How Much Does a Dental Cleaning Cost?

Last Updated on May 7, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Maintaining excellent oral health is a cornerstone of overall well-being, and regular dental cleanings play a vital role in achieving that goal. However, the cost of these essential procedures can be a source of concern for many individuals.

In this guide, we’ll go into dental cleaning costs, exploring the various factors that influence the price tag and providing you with valuable insights to make informed decisions about your oral care.

Regular dental cleanings, also known as prophylaxis, are preventive treatments that involve the removal of plaque and tartar buildup from the surfaces of your teeth. By eliminating these harmful deposits, dental cleanings help to prevent cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems.


  • Basic dental cleanings typically cost $75 to $200, while deep cleanings can range from $200 to $1,000 or more.
  • Dental insurance often covers a portion or all of the cost of routine cleanings, but co-pays and deductibles may apply.
  • Additional treatments like X-rays, fluoride treatments, and fillings can increase the overall cost of a dental visit.
  • Explore cost-saving strategies, such as utilizing dental insurance benefits, finding cost-effective providers, and practicing good oral hygiene habits.
  • Investing in regular dental cleanings can prevent more costly dental treatments in the long run.

How Much Does a Dental Cleaning Cost?

Basic dental cleanings typically cost $75 to $200, while deep cleanings can range from $200 to $1,000 or more, depending on the type of cleaning required, the geographic location of the dental practice, the experience of the professional, and so on.

According to Humana, the cost of a dental cleaning without insurance typically ranges from $75 to $200, with an average cost of around $125.

Cherrywood Dental writes that a routine dental cleaning usually costs between $75 and $200, with an average price of $125.

Flossy notes that the average cost of a teeth cleaning, exam, and checkup out of pocket is $90 to $200.

Bright Smile Powell says that the average adult can get their teeth cleaned for $119 without dental insurance and $39 with dental insurance.

Factors that Impact Dental Cleaning Costs

The cost of dental cleanings can vary significantly depending on several key factors. Here’s a closer look at the elements that play a role in determining the price you’ll pay:

Type of Cleaning Required

The type of cleaning required is arguably the most significant factor influencing the cost. Basic cleanings, also known as prophylaxis, typically range from $75 to $200, depending on your location and the dental practice. These cleanings are recommended for patients with generally good oral health and minimal tartar buildup.

On the other hand, deep cleanings, also known as scaling and root planing, are more extensive procedures designed for patients with periodontal disease or significant tartar accumulation.

These cleanings can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000 or more, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of quadrants (sections of the mouth) that require treatment.

Geographic Location of the Dental Practice

The cost of dental services, including cleanings, can vary substantially based on the geographic location of the dental practice. Practices located in urban areas or regions with a higher cost of living tend to charge higher fees compared to those in rural or less expensive areas.

For instance, a basic cleaning in New York City may cost around $150 to $300, while the same procedure in a smaller town could be priced at $80 to $150.

Experience of the Dentist or Dental Hygienist

The level of experience and expertise of the dental professional performing the cleaning can also influence the cost. Highly experienced dentists or dental hygienists with advanced training or specializations may command higher fees for their services.

For example, a cleaning performed by a general dentist may cost $100 to $200, while the same procedure carried out by a periodontal specialist could range from $150 to $350.

Insurance and Payment Options

Coverage by Dental Insurance

If you have dental insurance, your plan may cover a portion or all of the cost of routine dental cleanings. Most insurance plans categorize dental cleanings as preventive care, which means they may cover 100% of the cost for these procedures, up to a certain limit or frequency (usually twice per year).

However, it’s essential to understand the specifics of your coverage, including any deductibles, co-pays, or annual maximums that may apply. Depending on your plan, you may need to pay a co-pay of $20 to $50 for each cleaning, or the cost may be deducted from your annual maximum benefit amount.

Out-of-Pocket Costs for Patients Without Insurance

For patients without dental insurance, the entire cost of the dental cleaning will be an out-of-pocket expense. In such cases, it’s advisable to inquire about potential discounts or payment plans offered by the dental practice. Some practices may offer a 10% to 20% dental discount for self-pay patients or provide flexible payment plans to help manage the cost.

Payment Plans and Financing Options

Many dental practices offer payment plans or financing options to help patients manage the cost of dental care, including teeth cleanings. These options can make dental treatments more affordable by spreading the cost over several installments.

Typical payment plans may require a down payment of 20% to 50% of the total cost, with the remaining balance paid over a period of several months with little to no interest.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a dental bridge, a dental crown, and a tooth extraction.

Alternatively, some dental practices may partner with third-party financing companies that offer interest-free or low-interest payment plans for qualified patients.

