Want to know how much you should expect to pay for teeth cleaning? This guide covers the average dental cleaning costs and how you can save money.

Dental Cleanings

Dental Cleaning Cost

Do you need a teeth cleaning but can’t afford it without insurance? The average cost of a dental cleaning usually isn’t too expensive, but they can be more than you can afford without dental insurance.

In this article, we’ll go into more detail about dental cleaning costs, why making sure you can afford dental cleanings is important, and how to save on teeth cleaning costs without dental insurance.

How Much Does Teeth Cleaning Cost?

A dental cleaning costs anywhere from $75 to $400 with no insurance, depending on the age of the patient and the type of cleaning needed. However, the answer to “How much is a dental cleaning?” varies significantly based on various factors, such as the region you live in and whether you have insurance. For instance, based on our estimates, and depending on the kind, a periodontal “deep cleaning” for your teeth can cost anywhere between $200 and $1500.

Keep reading to learn more about what determines how much a dental cleaning costs and what to expect during your visit, so you can financially plan for your treatment.

How Much Is a Dental Cleaning without Insurance?

Based on regional average costs of routine dental cleaning without insurance (based on averages from Los Angeles, Orlando, Chicago, and New York City), an adult cleaning typically costs about $127, while a child’s cleaning costs about $93.

However, you can save significantly with a dental savings plan like the Dental Access Plan, which reduces these costs to approximately $68 and $51, respectively. Similarly, you could potentially pay as little as $160 (compared to $274 for a deep cleaning/scaling and root planing), saving over $100. With a dental savings plan, you can virtually cut the cost of treatment in half, without even having insurance.

If you still have questions like “How much are braces without insurance?” or “How much does a crown cost?”, we can help you find ways to save if you don’t have insurance. Learn more about the best savings at general dentists and see exact pricing in your area with the Care 500 Series Plan. Or see the best savings at specialists with the Dental Access Plan (powered by the Aetna Dental Access network).

How to Save Money on Dental Cleanings

We understand that affordable dental care might seem out of your grasp, but there are several ways to save money on dental cleanings:

  • Sign up for a dental savings plan.

A dental savings plan can directly reduce the cost of your dental cleanings, allowing you to save substantially throughout the year. Our plans can offer savings of 15 to 60% at general dentists and 15 to 50% at specialists. 1Dental has several dental plan options that can help make dental care more affordable.

  • Ask about payment plans.

Many dentists allow financially struggling patients to make multiple payments to break up the cost of dental treatments. For instance, they might allow you to make two consecutive payments instead of one. Ask your dentist if you can arrange a payment plan for your bi-annual dental cleanings.

  • Get an insurance policy.

In some cases, teeth cleanings are completely covered through dental insurance. However, even if they’re not, the cost of your visit will likely be much less if you have insurance. Plus, you can combine your insurance with your dental savings plan, meaning you’ll pay even less.

These methods can also help you save on crowns, braces, and tooth extraction costs, among other dental expenses.

Factors That Impact Dental Cleaning Costs

The cost of dental care, including teeth cleaning costs, are always subject to your personal circumstances. That’s because dental treatments can be influenced by several factors, including:

  • State of your oral health
  • Location of your dentist
  • Your insurance coverage

Additionally, many dentists offer discounts or specials to encourage regular cleanings, so that may mean lower teeth cleaning costs.

Additional Dental Cleaning Costs

Depending on certain circumstances, your dental cleaning may cost more than average. For example, you may end up paying more if:

  • It’s your first visit and the teeth cleaning is part of your first exam
  • You have extensive plaque or tartar build-up
  • You need local anesthetic
  • Other unforeseen issues require immediate care

The real answer to “How much is a teeth cleaning?” or “How much is an appointment at the dentist?” is that it depends on the level of care you need. When it comes to dental cleaning costs, it’s typically on the lower end of the spectrum, but keep in mind that these factors can impact how much you pay out of pocket.

Why Do I Need to Get a Cleaning?

As part of your ongoing dental care, dentists recommend dental cleanings every six months for a number of reasons, including:

  • Preventing gum disease: Dental cleanings and periodontitis go hand in hand. Dentists can remove plaque that you have missed when you go in for regular dental checkups, which can prevent gum disease and keep your mouth healthy.
  • Keeping your teeth properly supported: If gum disease is left unchecked, plaque will move further into the tooth root and destroy the supporting bone, which can loosen teeth and make them fall out.
  • Maintaining a white smile: Foods, drinks, and bad habits like smoking can all stain your teeth. Having your dentist clean your teeth can help remove build-up and keep them whiter.
  • Preventing bad breath: Undergoing a dental cleaning promotes good oral hygiene by removing plaque and bacteria, which is key to preventing bad breath.
  • Improving your overall health: Undergoing a dental cleaning promotes good oral hygiene by removing plaque and bacteria, which is key to preventing bad breath.

Additionally, teeth cleanings are usually a standard part of the first dental visit for adults. All in all, dental cleanings are an essential component of preventative dentistry.

