How Long Does Deep Teeth Cleaning Take?

When the dentist recommends that a patient received a deep cleaning or root planning and scaling, they often have questions. This article will discuss common questions regarding the deep cleaning procedure.


Deep Cleaning or Root Planning and Scaling

A deep cleaning, which may also be called root planning and scaling, is a procedure where plaque and tartar is removed from below the gum line and on the tooth’s roots. During a routine visit to the dentist, the patient will receive a cleaning where plaque and tartar is removed from above the gum line. Routine cleanings are part of a regular visit to the dentist which patients typically complete every six months. A deep cleaning, however, must be scheduled separately and is only completed as needed for patients.


Common warning signs which suggest a patient needs a deep cleaning include gums which bleed, swollen or tender gums, chipped teeth, increased sensitivity, and a foul odor in the mouth. In more severe cases, the teeth may begin to feel loose.


Deep Cleaning and Pain

While a deep cleaning may result in some slight discomfort, the dentist typically uses a topical or local anesthetic to ensure patients remain comfortable during the treatment. Following the deep cleaning, patients often use an over-the-counter medication to manage any pain. The pain and swelling should dissipate after a day or two. Patients may notice some slight bleeding of the gums immediately following the procedure which may last for up to 48 hours.


Deep Cleaning Procedure Duration

On average, an appointment for a deep cleaning will take about 45 minutes. If the entire mouth requires a deep cleaning, the dentist will typically schedule two separate appointments. Because a local anesthetic is used, it is difficult for patients to eat and speak after the procedure when their entire mouth is numb.


Professional Cleaning Frequency

It is recommended for most patients to receive a professional cleaning every six months. The professional cleaning helps prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar. Work with your dentist to determine the necessary frequency for cleanings.


Deep Cleaning Versus Regular Cleaning

When gum disease causes a buildup of plaque and tartar below the gum line, a deep cleaning is needed. If the patient only receives a regular cleaning, bacteria would remain on the teeth. The bacteria is harmful for the gums and can result in further damage to the teeth, gums, and bones. Gum disease which is not properly treated can result in the loss of teeth and should be taken seriously.


Cost for a Routine Cleaning

A regular professional cleaning costs about $200. Many practices, however, offer a discounted rate for patients who do not have dental insurance and are paying for the cleaning out of pocket.


Cost for a Deep Cleaning

The cost for a deep cleaning is typically between $249 and $299. Similar to a routine cleaning, many practices offer a discounted rate for patients who do not have dental insurance and are paying out of pocket for the procedure.


Deep Cleaning and Periodontal Disease

While there is technically no cure for periodontal disease, a deep cleaning is an excellent way to remove plaque from the teeth and gums. Following the completion of a deep cleaning, the dentist may place the patient on a perio-maintenance schedule to help prevent the accumulation of plaque and tartar. Patients with periodontal disease often receive more frequent professional cleanings to help manage the gum disease.

Gums Healing After Deep Teeth Cleaning