What Are Dental Cleanings?
Dental cleanings, also known as prophylaxis, are routine procedures done by dentists and dental hygienist teams to remove plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth. Maintaining optimal oral health is an essential part of preventing gum disease and tooth decay. By visiting your dentist twice a year for dental cleanings, you can help keep your smile sparkling and your oral health in pristine condition.
Types of Dental Cleanings
There are several types of professional dental cleanings, including:
Regular Dental Cleanings
Regular dental cleanings are the most common type and are recommended for those with good oral health. During a regular dental cleaning, your dentist or dental hygienist will remove plaque and tartar buildup on the surface of your teeth. This type of cleaning is typically done twice a year as part of routine dental care.
Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling and root planing, also known as deep dental cleaning, is recommended for those with moderate to severe gum disease. During scaling and root planing, a dental professional will remove plaque and tartar buildup below the gum line. They’ll also smooth out the roots of your teeth to prevent future buildup. Depending on your condition, it can take one or two sessions to complete.
A periodontal maintenance cleaning is done after scaling and root planing to maintain the health of the gums. During periodontal maintenance cleanings, your dentist will remove any plaque and tartar buildup that has accumulated since your last deep cleaning. This type of cleaning is typically done every three to four months.
Gross debridement cleaning isn’t your typical dental cleaning. It’s done to remove plaque and tartar buildup that’s too excessive for regular cleaning. This procedure is necessary when there’s so much buildup that it makes it difficult for the dentist to perform a thorough oral examination. The gums may be swollen, and the buildup must be removed before a prophylaxis dental cleaning or dental exam can be completed.
Who Needs Dental Cleanings?
Everyone should get a dental cleaning at least twice a year, even if they have good oral hygiene habits. Even if you brush and floss your teeth well, some areas are hard to clean properly at home. Without regular teeth cleanings, plaque and tartar will begin to accumulate in those hard-to-reach areas. When left untreated, excess plaque and tartar will lead to the development of gum disease.
Without proper oral hygiene, health issues can arise. Scheduling regular teeth cleanings can help you reverse poor oral hygiene habits and protect your oral health.
Those with underlying dental issues or a history of gum disease may require more frequent cleanings, typically every three to four months. Your dentist will inform you how often you should go in for teeth cleanings.
Cost of a Dental Cleaning
While dental cleanings are essential for your oral health, some may avoid them due to the cost of dental work. However, dental cleanings are one of the more affordable treatments and they’re often covered by insurance. On average, you can expect the cost of a professional dental cleaning alone to be between $75 and $200. The price will vary depending on the location of your dental office, the type of teeth cleaning needed, and the experience of the dentist or dental hygienist performing the treatment.
Dental cleanings, such as scaling and root planing, require more specialized dental tools and techniques, adding to the overall cost.
Some dental offices may offer in-house saving plans, payment plans, or work with third-party financing companies. Also, preventive dental care typically saves you money in the long run, as it prevents more complicated health issues from developing and you from needing more costly procedures, such as a root canal or dental crown.
Contact your dentist to learn more about the cost of dental cleanings in your area, or to see how they can help ensure you get the preventive care you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are dental cleanings painful?
No, dental cleanings are typically painless. You may experience some mild discomfort or sensitivity during the cleaning, especially if you have sensitive teeth or gums, but it shouldn’t be painful. Your dentist will provide you with post-operative instructions after the cleaning.
How long does a dental cleaning take?
The entire teeth cleaning process typically takes 30 to 60 minutes during a single dental appointment. The length of your treatment depends on the type of cleaning you receive and the extent of plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth.
Can I eat after a dental cleaning?
Yes, you can eat after a dental cleaning. However, your general dentist will recommend avoiding eating or drinking anything too hot or cold for the first few hours after your teeth cleaning.
Does insurance cover dental cleanings?
Many dental insurance plans cover regular teeth cleanings, but the coverage may vary depending on your plan. You should always check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage and know about any out-of-pocket costs you may be responsible for. If you don’t have insurance, check with your dental office as they may offer third-party financing or discounts.
Visit Your Dentist for Professional Teeth Cleanings
Your dentist will recommend the best type of dental cleaning for you during your exam. Dental cleanings, regardless of the type, are essential for maintaining good oral health and avoiding dental problems in the future.
If you’re wondering where to start to achieve pristine oral health, learn how to find the best dentist for you and your needs. For those in the Staten Island, NY, area, contact our dentists today. With years of experience in general dentistry, you can rest assured that our dentists will help you find the best treatment option for your oral health needs.
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