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How Much Do Deep Cleaning Teeth Cost?

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If you are wondering how much deep cleaning teeth costs, then you are in the right place. Your oral hygiene is the gateway to better body health. However, even with a good oral hygiene regimen practice, there are instances where you need to protect your teeth and gums even more to prevent the onset of gum disease.

This is where deep teeth cleaning comes in. But what exactly is deep teeth cleaning, and how does it differ from regular teeth cleaning?

This article digs deeper into this topic, helping you to get answers to questions like:

  • What is deep teeth cleaning, and how does it differ from regular cleaning?
  • What’s involved in deep teeth cleaning?
  • How much is deep teeth cleaning, with and without insurance?

What Is Deep Teeth Cleaning?

If there is a buildup of tartar and plaque beneath the gumline, your dentist may recommend deep teeth cleaning. In this case, deep teeth cleaning, which involves scaling and root planing, is a specialized dental procedure aimed at cleaning beyond the surface of the teeth.

When tartar and plaque buildup beneath your teeth, mostly below the gumline, it may increase your risk of getting gum disease. Regular cleaning does not eliminate the concern, as it only mainly focuses on the surface.

So, what exactly is the difference between deep teeth cleaning and regular teeth cleaning?

Deep Teeth Cleaning vs. Regular Teeth Cleaning

Regular teeth cleaning is a preventive dental procedure recommended every six months to maintain proper oral health. It involves cleaning the visible surfaces of your teeth and gumline.

Although both procedures are essential, they serve different purposes. Some of the key differences include:

  • The target area: Regular cleaning primarily focuses on the visible parts of the teeth and gums. This means it targets surface-level stains. However, deep cleaning targets areas below the gumline and even the tooth roots, where tartar buildup can lead to gum disease.
  • Intensity of the procedure: Deep cleaning is a more intensive and invasive procedure, often requiring local anesthesia to ensure patient comfort.
  • Primary purpose: Regular cleaning is primarily used as a preventive measure to keep your gums and teeth healthy and free from plaque buildup. However, deep cleaning is used as a therapeutic procedure intended to treat existing gum disease and prevent it from progressing.
  • Frequency: Regular cleaning is typically recommended every six months as part of routine dental care. However, deep cleaning is only recommended as needed, based on the presence of gum disease or significant tartar buildup.

Another major difference between the two lies in the procedure involved:

  • Regular teeth cleaning: Regular teeth cleaning focuses only on the surface of the teeth and gums, with the procedure involving scaling ( which is the removal of the buildup of plaque and tartar from the visible surfaces of your teeth and along the gumline), polishing, flossing, and if needed, fluoride treatment.
  • Deep teeth cleaning: This procedure involves scaling and root planing. However, the scaling in this treatment goes beyond the surface of the gumline, while root planing involves smoothing out rough spots on the tooth roots to eliminate bacterial buildup and create a clean surface.

Furthermore, getting a deep teeth cleaning requires an assessment from your dentist to determine if you need it, as it is not a routine procedure. This is because you may have other underlying causes of swollen gums or reasons for displaying the symptoms you have, which may not necessarily require deep teeth cleaning.

two photos showing the results after a deep teeth cleaning. From teeth with teeth tartar and calculus to white teeth.

How Much Does a Deep Teeth Cleaning Cost?

The cost of a deep teeth cleaning ranges from $100 to $350 per quadrant. Dentists often perform deep teeth cleaning one quadrant at a time due to the thoroughness of the procedure, which ensures effective cleaning and patient comfort.

If only specific quadrants need attention, the cost will be proportionate to the number of quadrants treated. Your dentist will assess your oral health and recommend the appropriate treatment plan.

This means that, on average, a dental deep clean costs approximately $400 to well over $1,400 if you are doing the entire mouth.

Nevertheless, the total cost of deep teeth cleaning varies based on numerous factors.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Deep Teeth Cleaning

Some of the factors affecting the cost of deep teeth cleaning include:

  • The severity of the condition: The extent of plaque and tartar buildup significantly affects the complexity of the procedure, which in turn impacts the total deep cleaning cost.
  • Number of quadrants: Dentists often conduct deep cleaning based on quadrants. This means the number of quadrants cleaned defines the amount spent.
  • Geographic location: Urban centers with a higher cost of living tend to be more expensive compared to less urban or rural areas. However, by searching for dental cleaning near me, you can get dentists charging competitive rates even in urban centers.
  • The expertise of the dentist: How experienced the dentist is also affects the total cost of deep teeth cleaning. More experienced dentists or specialists like periodontists might charge more for their skills and expertise.
  • Additional procedures: Deep teeth cleaning may require anesthesia, which may add to the total cost if not already included in the primary quotation.

Does Insurance Cover Deep Teeth Cleaning?

Dental insurance can cover a portion of the total cost of deep teeth cleaning, especially if it is deemed medically necessary due to gum disease.

However, the coverage depends on your individual dental insurance plan. It is advisable to consult with your insurance company or get your dentist’s assistance to determine the extent of coverage.

How to Manage the Cost of Deep Teeth Cleaning

Paying out-of-pocket at least $400 for deep teeth cleaning may be quite high for some individuals. In this case, you may consider deep cleaning alternatives or certain ways to take down the total cost.

Some of these considerations include:

  • Payment plans: You can discuss with your dentist if they can provide you with flexible payment plans that allow you to spread the cost of the procedure over several months, making it more manageable for your budget.
  • Dental discount plans: Deep cleaning teeth cost without insurance can be quite high. However, if you don’t have an insurance plan, you may consider enrolling in a dental discount plan. These plans enable you to access dental procedures at highly discounted rates, including deep teeth cleaning.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) or Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): If you have an FSA or HSA through your employer, these accounts allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars for eligible medical expenses, including dental procedures. Using these accounts can help you save on taxes while managing deep teeth cleaning costs.
  • Dental schools: You can look for dental schools near you where you can get deep teeth cleaning at a significantly reduced cost. The procedure is often performed by dental students seeking to gain experience but under the tight supervision of their tutors, who are more experienced dentists.

The value of a healthy mouth goes beyond financial considerations — it’s an investment that contributes to your confidence, well-being, and the enjoyment of a vibrant life.

Ultimately, the cost of deep teeth cleaning is an investment in your oral health and overall quality of life. By understanding the expenses involved, exploring potential insurance coverage, and employing cost management strategies, you are taking proactive steps towards preserving your smile for years to come.


How frequently should I undergo deep cleaning for my teeth?

The frequency of deep teeth cleaning depends on your individual oral health needs. Generally, if you have been diagnosed with gum disease or have significant tartar buildup beneath the gumline, your dentist will recommend deep cleaning as needed.

What's the average cost range for a deep cleaning procedure?

The cost of a deep cleaning procedure can range from $100 to $350 or more per quadrant.

How does a regular dental check-up play a role in the need for deep cleaning?

Regular dental check-ups play a critical role in preventing the need for deep cleaning. During routine check-ups, dentists can identify early signs of gum disease or excessive plaque and tartar buildup. With timely intervention, these issues can often be addressed through less invasive procedures like regular teeth cleaning.


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