Dental Deep Cleaning Cost – Procedure And When To Do It

You probably know the significance of maintaining dental hygiene. The American Dental Association recommends daily brushing and flossing of the teeth for a healthy mouth and preventing cavities. However, if your teeth have already suffered from damage due to gum disease, your dentist may recommend dental deep cleaning, which a more thorough cleaning for those suffering from gingivitis and periodontal disease. So what does a deep cleaning cost? This content highlights what the procedure is, why it is needed and the costs associated with the procedure.

What Is a Dental Deep Cleaning?

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Dental cleaning is also referred to as scaling and root planning. It is a specific procedure that doctors and hygienists perform to treat gum and periodontal disease.  It entails the removal of plaque and bacteria below the gums to prevent bone loss, which can loosen your teeth and complicate medical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. The procedure is often completed if a person has not had regular cleaning appointments every six months.


DEEP CLEANING PROCESS

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Dental deep cleaning comprises scaling and root planning. The dental hygienist performs the scaling and root planning by either using manual scaling tools or ultrasonic instruments. The scaling entails removing plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth and from the pocket area between the gums and teeth. In the other part, root cleaning, the dental hygienist uses scaling instruments to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of the roots of your teeth.

The scaling and tooth planning procedure requires at least two visits as an appointment. In addition, a follow-up visit may be necessary to confirm whether your gum and teeth are getting healthier and there is no pocket depth.


CARE AFTER DEEP CLEANING

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After a deep cleaning appointment, the bacteria in the pockets of the teeth are removed and should become healthier in the following couple of weeks. This is if the individual does oral hygiene daily. The optimal cleaning toothpaste that the dentist might prescribe is Colgate PerioGard, which works effectively to reduce bacteria in your mouth.

However, if the procedure coupled with the 3-month visits does not yield any results in reversing the periodontal disease, you should see a periodontist for a consultation to determine whether any other treatment options, and more specifically, surgery, are warranted.  


SAFETY AND LENGTH OF PROCEDURE

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Deep cleaning entails surgery, and the use of prescription medication or anesthesia. It is safe during pregnancy. However, patients may have sensitivity or allergy to the numbing agents used, and thus, they need to ask their dentist for alternatives during the procedure. Deep cleaning takes longer than routine dental cleaning since it is intensive and requires more steps to complete. The first step is scaling and then root planning, and finally, the dentist rinses the debris with a cleaning solution. It entails two visits, 2-3 weeks apart. Each visit takes about an hour, but this varies depending on the amount of cleaning.


WHEN IT IS NEEDED?

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You need deep cleaning if, upon examination, your dentist establishes that your gums have become so diseased that they are pulling away from the teeth thereby creating spaces known as pockets. These pockets could be so adverse that they expose bone, and this means that the only thing that can be done instead of a surgery is deep cleaning. It may also be appropriate if your insurance company approves of the procedure. However, you need a second opinion in case of any doubts. The second opinion may save you from this invasive procedure.

We need deep cleaning since we all have a plethora of bacteria in our mouths. The bacteria mix with other substances that consequently lead to the formation of sticky plaque on teeth, which is usually prevented by daily brushing and flossing. However, the plaques do not get brushed away easily and can harden and form a substance referred to as tartar, which can only be removed by dental cleaning.

This is because when the tartar is left on your teeth, it causes gum inflammation, a condition commonly known as gingivitis. It is usually characterized by red swollen gums that can bleed easily. A mild form of gingivitis can be reversed by daily brushing and flossing coupled with a cleaning initiated by the hygienist or dentist.

If gingivitis is not cured, it advances to become a more severe form of gum disease, which is known as periodontitis where the inflamed gum tissues begin pulling away from the teeth, forming pockets. As the pockets deepen, more teeth below the gum are exposed to bacteria, which damages the bone holding the teeth in place.

