How Much Does A Dental Cleaning Cost?

How Much Does A Dental Cleaning Cost?

Dental cleaning is one of the easiest and most impactful dental procedures you can undergo.  Many people avoid the dentist because they’re worried about pain, bad news, and financial burdens. Ironically, it’s visits to the dentist that actually help stave off those discomforts and anxiety-inducing situations. Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help prevent: 

  • Plaque buildup
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Serious dental complications
  • Dental anxiety

The more regularly a person attends their dental checkup and cleaning appointments, the less likely they are to experience pain, bad news, and financial burdens at the dentist’s office. 

At Smile Designers, we see dental cleanings as an important part of our job as your partner in achieving and maintaining optimum oral health. 


Types of dental cleaning

Not everyone needs the same type of dental cleaning to get their teeth feeling smooth and fresh once again. In some cases, the procedure is simple, standard, and fairly quick. And in other cases, it requires different tools and a bit more time.  Here are three different types of dental cleanings we offer at Smile Designers:

  • Standard dental cleanings involve scraping tartar from the surface of the teeth and  flossing to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth. Polishing with a gritty paste helps to remove stains and smooth the surface of the teeth so it’s difficult for plaque to stick.  
  • Deep cleaning is necessary for people who show signs of periodontal disease, including tartar below the gumline and pockets that measure more than 4mm between the gums and teeth. The deep cleaning procedure involves scraping tartar and plaque off the tooth above and below the gumline and smoothing the surface of both the crown and the tooth root, which allows the gums to easily reattach and close the pockets. 
  • Periodontal maintenance is recommended every 3 to 4 months for people who have had a deep cleaning or other periodontal procedure. It involves measurement of the gum pockets and plaque and tartar removed from above and below the gum line.  

When you visit Smile Designers for the first time, we’ll perform a thorough evaluation of your mouth and teeth to determine which type of dental cleaning is best for you. 


Factors that affect dental cleaning costs

At Smile Designers, we like to provide our current and potential patients with as much information as possible about their procedures and treatment plans, but sometimes cost can be tricky to determine without specific information about the condition of the patient’s oral health and the scope of the treatment needed.  When it comes to dental cleaning, there are a few different factors that can affect the cost. 

  • Insurance coverage – Some dental plans completely cover the cost of two standard dental cleanings per calendar year. Other plans require the patient to pay a small portion. For those with no dental insurance, the full cost comes out-of-pocket. 
  • Type of cleaning – A standard dental cleaning is considered preventative maintenance, and is therefore covered at least in part by most insurance plans. It also costs a bit less than more extensive cleanings for those who do not have insurance. A deep cleaning may also be covered by insurance but because it’s considered treatment rather than prevention, it may involve some out-of-pocket expense. Additionally, the dentist may recommend periodontal maintenance four times per year, but the insurance provider may only cover two. 
  • Your dental history – If it’s been many years since you last visited the dentist for a cleaning, and you haven’t been taking good care of your teeth in the meantime, your dentist may need to perform specialized procedures and spend extra time to get your teeth cleaned. Additional charges may apply. At Smile Designers, if this is the case, we will always inform you ahead of time and give you the choice to either spread the work out or do it all at once. 
  • Location of the dental practice – The cost of a dental cleaning varies from one region to the next. In places where the cost of living is higher, the cost of dental treatments is typically higher as well. 

Remember, the cost of taking care of your teeth and getting them cleaned is minor compared to what it can be if you let bacteria, plaque, and tartar build up and lead to more complicated dental problems. 


How much does a dental cleaning cost? 

Taking into account the above factors that can affect the cost of a dental cleaning, here is a general idea of how much the different types of dental cleanings cost.


Procedure Average with insurance Average without insurance
Standard cleaning $0 $127 ($198 with X-rays)
Deep cleaning $377 $1,257
Periodontal maintenance Contact your provider $220


If you are unsure about your insurance coverage, we can help. We will contact your provider to determine whether your dental cleaning is covered, whether your deductible has been met, and how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket, if any.  

Along with daily brushing and flossing, regular dental cleaning is an important part of maintaining optimum oral health. It is our hope that the dental problems you prevent by visiting your dentist regularly remain a mystery to you forever. 


Dental cleanings at Smile Designers in San Diego

There’s nothing like leaving the dentist with a positive checkup and that smooth clean feeling on the surface of your teeth.  Whether it’s been years since you last visited your dentist, or just 5 months and 15 days, we welcome you to make an appointment for your next dental cleaning at Smile Designers in San Diego. Give us a call at (619) 222-6000 today!