Teeth Cleaning Cost

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We all know that we should brush our teeth every day but not everyone seems to follow that rule where you have to get professional teeth cleaning too. Most people try to lessen their dental visits because of the cost – so teeth cleaning cost may be your major concern as well. So, how much does it cost to get your teeth cleaned?

Generally, the average cost of a dental cleaning is about $75 to $400. Not all teeth cleaning costs the same since this is a case-to-case basis. The overall cost depends on a lot of factors.

But on a general price range, here is a list of the average cost for most dental clinics in the country if you have dental insurance:

  • Child teeth cleaning – $30 to $35
  • Adult teeth cleaning – $40 to $45
  • Periodontal maintenance – $70 to $80
  • Deep cleaning – $117 to $150

If you need x-rays, this will be an additional cost too.

How much does it cost to get your teeth cleaned without dental insurance?

Dental insurance is a must to help you maintain good oral health. It takes a lot from your overall cost and saves you money in the long run. Typically, dental insurance covers 100% of the cost of teeth cleaning sessions once a year as a preventive care treatment. If you will be needing more than one cleaning, the insurance will cover part of the average cost.

  • Child teeth cleaning – $90 to $100
  • Adult teeth cleaning – $100 to $120
  • Periodontal maintenance – $170 to $200
  • Deep cleaning – $300 to $500

As you compare the estimates between having dental insurance and not having one, you can see a huge difference in the price. Teeth cleaning without insurance can be very costly. Since teeth cleaning is something that you should be doing at least twice a year, getting dental insurance is beneficial for you.

Other options to help you get a lower dental cleaning cost

Of course, not everyone can afford dental insurance. If you feel discouraged because you are living a life without insurance, here is some good news. There are still ways to pay for dental care such as teeth cleaning at a reduced cleaning cost or through dental savings. Try out some of these options to help you maintain a good oral hygiene for a lower price:

Dental discounts

If you can not afford to get a dental insurance plan, you should consider looking for a dental discount plan. Most of the dental plan available covers dental cleanings, consultations, and x-rays and would offer dental savings from 15% to 50%.

Dental office

Some dental offices have promos or discounts on dental services to encourage more patients to choose their clinics. And most of these gimmicks offer discounts to new patients, loyal patients, and returning patients. Some dentists also have their own in-house dental plan, which allows you to pay by installment. You can call your local dentists and ask for information regarding this.

Dental schools

You can check dental schools in your area if they have clinics. Most dental schools allow their dentistry students to build experience by treating patients in their own clinics for free or at a reduced cost.

If you are worried about the quality of dental services you will be getting, you do not have to since all dental students are overseen and guided by a professional dentist.

Government programs

You can also check your local health department or local government if they are offering dental programs that include dental cleanings. Most of these programs are offered for free or at a reduced cost.

Factors that affect dental cleaning cost

There are a lot of variables to be considered when it comes to the total dental cleaning costs. Here is a quick list of the most common factors that will be considered:

  • Type of teeth cleaning needed
  • Experience and training of your dentist
  • Location of the dentist
  • Dental insurance coverage
  • Whether you need a prescribed product after cleaning

Types of dental cleaning

There are different types of dental cleaning services that you can get from the dentist. The type of cleaning you will need will depend on the health status of your teeth and sometimes, your age.

Child teeth cleaning

By the time a child is three or four years old, they need to do regular teeth cleanings. Child teeth cleaning, or pediatric teeth cleaning, is specially made to cater to young kids so that they will feel comfortable during the process. During the procedure, the dentist will also assess the child’s teeth and discuss with the guardian how to improve or maintain them.

Adult teeth cleaning

Regular cleanings are required for adults – even for those who have healthy teeth and gums. During this cleaning procedure, your dentist will use a scaler to remove bacteria, tartar, and plaque. Polishing of the teeth is also included in this type of dental cleaning.

Periodontal maintenance

This is the type of cleaning done for those who have periodontal disease. During this type of teeth cleaning, the dentist usually removes tartar and plaque buildup above and below your gum lines. If you have stains on your teeth, this will also be removed to help improve your breath.

Deep cleaning

A deep cleaning procedure is usually used when you have dental problems like gum disease. During this teeth cleaning procedure, cleaning, scaling, and root planing will take place between the gums, teeth, and roots. A local anesthetic may be used to numb the roots and gums to make you more comfortable during the procedure.

Since this is a more complicated type of dental care, the cleaning costs for this type of dental cleaning is the most expensive in the list.

How do professional teeth cleaning work?

When you go to the dentist to get professional teeth cleaning, there are usually three major steps: scaling, polishing, and flossing.

Scaling is when special tools are used to remove debris, calculus, and plaque, and tartar buildup in between your teeth and from your gums.

