Professional teeth cleanings are an important part of maintaining your dental health. Dentists recommend having dental cleanings and oral exams every 6 months. The purpose of these twice yearly appointments is to remove plaque that is left behind on the teeth after brushing and flossing in order to prevent tooth decay, and to assess your oral health.
What Does a Teeth Cleaning Entail?
A basic teeth cleaning involves a series of steps to clean your teeth:
- Removal of plaque. Any plaque or calculus (hardened plaque) that may have built up on the teeth will be removed with dental tools.
- Polishing. The teeth will be polished until they are smooth and shiny.
Flossing. The teeth are professionally flossed to remove any plaque that may be between the teeth.
At the same appointment as your dental cleaning you will also have an oral exam. This is done to check the health of the soft tissues of your mouth as well as your teeth. It includes an oral cancer screening to look for abnormalities. Once a year X-rays will be made of your teeth to check for cavities and issues beneath the gums.
Average Cost of a Teeth Cleaning
Most dental insurance plans cover the total cost of teeth cleanings every 6 months. Some plans may require a copay. If you don’t have insurance, the average cost of a teeth cleaning is about $150, but it could range anywhere from $75-$225 for the cleaning alone. Even if you are paying for dental cleanings and exams out of pocket, the cost is relatively affordable.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Dental Services
The cost of a teeth cleaning my vary based on the following factors:
- Reputation of the practice. A well established dental practice with a good reputation in the community may charge more for their services, including teeth cleanings.
- Qualifications and experience of the dentist. A dentist who is highly qualified and experienced may have higher rates for dental services.
- In-network vs out of network with your insurance. A dental practice that is in-network with your insurance will cost less for you than an out of network practice.
- Geographic location. The location of a dental practice will affect the rates for services as they are often based on the cost of living in the area.
Making Dental Care More Affordable
There are ways to make regular teeth cleanings and dental exams more affordable if you don’t have insurance:
- Purchase insurance. You can purchase your own dental insurance if you don’t have the opportunity to get insurance through your employer.
- Financing. CareCredit is an option for financing medical care and procedures that begins with a 0% interest promotional rate.
- Use HSA and FSA funds. If your medical insurance includes the option for a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA), you can use those funds for dental services.
Schedule a Teeth Cleaning Appointment Today
If it's been more than 6 months since your last dental cleaning, you’re due for a visit to Barkoff Dental. We work with your insurance and provide flexible payment options to make dental care affordable for all patients. Don’t put your dental health off any longer. Call 516-921-1133 or contact us today to learn more and schedule your appointment today.