How Much Does Teeth Cleaning Cost?
Teeth Cleaning Prevents Gum Disease
The main goal of professional teeth cleaning is to prevent gum disease, which is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults over the age of 40. The US Food & Drug Administration gives an overview of gum disease and how to fight it.
Cost of Teeth Cleaning
- The charge for a standard teeth cleaning and dental exam ranges from $50 to $135. Often dental insurance will cover some or all of this cost for a specific number of cleanings per year.
- The more extensive deep cleaning process called scaling and root planing is done by quadrants (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left) at a cost of about $100 to $400 per quadrant depending on the severity fo the problem, or $400 to $1,600 for the entire mouth. Most dental insurance includes these procedures.
What should be included:
- In a standard cleaning, a dental hygienist (working under the dentist’s supervision) removes soft plaque and hard tartar (mineralized plaque that builds up on the teeth and can only be removed with professional instruments) from above and below the gum line on all teeth. The process requires one office visit and usually takes 30-60 minutes.
- Scaling and root planing is a deep-cleaning, non-surgical procedure generally done when the depths of the pockets around the teeth are deeper than 3 millimeters–an early sign of gum disease. Under local anesthetic, plaque and tartar above and below the gum are scraped away (scaling) and rough spots on the root are smoothed (planing) to remove bacteria and give a clean surface surface for the gums to reattach to the teeth. This is done using a local anesthetic and usually requires two to four office visits, each lasting around 45 minutes to an hour. The American Dental Association gives an overview of scaling and root planing.
- Periodic X-rays ($13-$135) are needed to see if any problems are developing inside the teeth, and are generally required before cleaning the teeth of a new patient. These are often covered by insurance.
- A full mouth debridement (cleaning away excess buildup so the gums and bones are visible and can be evaluated) at $75-$150 or more may be needed for new patients who have not had dental treatment for quite awhile. Dental insurance may not cover debridement.
American Dental Association-Life Member, Emeritus Fellow of Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Implant Dentistry
(From the American Dental Association, US Food & Drug Administration, and Cost Helper/Personal Care