Additional Treatments and Their Costs

During a dental cleaning appointment, your dentist or hygienist may recommend additional treatments or procedures based on your individual oral health needs. These can include:

Need for X-rays, Fluoride Treatments, or Other Procedures

Depending on your dental condition, your dentist may recommend X-rays to assess the health of your teeth and jawbone. The cost of dental X-rays can range from $25 to $200, depending on the type of X-ray and the number of images required.

Fluoride treatments, which help strengthen your tooth enamel and prevent cavities, are often recommended after a cleaning. The cost of a fluoride treatment can range from $20 to $50.

Other procedures, such as sealants or fillings, may also be recommended if any cavities or tooth decay are identified during the cleaning. The cost of these treatments can vary widely based on the extent of the work required.

How These Additional Treatments Impact the Overall Cost

Each additional treatment or procedure will add to the overall cost of your dental visit. For example, if you require a basic cleaning ($100), a set of bitewing X-rays ($50), and a fluoride treatment ($30), your total cost could be around $180. It’s essential to discuss these recommended treatments with your dentist and understand their associated costs before proceeding.

Strategies to Save on Dental Cleaning Costs

Professional Dental Cleaning CostWhile dental cleanings are essential for maintaining good dental health, there are several strategies you can employ to save on the cost:

Utilizing Dental Insurance Benefits

If you have dental insurance, take advantage of your plan’s coverage for preventive care, which often includes routine cleanings. By maximizing your benefits, you can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.

For example, if your insurance covers 100% of the cost for two cleanings per year, you can save $150 to $400 annually, depending on the cost of cleanings in your area.

Finding Cost-effective Dental Care Providers

Research dental practices in your area and compare their fees for cleanings and other services. Consider seeking care from dental schools or community clinics, which often offer discounted rates for dental services.

Dental schools may charge as little as $20 to $50 for a basic cleaning, while community clinics may offer sliding-scale fees based on your income level.

Preventive Measures to Reduce the Need for Complex Cleanings

Practicing good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash, can help prevent plaque and tartar buildup, reducing the need for more extensive and costly cleanings.

Final Words

Regular dental cleanings are essential for maintaining good oral health and preventing more serious dental issues. While the cost of these procedures can vary depending on factors such as the type of cleaning required, geographic location, and the experience of the dental professional, understanding your insurance coverage and exploring cost-saving strategies can help make dental care more accessible and affordable.

Remember, investing in regular dental cleanings can save you money in the long run by preventing costly dental treatments and maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile.

By prioritizing your oral health and making informed decisions about your dental care, you can enjoy the benefits of a clean and healthy mouth while managing your financial resources effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist?

Absolutely! Getting your teeth professionally cleaned at the dentist is a worthwhile investment in your oral health. Regular cleanings remove plaque and tartar buildup that brushing and flossing alone cannot eliminate, reducing your risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems.

Professional cleanings also allow your dentist to identify and address any potential issues early on, preventing more costly and extensive treatments down the line.

Does teeth cleaning remove yellow?

Yes, professional teeth cleaning can help remove surface stains and discoloration, resulting in a brighter and whiter appearance.

While regular brushing and flossing can help maintain a clean smile, the specialized tools and techniques used during a professional cleaning are more effective at removing extrinsic stains caused by factors like coffee, tea, red wine, or smoking.

However, for deeper, intrinsic stains that occur within the tooth structure, additional treatments like whitening or veneers may be necessary.

Is it painful to get teeth cleaned?

For most people, getting their teeth professionally cleaned is not a painful experience. During a routine cleaning procedure, the dental hygienist uses specialized tools to gently remove plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth.

You may experience mild discomfort or sensitivity if you have inflamed gums or a significant buildup of tartar, but the process itself should not cause significant pain.

If you experience any discomfort or pain during the cleaning, let your dental professional know so they can adjust the procedure accordingly and ensure your comfort.

2 replies
  1. Janet desmarais
    Janet desmarais says:

    I went to Aspen Dental for a deep cleaning. It cost $591.00 for the right side top and bottom. The next time they did left side top and bottom, $603.00.
    Each of these visit’s took about 45 minutes.
    I am on Medicaid, my bad luck, I wasn’t covered because of the 6 month wait…. now I have to pay another $400+
    My recommendation is “don’t go to the dentist unless you check all your insurance”.

  2. Derg
    Derg says:

    I totally agree. It took 6 weeks? to get insurance approval deep cleaning, but my hygienist was booked out 3 months, so it worked out. Had two vists(one left sided, one right.) I paid $250 for both after insurance kicked in 60%.


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