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Hamilton dental hygienist using dental mirror to check bearded patient for cavities

Dental Cleaning Cost

posted September 28, 2022

Regular brushing and flossing are essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. However, plaque, tartar, and surface stains can still build up, even with diligent cleaning and oral hygiene. This can lead to periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, and cavities.

Professional dental cleaning removes this buildup, to help prevent periodontitis and other oral health issues.

What Happens During Professional Teeth Cleaning?

During a dental cleaning, your dental hygienist or other dental professional will perform a close examination of your teeth and gums, to ensure they are healthy. Radiographic x-rays and panoramic x-rays are often done, too, to see if there is any evidence of concerns like early tooth decay or an impacted wisdom tooth.

Plaque and tartar is carefully removed with dental tools. A fluoride treatment may be applied, especially for children.

Why Get Dental Cleanings?

Periodontitis, or periodontal disease, results from infections and inflammation of the gums and bone around teeth. It can lead to tooth loss and chronic inflammatory diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease if not treated. Making sure to have a dental cleaning appointment regularly, for a dental exam and professional cleaning, helps prevent periodontal disease.

Although they’re not cosmetic procedures, they have aesthetic side-benefits of getting rid of food, drink, and tobacco stains for whiter, brighter teeth.

More importantly, your teeth cleaning will also remove bacteria and tartar that can cause bad breath and other problems.

Finally, it is not just about your teeth. Oral bacteria and inflammation from periodontitis can be a factor in other diseases, including cardiovascular disease. Since dental health is tied to overall health, keeping an inflammation-free mouth is extra important.

Teeth Cleaning Cost

On average, cleanings may cost about $232 to $354 per session. Several factors can impact cost.

Fee Guide and Insurance

The local dental association fee guides in your specific area impacts prices, although dentists can set their own prices. If you have dental insurance, it will reduce what you have to pay; however, insurance policies’ coverage is based on the fee guides and may not cover all costs.

Type of Cleanings

Another important factor in cost is the type of cleaning you are having done.

Regular Cleanings

If you have healthy gums, no bone loss, and minimal to no gingivitis, a mild form of periodontal disease, a regular cleaning should be sufficient. This involves removing tartar, plaque, and bacteria that have built up. Without x-rays, the price can range from about $75 to $200. If x-rays are included, the costs will be higher, from $100 to $320.

Deep Cleanings

Deep cleaning will be needed if you’ve been diagnosed with periodontitis. Scaling and root planing will be done, to scrape tartar from teeth and under the gums. A local anaesthetic may be used; antibiotics may also be needed. If either or both of these are necessary, it will increase the price. Antibiotics will increase costs by about $35 to $85 per tooth. Only one quadrant is done at each appointment and can cost $135 to $450 per quadrant.

Debridement

Full-mouth debridement may be necessary in severe cases. Any buildup under and around the gum line is cut away. Costs range from $390 to $3,800 without insurance; the average is about $1,257. Full-mouth debridement can be done; costs for this range from $500 to $4,000.

Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal cleaning is recommended for people with periodontal disease. Plaque and tartar are removed from the gum line to help prevent tooth loss. Anaesthetics will be needed. The average cost is about $3,600 for the entire mouth for an initial treatment. Ongoing maintenance appointments will cost about $115 to $200.

Cost by Time

One of the biggest factors is the amount of time the cleaning takes. General dental cleaning and polishing is usually billed in 15-minutes intervals.

Adults with all teeth usually take between an hour to an hour and a half. Children or adults with fewer teeth take less time. If you have severe periodontitis or plaque and tartar buildup, or need an anaesthetic, more time and possibly multiple appointments will be needed.

For example, the Ontario Dental Association fee guide in 2022 set the dental hygienists’ fee for debridement for one unit of time as $60.61, and $116.22 for two units.

Cheaper Than the Alternative

Having your teeth cleaned twice a year will save you money over time. Not only will regular maintenance mean that it takes less time during an appointment to keep your teeth in optimal health, but the extra care prevents cavities and gum disease. These can create major oral health concerns that may require emergency treatment, root canal therapy or other more dramatic dental treatments that are more costly than a regular cleaning.

Insurance

Having dental insurance benefits will help cover your dental cleaning cost. The amount of dental coverage will vary from one insurance plan to the next, so be sure to find out from your dental insurance plan provider how much you are eligible for, before going ahead with dental treatment. Often, insurance covers 80 percent of preventive care, including teeth cleaning costs, based on the standard fee schedule. Deep cleaning, debridement, and periodontal maintenance are included, but confirm with your provider on your specific coverage of dental cleaning costs.

Trust Hamilton Mountain Dental for Your Dental Cleaning and Care

Hamilton Mountain Dental Group is a family-focused practice offering a wide range of dental services. We keep up with the latest in dental technology, to offer you the best treatments. We welcome the whole family, including children, and offer dental sedation for anxious patients.

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