Maintaining your oral health is a worthwhile investment, so you don’t find yourself having to ask, “How much does it cost to get your teeth fixed?” Spending the money two times a year on your dental cleanings is significantly less expensive than the reconstructive procedures that might be necessary if you don’t.

Types of Cleanings

There are a few different types of cleanings that a dentist may perform. It depends on your age and the health of your mouth. Here are the four types of cleanings:

  • Children’s Cleanings: Children should first see the dentist when they are one year old, or after their first tooth comes in. By the time they’re three or four years old, they will begin having cleanings. These cleanings are catered to the children to make them feel more comfortable. When children go in for cleanings, dentists will usually give their assessment of the child’s oral health and what needs to be done to improve it; they’ll also talk about orthodontic concerns if there are any.
  • Regular Adult Teeth Cleanings: For adults who have healthy gums, or even early gingivitis without bone loss, a regular adult cleaning is all that’s necessary. Your dentist will remove any plaque, tartar, and bacteria and will polish your teeth.
  • Deep Cleaning—Scaling and Root Planing: If you have gum disease, however, a deep cleaning may be necessary. This cleaning involves scaling and root planing, which are methods used to clean between the gums and teeth down into the roots. Sometimes a local anesthetic may be needed to numb your gums and the roots of your teeth.
  • Periodontal Maintenance: This is another cleaning that dentists use to stop the progression of periodontal (gum) disease. During this cleaning, your dentists will remove tartar and plaque build-up above and below the gum line, get rid of any stains on your teeth and help improve your breath.

How Much Do Teeth Cleanings Cost with a Dental Savings Plan?

While prices for teeth cleanings aren’t too unreasonable, if you can save money, you’d probably like to, especially if you have to pay for cleanings for you and the whole family. There are insurance alternatives that can help cut that cost for you, like dental savings plans.

With a dental savings plan, dental cleaning costs drop significantly, for example:

  • Adult cleanings: Without insurance approximately $127*; with a dental savings plan, as low as $68
  • Children’s cleanings: Without insurance approximately $93*; with a dental savings plan as low as $51
  • Deep cleanings: Without insurance approximately $274*; with a dental savings plan as low as $160

*The select regional average cost represents the average fees for the procedures listed above in Los Angeles, Orlando, Chicago and New York City, as displayed in the cost of care tool as of June 2020.

1Dental offers several plan options. Compare our plan options below:

  • Care 500 Series Plan: This plan is designed for individuals who make frequent visits to their general dentists because it offers a savings of 20 to 60% on these types of treatments. You can also save 20% on visits to specialists. The Care 500 Series Plan starts at $119/year for one member.
  • Dental Access Plan (powered by the Aetna Dental Access network): This plan is best for individuals who see specialists frequently because it provides greater savings on these procedures, specifically anywhere from 15 to 50% off treatment costs. You can also save 15 to 50% at general dentists with this plan, which is still substantial. The Dental Access Plan is accepted at over 226,000 practice locations. The Dental Access Plan starts at $119/year for one member.
  • Preferred Plan: The Preferred Plans combines the best of both of the plans above, which may be the most advantageous option if you see both your general dentists and specialists frequently. The Preferred Plan is available for $169/year (for one member), just $50 more for the whole year.

Note: For exact treatment prices in your area, please visit the Care 500 Series Plan price list and enter your zip code. Or visit the Dental Access Plan price estimates page for national prices.


How Often Should I Get a Teeth Cleaning?

The standard best practice is that most people should undergo a teeth cleaning every six months. However, for those with conditions that need to be more closely monitored, more frequent cleanings may be recommended—for instance, every three months. For others, cleanings may be needed less frequently. To find out how often you should be getting your teeth cleaned, speak with your dentist.

How Long Do Dental Cleanings Take?

Regular dental cleanings can typically take about 30 minutes to an hour, not including wait time.

Are Teeth Cleanings Painful?

Typically, no, they are not painful. You may experience a little discomfort with someone working in your mouth, but in most cases, cleanings are fairly easy. If you need a deep cleaning, you might need a local anesthetic to help with discomfort.


Teeth cleanings are an essential part of your routine oral health care. However, one of the most common complaints about dental care is that it isn’t reasonably affordable, which means people forgo important procedures.

Don’t neglect cleanings because you’re unable to afford them. Whether you have insurance or not, signing up for a dental savings plan can help you reduce your out-of-pocket costs and ensure you’re able to upkeep your oral health maintenance. While you may have to spend some money to maintain your teeth cleaning schedule, it can save you a lot of money on treatments in the long run.

Find a dentist near you to schedule your dental cleaning.

Summary: Why is Care 500 Series our best selling plan for cleanings?

  • See exact procedure prices online (not estimates)
  • Large provider list of dentists
  • Great savings at general dentists (and specialists)
  • Millions of members, in business since 1979
  • Plan priced at an everyday low price, starting at $119 a year




This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional dental advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist with any questions you may have regarding your oral health.

Brad Meinen

Brad Meinen has worked at 1Dental for over 11 years and has a vast understanding of the dental arena. He has used the dental plans from 1Dental personally for over a decade.

Leave a Reply