What Does A Dentist Do When Cleaning Teeth?

Almost all general dentists provide dental cleanings at their offices. At Higginbotham Family Dental, we have registered dental hygienists and assistants. They provide the best dental cleanings for our patients. Dental Cleanings are important to your overall health, so we make sure every patient starts with a little dental hygiene education. The hygienist or assistant will make sure you areDental Cleaning comfortable with things like a neck pillow or blanket. Then they will check to see if you need a beverage or earphones. Finally, Some of our dental offices have massage dental chairs, and they will check to see if patients prefer them on or off. Once our patient is comfortable, firstly, we take x-rays and polish the teeth to get them ready for the scaling, cleaning, and flossing. Secondly, the dentist will perform an exam and provide a treatment plan for dental work.

Does A Teeth Cleaning Hurt?

Teeth cleanings should not hurt at your dental appointment. If a patient feels sensitivity or pain during a cleaning it is normally due to unhealthy gums or decay that is present. If a patient is normally sensitive, we recommend using sensitive toothpaste or purchasing toothpaste with extra fluoride. We offer Clinpro toothpaste for $22. Every hygienist has a different touch, so if you prefer a softer touch let us know. We can make sure to put you with the right hygienist or to just let your hygienist know your preference in technique. If you are sensitive in an area, we can also numb that area or be extra careful around that area during your teeth cleaning.

How Long Does It Take To Have Your Teeth Cleaned At The Dentist?

For adult dental cleaning appointments with exams and x-rays, are scheduled for about an hour. If a patient is just getting a cleaning with an exam and x-rays, then it will only be scheduled for about 30 minutes. Kids twelve and under typically only take 30 minutes for a full dental cleaning appointment with an exam and x-rays. Teenage kids’ scheduled times will range depending on the patient. They range from 40 minutes to an hour.

If you are getting a deep cleaning, also known as periodontal treatment, times will vary. For this type of cleaning to treat gum disease, all four areas of your mouth will have to be numb for the cleaning. Some patients prefer to do a quadrant at a time, which takes about 30-40 minutes. Some choose to do one side of the mouth at a time which is about an hour. If someone chooses to do the entire mouth at one time it could take 90-120  minutes. This is not usually recommended since your entire mouth will be numb for a few hours and could cause slight discomfort.

How Long Can You Go Without A Teeth Cleaning?

We recommend consistent cleanings for our patients. Some patients only need two dental cleanings a year. Some require three to four a year if the tartar buildup is heavy or gums are not as healthy. Dental cleaning procedures are vital to a patient’s overall health. Keeping preventative teeth cleaning appointments and exams helps prevents future costly decay. This is also a great time to make sure past dental procedures that were done are not compromised with additional decay or fractures. Do not go longer than what your dental office recommends for your teeth cleanings. If you decide to not do what is recommended, you are risking tooth decay, loss, periodontal disease, and infections. All of these things affect the quality of life as well as can be more costly than necessary if decay and infections are caught sooner than later. When Should I Get A Teeth Cleaning


Dental Cleaning Cost?

Dental cleaning costs will vary. It may depend on if you have insurance or not, and what your dental insurance carrier’s fees are for cleanings. If you are not insured, you can sign up for our Discount Dental Plan. The membership to this plan allows two complementary exams, cleanings, x-rays, and fluoride procedures.

Regular Prophy/Cleaning Cost

The cost of a dental cleaning if you are not insured, and are considered self-pay will be dependent on the state you live in. It will range anywhere from $76-$93. New patients will need to also have an exam and x-rays with their first cleaning. If you have insurance then there is no cost if insurance pays at 100 percent. Sometimes a deductible must be paid when a cleaning appointment is done but very rarely. We check all insurance benefits for our patients before their appointment. So this way you will know what we estimate you to owe for each appointment ahead of time.

Periodontal Cost

If you are diagnosed with gum disease or periodontal disease, then you will need periodontal treatment. Our hygienist will perform this gum therapy usually during multiple visits. Most insurances cover 50-80 percent of this dental cleaning procedure. This leaves the patient with a 50-20 percent copay. This copay amount will depend on the dental insurance fees. At Higginbotham Family Dental, we get a breakdown of all our patient’s dental insurance. We do this to give the best dental treatment estimates. This is not a guarantee of payment from the insurance company, but an estimate we will collect until they pay. If the patient does not have insurance then we offer a 5% cash or check discount for patients that pay in full for the entire treatment. We may also suggest for non-insured patients to sign up for the discount dental plan to help cover the cost at a discounted rate of at least 15%. Finally, there is an in-house payment plan option that can be used with a smaller down payment. The monthly payment for periodontal treatment is about 3-6 months to make it more affordable.

Make An Appointment

For more information about dental cleanings or to schedule an appointment, click the link to Higginbotham Family Dental! We can’t wait to see you and get you on track with your oral health!

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