and root planing.

Periodontal scaling is a standard oral hygiene practice and they are usually done in routine dental cleanings too. This is when the dentist uses a special tool called the curette to scrape below the gumline for plaque and tartar.

The root planing procedure is majorly what makes it a deep cleaning. The dentist may use the curette also for this phase but instead of scraping for plaque and tartar, it smooths down the root of the tooth. This is so that the gums will reattach to the tooth.

What is the difference between normal and deep dental cleaning?

A deep teeth cleaning is just like a normal cleaning only with the added step of root planing. A regular cleaning aims to remove tartar and plaque above the gumline while a root planing treatment cleaning would remove tartar and plaque from below the gumline as well.

The combination of the scaling and root planing process makes it possible to clean out the deep pocket spaces between your teeth and gums. This is important since regular teeth cleaning practices like brushing and flossing could not do the job.

Take note though that not every deep teeth cleaning is the same. Some dental professionals may have a different approach to match your dental needs.

Signs that you need a deep cleaning

People with gum disease are usually the primary candidates for deep cleaning. But it is also highly recommended for those who have not visited their dentist for some time.

If you have any or a combination of these symptoms, there is a huge chance that your dentist will require you to do a deep cleaning.

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Plaque buildup
  • Gums have signs of persistent inflammation
  • Gums are pulling away from your teeth
  • Tartar has reached the roots of your teeth
  • Presence of pus between teeth
  • There are changes in your bite
  • Gums bleed while biting into fruits or while teeth cleaning
  • Teeth become loose and fall out
  • There is a constant and unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • If you have dentures, it will start feeling loose

Deep cleaning aftercare

You can prevent the need for another deep cleaning by taking extra care of your teeth and gums. This way, you can just do a regular cleaning on your next checkup.

Here are some aftercare tips that you should follow to prevent the need for deep cleaning again.

  • Brush twice everyday with an antimicrobial and fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Floss between your teeth everyday to avoid the buildup of plaque.
  • Rinse everyday with a mouth rinse or mouthwash especially formulated to prevent plaque.
  • Go for a healthier diet – limit your consumption of starchy and sugary foods.
  • Avoid smoking and other tobacco products.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for routine dental cleaning and checkups.

Pros and cons of deep teeth cleaning


  • Cleans your teeth above and below your gum line
  • Prevents and stops gum disease
  • Protects the roots of your teeth
  • Promotes healthy gums
  • Prevents tooth loss
  • Fights bad breath by eliminating gum disease
  • Fewer cavities on root surfaces
  • Improves overall health


  • Can be painful
  • May cause gum recession
  • Sensitivity after the procedure
  • Risk of infection if you have a weak immune system
  • Risk of nerve damage (rare case)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is deep teeth cleaning covered by dental insurance?

Most dental plans do cover the cost of dental cleaning – especially if you are diagnosed with chronic periodontitis. This would mean that professional teeth cleaning is a medical necessity for you.

How much of the total fee for your deep cleanings will be covered depends on what kind of insurance plan you have with your insurance provider. Much dental insurance would cover half or more of the total cost.

Be sure to give your insurance provider a call and review your coverage before setting up an appointment with your dentist.

How long does a dental deep cleaning take?

This depends on the severity of your dental issue. If you have a lot of tartar, it can take a few hours to remove everything and then do the root planing.

One thing is for sure – a dental deep cleaning session will take longer than a normal teeth cleaning session because it is a more in-depth cleaning process.

In some cases, it may take more than one appointment. This is because with deep cleaning, your mouth will be divided into four quadrants and your dentist will probably just be able to clean two quadrants per session if you need a lot of work.

Does dental deep cleaning hurt?

Unfortunately, there is no sugarcoating this – yes, you will feel some pain or irritation at the very least. This is especially if your gums are already inflamed. The dentist will most likely give you local anesthesia to make the procedure less painful for you.

Can dental deep cleaning be done with sedation?

A lot of patients end up being too nervous over the procedure. You can actually request IV sedation. You will be conscious throughout the procedure but you will be in a relaxed state and you will not remember much of the whole experience. Take note that this is an added cost that most dental insurance plans will not cover.

What is periodontal disease?

This is when the inflammation of your gums progresses to a point where it is starting to harm the bone around and between your teeth. Periodontitis is usually the result of bad oral hygiene. This is why getting professional teeth cleanings is a must even if you have a good dental care routine in place.

Can deep cleaning cure periodontitis?

To set the records straight, there is no cure for periodontitis. But deep cleaning is a great treatment to prevent periodontal disease or any further damage. It provides your teeth and gums a chance to renew and heal.

If you have advanced gum disease, your dentist will probably think it’s best that you see a periodontist. Since a periodontist is a specialist, chances are they will have higher fees.

Are there any side effects to deep teeth cleaning?

Common side effects would be inflamed gums, sensitive teeth, sore gums, and teeth sensitivity.

These side effects are most likely to be felt during the first few days to a week after your session. Your dental hygienist can prescribe you medication for the pain. If there is swelling, pain, or bleeding for more than a week, you should see your dentist for a checkup.

Can’t I ask my dental hygienist to do a regular cleaning instead of a deep cleaning?

Your dental hygienist will not recommend a deep cleaning if a regular dental cleaning can do the job. They usually recommend deep dental cleaning when you already have a dental disease or you have severe bacterial and tartar buildup that could lead to dental disease.

If you insist on just doing regular dental cleaning, there will still be bacteria and tartar left in your gums and teeth. And take note – regular brushing and flossing will not be enough to deal with this.

Are dental cleanings really necessary even if I have healthy teeth?

You may think you do not need to do dental teeth cleanings because you have been practicing a good oral health routine and that your teeth look perfectly fine. This may save you from deep dental cleaning but it does not necessarily mean you do not need routine dental cleanings done by a professional.

Your teeth may look perfectly fine from the surface but there are issues that can’t be seen by the naked eye, like oral bacteria or soft plaque. These issues are usually revealed through x-rays or scans.

Remember – brushing and flossing are only standard cleaning procedures. Professional cleaning is the only way to get rid of tartar buildup – especially the ones stuck in between your teeth. Having regular cleanings will also help you catch problems early – whether it be tooth decay, moderate gum inflammation, or other dental health problems.

The earlier you get dental treatments, the better your chances of saving your teeth – no need for cosmetic procedures in the future!


Remember, if your dentist recommends deep teeth cleaning, you should go for it! As you can see, it is all for your own good.

Deep teeth cleaning is a common and safe procedure. And although your oral hygiene routine is a big help, nothing can clean your teeth as well as deep cleaning. It will not only clean out even the hard-to-reach areas but also make your teeth look and feel smoother. It is a great way to keep your mouth healthy.

Remember, the American Dental Association advises everyone to get their dental cleanings at least once a year and to practice a good oral hygiene routine all the time. If you are able to do proper dental care, the need to go to the dentist’s office and get a deep teeth cleaning procedure will be less.

Plus, a dental insurance plan covers dental cleanings cost. So you do not have to worry about how to pay for teeth cleanings. Get the opportunity to have your teeth cleaned to prevent gum disease and save money in the future.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.