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Updated on December 16, 2022
6 min read

Teeth Cleaning Costs

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How Much Does a Dental Cleaning Cost?

Dental cleaning costs depend on the cleaning you need and whether you have a dental insurance plan. It can average between $70 and $200.

Type of Dental Cleaning Cost
Child Teeth Cleaning Cost $70-$104
Adult Teeth Cleaning Cost $95-$138
Deep Cleaning Cost $135-$355 (per quadrant)
Periodontal Maintenance Cost $115-$200

According to the American Dental Association Survey of Dental Fees 2020

dentist examining young womans teeth

Factors That Affect Dental Cleaning Costs

When it comes to the cost of professional teeth cleanings, there are many variables. These include:

  • Location of the dentist or dental hygienist 
  • State of your oral health
  • Type of cleaning required
  • Whether you have dental insurance or not
  • Whether you need a prescription toothpaste or an at-home product from your dentist

Why You Should Get Regular Cleanings

Professional teeth cleanings by a general dentist or dental hygienist remove plaque buildup on and between your teeth.

Plaque naturally collects in your mouth, even with regular brushing and flossing. Regular teeth cleanings reach areas in the mouth that are hard to reach with a regular toothbrush.

Dentists recommend getting professional teeth cleanings every six months for several reasons:

  • Prevents gum disease 
  • Keeps your teeth healthy
  • Achieves a whiter smile 
  • Prevents bad breath 
  • Removes plaque buildup on teeth
  • Catches signs of oral disease early on
  • Improves overall oral health

What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning?

Routine dental exams may include X-rays (once a year). Knowing your health history and vulnerability to oral disease, the dentist is in the best position to determine if X-rays are necessary.

Professional teeth cleanings include scaling and polishing. Teeth cleaning treatment uses dental instruments to loosen and remove soft plaque and hard tartar buildup on your teeth. 

With regular checkups and teeth cleanings, your dentist can catch any issues early on. This prevents them from developing further and becoming more serious or expensive to fix. 

What Happens If You Don't Get Regular Teeth Cleanings?

Tooth decay and gum disease result from plaque. This is a sticky combination of bacteria and food. Plaque begins to collect on teeth within a few minutes after eating. 

If plaque isn’t removed, it turns into a hard deposit called tartar. Tartar can become trapped at the bottom of your teeth and along the gum line.

Together, plaque and tartar irritate and inflame the gums. Bacteria causes the gums to become:

  • Infected
  • Tender
  • Swollen
  • Inflamed

By regularly cleaning your teeth, you can help avoid dental issues such as tooth decay and gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis).

Young children should also learn how to brush and floss their teeth to protect their mouths.

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4 Types of Dental Cleanings

The kind of cleaning you need depends on your age and your oral health status. 

Four common types of dental cleanings include:

1. Child (Pediatric) Teeth Cleaning 

Children should first visit their dentist for a checkup when they are six months old or following the eruption of their first tooth. By the time a child is three or four years old, they will need regular teeth cleanings (twice a year). 

These teeth cleanings cater to young kids to make them feel comfortable. During pediatric teeth cleanings, the dentist will assess the child’s dental health and discuss how to improve it with the parents or guardians.

2. Adult (Prophylaxis) Teeth Cleaning 

For adults who have healthy teeth and gums, or early signs of gingivitis without bone loss, regular cleanings are required (twice a year).

During the treatment, your dental hygienist will use an ultrasonic scaler and/or hand scaler to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria. They will also polish your teeth.

3. Deep Cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing

If you have gum disease and bone loss, you may need deep cleaning treatment. This cleaning includes scaling and root planing. This treatment cleans between the gums, teeth, and onto the roots. In some cases, a local anesthetic may be required to numb the gums and your teeth roots.

4. Periodontal Maintenance 

Periodontal maintenance is a professional cleaning treatment that dental hygienists use to combat the progression of periodontal disease.

During this treatment, your dentist will remove plaque and tartar buildup above and below the gum line. They will also remove any stains on your teeth, which will help improve your breath.

Periodontal maintenance therapy is usually performed every 3 to 4 months as recommended by your dentist.

Teeth whitening is an additional treatment that can enhance a dental cleaning service.

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How to Save Money on Teeth Cleanings

If you don’t have dental insurance, there are other ways you can pay for dental care treatment at an affordable cost:

Dental Schools

A dental school can be an excellent way to receive quality dental care at an affordable rate. Most dental schools have clinics that allow dental students to build experience by treating patients.

It's common for procedures to take longer than usual. That's because every student's work is overseen by a dental professional.

Government Programs

Your government or local health department may offer programs in your area that provide free or reduced-cost teeth cleanings. Contact your local or state health department to learn more about their dental assistance programs.

Dental Discount Plans

Instead of insurance, you might want to consider a dental discount plan. A dental plan is an affordable alternative to dental insurance. 

Many dental discount plans offer savings between 15% and 50% across a selection of dental treatments and procedures. These include cleanings, consultations, and X-rays.

A dental discount plan can also help patients save money on more complicated dental procedures like braces and endodontics.

Dental Cleaning Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to get teeth cleaned at dentist?

You can expect to pay approximately $112 without insurance for a teeth cleaning and $39 with insurance. The price of dental services varies depending on your location, your dentist's pricing, and other various factors.

How often should I get a dental cleaning?

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you get a routine checkup and dental cleaning at least once a year if you have good oral hygiene habits.

Is it painful to get a deep cleaning at the dentist?

A deep cleaning can cause some discomfort, but most dentists will administer a local anesthetic to numb your gums during the cleaning. This will alleviate any pain. Afterwards, your gums may be a little tender or sore.

Is a deep cleaning really necessary?

A deep cleaning is necessary if you show any signs of advanced gum disease. A deep cleaning can reverse gingivitis, improve your overall health, and save you from further dental problems, including tooth loss.

How long does it take to get a deep cleaning at the dentist?

An average deep cleaning takes approximately one to two hours and can be completed in a single visit. If you have several troubled areas or widespread infection, it may take multiple visits.

How much does it cost to get tartar removed?

A deep cleaning can cost around $135 to $355 (per quadrant) without insurance and $117 with insurance.

What’s Next?

DentalPlans is the best site for dental savings plans because it compares all the best plans in your area. You know exactly how much every procedure will cost and which dentists are available.

Last updated on December 16, 2022
5 Sources Cited
Last updated on December 16, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. "Adult Teeth Cleaning." UT Health San Antonio,
  2. "Dental care - adult." Medline Plus, NIH National Library of Medicine
  3. "Gingivitis and periodontitis: What are the advantages and disadvantages of professional teeth-cleaning?", Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, 27 Feb. 2020
  4. "Teeth Cleaning." Science Direct
  5. "Teeth Cleaning Cost." CostHelperHealth
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