Updated on February 22, 2024
7 min read

Teeth Cleaning Costs

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How Much Does a Dental Cleaning Cost?

The cost of dental cleanings depends on the cleaning you need and whether you have a dental insurance plan. According to an American Dental Association (ADA) survey of dental fees in 2022, the average cost of teeth cleanings without insurance ranges between $20 and $100.

Type of Dental CleaningCost
Child Teeth Cleaning Cost$15-$70
Adult Teeth Cleaning Cost$20 to $104
Deep Cleaning Cost$50 to $300
Periodontal Maintenance Cost$30 to $160

According to the American Dental Association Survey of Dental Fees 2020

dentist examining young womans teeth

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How Much is Covered by Dental Insurance?

Insurance companies typically cover the cost of two teeth cleaning sessions per year for children and adults. In some cases, your insurance may cover one deep cleaning session per year. However, the coverage for periodontal maintenance can vary depending on your insurance. You may also need to meet a deductible or copay for deep cleaning.

Talk to your insurance provider for more details. With insurance, the cost of teeth cleanings is estimated to be around:

Type of Dental CleaningCost
Child Teeth Cleaning Cost$0
Adult Teeth Cleaning Cost$0
Deep Cleaning Cost$100 to $200

Factors That Affect Dental Cleaning Costs

Several variables can affect the cost of professional teeth cleanings, including:

  • 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

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Why You Should Get Regular Cleanings

Professional teeth cleaning is done by a general dentist or dental hygienist. It removes plaque buildup on and between your teeth.

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

Dentists recommend getting professional teeth cleanings every 6 months. This is because routine cleanings help:

  • Prevent gum disease 
  • Keep your teeth healthy
  • Achieve a whiter smile 
  • Prevent bad breath 
  • Remove plaque buildup on teeth
  • Catch signs of oral disease early on
  • Improve overall oral health

Getting your teeth cleaned by a professional every 6 months helps keep your mouth healthy. It stops dental problems early, so you don’t have to spend a lot on fixing them later.

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?

Plaque is a sticky combination of bacteria and food that collects on your teeth after a few minutes of 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 getting a routine dental cleaning, you can help avoid dental issues such as tooth decay and gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis). Young children must also learn to brush and floss their teeth to protect their mouths.

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 are:

1. Child (Pediatric) Teeth Cleaning 

Children should first visit their dentist for a checkup when they are 6 months old or following the eruption of their first tooth. When a child is 3 or 4 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 

Regular cleanings are required for adults with healthy teeth and gums or early signs of gingivitis without bone loss (twice a year). During the treatment, your dental hygienist will use an ultrasonic scaler and/or hand scaler to remove the following:

  • Plaque
  • Tartar
  • Bacteria

During the procedure, they’ll also polish your teeth.

3. Deep Teeth 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

Infographic of human in dental scaling and root planing illustration

This treatment cleans the gums, teeth, and 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.

Ultrasonic teeth cleaning machine removing tartar or dental calculus

They will also remove stains on your teeth, which will improve your breath. Periodontal maintenance therapy is usually performed every 3 to 4 months, or as often your dentist recommends. 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 affordable ways to pay for dental care:

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

If you can’t afford traditional dental insurance plans, 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 dental treatments and procedures. These include:

  • Cleanings
  • Consultations
  • X-rays

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

Summary

Regular teeth cleanings are essential, preventative procedures that keep your teeth safe from gum disease and tooth decay. They help by cleaning the parts of your teeth toothbrushes can’t reach and by removing plaque buildup.

There are four different types of dental cleanings, and each is essential for your oral health. These cleanings can also cost up to $200 without insurance.

Two annual teeth cleaning sessions are covered under insurance. If you don’t have insurance, there are alternative payment options available.

Common Questions About Dental Cleaning Cost

How Much Does it Cost to Get Teeth Cleaned at a Dentist?

You can expect to pay approximately $20 to $100 without insurance for teeth cleaning. Meanwhile, two teeth cleaning sessions a year are covered under 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 ADA recommends getting a routine checkup and dental cleaning at least once a year if you have good oral hygiene habits.

Is Deep Cleaning Painful?

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. Afterward, your gums may be a little tender or sore.

Is Deep Cleaning Really Necessary?

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

How Long Does it Take to Get Deep Cleaning at the Dentist?

An average deep cleaning takes approximately 1 to 2 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?

Deep cleaning can cost around $50 to $300 without insurance and $100 to $200 on average with insurance.

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Last updated on February 22, 2024
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 22, 2024
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?” InformedHealth.org, Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, 2020.
  4. Teeth Cleaning.” Science Direct.
  5. Teeth Cleaning Cost.” CostHelperHealth.
  6. Survey of Dental Fees” American Dental Association (ADA), 2022.
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