On first look, it may seem having your teeth professionally cleaned is overly expensive. But, over time, the cost of a twice-yearly dental cleaning could actually save you money. People often separate their dental health from their general health. It is much easier to put off a visit to your dentist than a trip to the doctor’s office. Preventive dental care with a twice yearly teeth cleaning may cost less than you think and save you a lot of money over time.
WHEN DECIDING TO SCHEDULE A TEETH CLEANING, IT IS NATURAL TO ASK “IS IT WORTH IT?”
Answering this question first requires knowing the cost. Knowing the cost of a cleaning will depend on if you have dental insurance. Many dental insurance plans will cover a majority or the entirety of preventative care procedures in addition to the premium. Monthly premiums for many plans can average around $15 per person. According to American Dental Association, the average cost for preventative dental services are:
Exam by general dentist: $44.10
Teeth Cleaning: $61.14 (child), $82.08 (adult)
Fluoride: $31.70 (child), $32.59 (adult)
Dental practices will clearly post prices so you can know before a rough total of the cost before you go. You now know the cost a cleaning. So, what is a cleaning? What happens when you arrive at the dentist’s office?
DENTAL CLEANING: EVERY PROCEDURE HAS A PURPOSE
Most of the work done during a cleaning will be performed by a dental hygienist, with closer examination being done by a dentist. First, the dental hygienist will take do a preliminary examination to make sure you have no problems, such as gingivitis, that would prevent the cleaning. If no problems are present, the dental hygienist will then begin to remove tartar and plaque from the gum line. Tartar and plaque can only be removed through a professional cleaning. Even if you are good about brushing and flossing, you may still have plaque and tartar buildup, which left uncleaned, can eventually lead to major health problems. After plaque and tartar is removed, you’ll then receive a gritty toothpaste cleaning and a professional flossing. The grittiness of the toothpaste will scrub the outside of your teeth clean and the professional flossing will work out any food particles stuck between your teeth and near your gums. You may also receive a fluoride treatment and other procedures such as an X-ray. Again, your dentist will be alerted to any problem areas and will do his own check to make sure you do not have an issue that needs further attention. Based on what your dentist sees, he may recommend more procedures or give you tips on how to avoid problems in the future.
WORTH THE COST?
The cost of a regular cleaning is very affordable, even without dental insurance. With dental insurance, preventative care is even less expensive. You may be excellent at taking care of your teeth at home. You may brush and floss and avoid foods and drinks that damage teeth. But there are procedures only a dentist can perform and only problems your dentist can notice and address. Regular cleaning is very affordable and can easily be worked into any individual or family budget. Other, more involved procedures can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. More costly procedures can be avoided or minimized by seeing your dentist for regular cleaning every six months. So, is dental cleaning worth the cost? Yes!