Polishing is when they place a grainy paste on your teeth and then your teeth get power brushed. This step will remove any surface stains on your teeth.

Flossing is the step where the debris that gets stuck between your teeth is removed.

Take note that some dentists may have other processes involved in their routine dental cleaning. If issues are found, you may be needing additional dental care or procedure.

Why is teeth cleaning essential?

Teeth cleaning is important since it is the best way to prevent and get rid of plaque buildup on and between your teeth. You should know that brushing and flossing your teeth everyday is not enough to keep plaque away. Your mouth still naturally collects plaque every time you eat. Professional teeth cleaning sessions will reach areas in your mouth that a regular toothbrush session can’t.

Plaque happens when food and bacteria combine in your mouth. Your teeth start to collect plaque within just a few minutes after you eat. It is important to prevent plaque buildup since it can cost gum disease and tooth decay. If plaque is not removed, it turns into a hard deposit called tartar, which could be stuck along your gum line and at the bottom of your teeth.

The combination of tartar and plaque can inflame and irritate your gums causing them to be swollen, tender, and sometimes – infected. Getting dental care in the hands of a professional is your best bet to combat these complications and would greatly be beneficial to your overall health.

Benefits of teeth cleaning

Healthy teeth and gums

Getting regular dental cleaning saves you a lot of time and trouble in the future. Having healthy gums is important since gum disease can lead to more serious health issues.

Brighter smile

Your teeth get stained by the food that you eat and by certain drinks. These stains can cause discoloration. A professional teeth cleaning session can polish your teeth, which will get rid of these stains.

Fresh breath

The best way to prevent bad breath is to keep your teeth clean. Going beyond regular flossing and brushing ensures that you have a healthier mouth and therefore, a cleaner and fresher breath.

Prevent cavities

Plaque buildup causes tooth decay that eats your tooth enamel and leads to cavities. A regular dental cleaning session can prevent this from happening.

Prevent tooth loss

Plaque buildup causes loose teeth because your gum line will loosen up when you have too much plaque stuck in the gums. This can eventually lead to gum disease, which is one of the major causes of tooth loss.

Better overall health

Once your dental health is compromised, this can lead to more serious health issues. Research has shown that poor oral hygiene can be linked to diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Seeing a dentist regularly ensures that your oral health is always at its best.

Teeth cleaning FAQs

How often should I do teeth cleaning?

The American Dental Association (ADA) advises that you do a routine checkup and teeth cleaning every 6 months. If you have good oral health, you can get by with at least once a year of professional cleaning. Take note that this is also on a case-to-case basis. Some people will need more cleaning.

Do teeth cleaning sessions hurt?

Generally, dental cleanings do not hurt at all. You will feel a bit of pressure as the plaque and tartar are being scraped off but it will not hurt. Basically, you do not have to be afraid of teeth cleaning.

The only exception would be deep dental cleaning where the gums and roots are involved. But even so, you still have nothing to fear since the dentist will give you local anesthesia for the procedure.

How long does a teeth cleaning session take?

Professional teeth cleaning usually takes less than an hour unless you are doing a deep dental cleaning which can last for one to 2 hours, depending on your dental situation.

How can I make the effects of teeth cleaning last?

After your teeth cleaning session, you should practice regular and good oral health to keep your mouth clean longer. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and make sure to do a mouthwash at least once a day daily.

If possible, brush your teeth right away after you eat or drink – especially when it comes to tooth-staining food. It helps to use fluoride toothpaste and bacteria-killing mouthwash for your daily routine.

Maintain your regular dental visits for routine check-ups and cleaning twice a year with your dental hygienist.

How should I know if I need professional teeth cleaning immediately?

Bad breath

If you notice that you have bad breath that won’t go away no matter how many times you brush your teeth, this is a sign of infection.

Bleeding gums

When your gums are bleeding, it means you have plaque buildup and you have to get rid of them.

Loose teeth

This is an indication that the bone holding your tooth and the surrounding gum is infected.

Receding gums

Bacteria can eat your gums, causing your teeth to look longer. You can prevent this from happening by getting a professional teeth cleaning session.

Pain while eating

When it hurts every time you chew food, this is a sign that the structures holding your teeth are weak.

Conclusion

Teeth cleaning is an important element when it comes to maintaining good oral health since it helps prevent a lot of dental issues and health risks.

Even if you do your brushing and flossing religiously, it is still recommended to go through a professional teeth cleaning session at least once a year. This is because it is impossible to reach every corner of your teeth on your own and plaque and tartar can easily accumulate on these hard-to-reach areas.

Now that you know the estimated cost of a dental cleaning, you can now easily plan out your finances so that you can afford seeing your dentist regularly. This way, you can avoid dental problems in the future that costs more money than teeth cleaning sessions. In the long run, you actually get to save money by taking the preventive step of getting professional teeth cleaning.

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.

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