The pockets eventually become deep enough and some teeth become loose. Dentists measured the depth of the pockets with a probe. Healthy gums should be no more than 3 mm but when they are more than that, you are exposed to gum diseases. This is why you need deep cleaning to avoid further escalation of the diseases, which effectively halts the process as it removes the plaque below the gum line and smoothens out rough spots on the roots, making it harder for the bacteria to accumulate. Studies have established that deep cleaning reduces the pockets by about 0.5 mm, which may not sound like much, but it can halt the progression of gum diseases.

There are various factors that your dentist or insurance company consider in determining whether you need a deep cleaning. However, the first two important factors are bone loss and deep pockets. Some dental insurance firms allow a diagnosis based on the depth of the pockets even though it is difficult to size a pocket.

However, there are signs you need to look out or, which include:

  • ​Tender or bleeding gums
  • ​Red or swollen gums
  • ​Your teeth look like they are getting longer as the gums recede
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Teeth that are sensitive
  • Pain when chewing

You should also note that deep cleaning accompanies various risks. There is a danger that you pop out a filling. You could also irreversibly damage your gums or end up with an abscess if a tiny piece of tartar is knocked loose and gets trapped. You could also have more sensitivity after the procedure.


WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DO NOT GET A DENTAL DEEP CLEANING?

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If your doctor has recommended the procedure, it is because he believes that you are at a risk for periodontal disease, which is usually painful and leads to tooth loss. Your dentist will only recommend the procedure if the pocket is over 4mm deep. These pockets usually house bacteria, making it most likely that the tooth decays. If left untreated, this develops an infection or cavity. Infected teeth are a risk to your smile and the oral infections can lead to abscesses, heart diseases, and can even complicate other diseases, particularly if you have diabetes or heart disease. Only the dentist can measure the pocket space to provide an educated opinion on whether you need the procedure.


DEEP CLEANING COST

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Dental cleaning cost varies considerably depending on a number of circumstances. These include the experience of the doctor and the overall health of the patient. Generally, the deep cleaning cost is about four times what it would cost for regular cleaning. However, in most instances, the deep cleaning cost is covered by a dental insurance company as a preventive measure, which lowers the deep cleaning cost to the patient.

Therefore, we recommend that you talk to your insurance provider or the billing department of your local dentist’s office about whether your insurance coverage will take care of the deep cleaning cost. In some cases, your dentist will be able to deep clean most of the affected parts, which will cut down the total price.

A regular professional tooth cleaning or a dental prophylaxis costs an average of $50 – $100+ depending on a number of factors. Without insurance coverage, the deep cleaning cost is around $150 to $300 per quadrant. With insurance, the deep cleaning cost will be considerably lower. You can also ask for a discount. In addition, an active periodontal therapy, which comprises a locally administered antimicrobial agent delivered into the pockets, costs about $75 per tooth. Other costs include periodontal maintenance costs after an active therapy process, which costs an average of $115.

There are various factors that affect the deep cleaning cost, including the technology used in the procedure. Other factors that are considered include the dentist’s location, the type of dental insurance, type and the number of dental professionals involved in the treatment, as well as the type and frequency of treatment and follow-ups. For instance, your general dentist may perform the initial diagnosis and some treatment but may opt to refer you to a periodontist who is more qualified and experienced in performing advanced surgical procedures.

Before undergoing any gum disease treatment, you should consult your insurance provider to determine whether the procedures are covered. However, if the treatment plan is not covered, that does not preclude the need for treatment


CONCLUSION

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Deep cleaning is essential if you have a gum disease, such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. The procedure eliminates tartar and bacteria that could further damage your teeth. If your doctor recommends the procedure, you should have it done. Without insurance coverage, the deep cleaning cost is around $150 to $300 per quadrant. Periodontal therapy costs about $75 per tooth, but you should consider other costs, including periodontal maintenance costs, which average about $115.

Therefore, we recommend that you make sure you are covered by insurance to reduce the costs. We hope that this content answers your questions about deep cleaning and the associated deep cleaning cost so you can prepare adequately for the procedure.

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