How Long Does Dental Cleaning Take?

Every six months, all adults should visit the dentist for a professional dental cleaning. Professional cleaning is more crucial than you may realize. Cleanings are critical for avoiding cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. For some, going to the dentist every six months causes anxiety. If you are one of these people, you should know that a typical appointment usually takes around an hour from start to end. 

A routine visit typically involves a thorough oral exam, an assessment of oral hygiene habits, and a professional dental cleaning. Let’s see how long does dental cleaning take?

More information on the professional dental cleaning portion of the visit and what to expect is provided below.

What is Dental Cleaning?

Dental cleanings are vital for dental health and can even impact your general health. To prevent the risk of gum disease and tooth decay, dental practitioners often prescribe in-office teeth cleaning twice a year. Unfortunately, many patients avoid dental cleanings – many have hectic schedules and are concerned that dental cleanings may take too long. The good news is that dental cleanings may not be as time-consuming as you expect.

Brushing and flossing are necessary for good oral health since they remove the food debris, bacteria, and plaque that promote gum disease and tooth decay. Bacteria in your mouth make acid when they feed on sugar and starch in your diet. This acid can destroy tooth enamel. Food particles and saliva can also mix to form bacteria-rich plaque, a transparent sticky film that adheres to the surfaces of your teeth. Brushing and flossing are effective methods for removing germs and plaque.

When left in situ for 24 to 72 hours, plaque can react with minerals in saliva to form tartar. Unlike plaque, which has easily removed, tartar is a tricky substance that stubbornly adheres to teeth. Tartar accumulates between teeth and at the gum line, irritating and inflaming gums and causing gum disease. 

Pockets can form between the teeth and gums over time, providing a fertile environment for bacterial growth below the gum line. Bacterial acids can destroy the bone and tissue that hold teeth in place, resulting in tooth loss.

Tartar cannot be removed at home; professional dental cleanings are the only way to eliminate this hazardous tartar.

Steps Involved in Regular Dental Cleaning

The dentist or qualified dental hygienist will prepare you for the dental cleaning after you have completed the oral exam. They will ensure your comfort and cover your shirt with a paper bib or paper towel. If you feel uneasy, let them know, and they will give you a moment to adapt and relax. Routine dental cleaning is pretty straightforward and consists of the following steps:

Examination of Your Teeth Gums and Overall Oral Health

Examination of Your Teeth Gums and Overall Oral Health
Examination of Your Teeth Gums and Overall Oral Health

A thorough examination of your mouth is usually the first step in cleaning. Your dental hygienist will use a small mirror to look for indicators of oral disorders such as swollen gums, plaque, tartar accumulation, and dark patches on teeth. This examination assists the hygienist in identifying problem areas that will be addressed during the cleaning. The hygienist will notify your dentist if there are any cavities, gum disease, or other significant problems. The length of time required has determined by the general health of your teeth and gums.


Scaling is the initial stage in any dental cleaning. It removes dirt and plaque from the gum line and between your teeth. This phase is often carried out with an automatic ultrasonic scaler or a thin metal hand scaler. The handheld ultrasonic scaler removes plaque accumulation with low-frequency vibrations and air pressure and then rinses it with water. Scaling might be painful for some people, especially if they have sensitive teeth. During the scaling, the dental professional will pause to allow you to take a rest and ensure that you are comfortable.


The teeth are ready to be polished after the debris and plaque have removed. A polishing paste has administered to each tooth individually using an automatic handheld instrument. The device buffs and shines the teeth using a little revolving head.


The final step is to floss between the teeth. You might be astonished at how quickly the dental professional flosses your teeth. After a fast floss, rinse, and you have done.


Fluoride treatment may be recommended by your dental hygienist at the end of the teeth cleaning process in specific situations. This is a naturally occurring mineral that aids in the strength of dental enamel; while many communities add fluoride to drinking water, many people benefit from fluoride treatments. 

These treatments include wearing a mouthpiece filled with fluoride gel for around one minute so that they won’t take much time out of your complete dental cleaning. These fluoride gels come in delightful flavors, making the treatment even more enjoyable.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Dental Cleaning?

How Long Does It Take To Get A Dental Cleaning?
How Long Does It Take To Get A Dental Cleaning?

The professional cleaning component of the dental checkup will take between 30 minutes and an hour on average. The length of the cleaning has determined by the state of the teeth and the amount of plaque that needs to be removed. A typical routine appointment lasts between an hour and 90 minutes. 

There is usually no need to rush through the session, and the dentist should proceed at a rate that makes you feel relaxed and at ease. You must notify your dentist if you are uncomfortable at any point during the procedure so that they can take pauses. Most patients find the routine checkup and cleaning process painless, and they leave feeling satisfied.

However, various factors can determine how long a dental cleaning takes. These elements are as follows:

  1. Your oral health
  2. The state of your teeth
  3. Your dental team’s experience

The length of time it takes to clean teeth is affected by dental health. Your dental cleaning appointment will be brief if your teeth and gums are healthy and free of gum disease, plaque, and tartar. If you have difficult-to-remove tartar or gum disease, your session may take longer.

The amount of time necessary for expert cleaning might be influenced by the state of your teeth. Teeth that have damaged or decaying are more challenging to clean and may necessitate additional time.

The experience of your dental team is very significant. A skilled dental hygienist, for example, knows how to remove tartar fast and safely.

How to Shorten the Time Required for a Standard Dental Cleaning?

  • We understand your hectic schedule at Westerville Dental Associates, so we try our best to clean your teeth as fast, effectively, and thoroughly as possible. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your office visit while also speeding up your cleaning:
  • Fill out any papers that are required ahead of time.
  • Bring a documented list of all prescription, over-the-counter, and dietary supplements you use and a note of any recent or continuing illnesses or hospitalizations.
  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly to keep them in the best possible condition.
  • Professional dental cleaning should be done twice a year.


Dental cleanings are crucial preventative measures that help to preserve your oral health. Dental cleanings lower the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. The American Dental Association advises getting a dental cleaning at your neighborhood practice at least once every six months. Many people, however, have hectic schedules and may deceive themselves into believing they don’t have time to visit the dentist.

Fortunately, basic cleaning can be finished faster than you might expect. Professional teeth cleaning process may typically be finished in under 30 minutes. You can fit dental cleaning into your lunch hour. The type of dental cleaning you receive will determine how long it takes, though.

A basic prophylaxis cleaning is the first step in every form of dental cleaning. However, you will probably need an additional, specialist cleaning if you have gum disease, have not had a cleaning in a while, or have a lot of tartar deposits on your teeth. Depending on how much cleaning is necessary for certain situations, your dental cleaning may last more than an hour.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens during a dental cleaning?

The dental hygienist uses a scaler to remove plaque and tartar from around your gum line and between your teeth, using the little mirror to direct them. There will be scraping, which is typical. The more tartar there is in your mouth, the longer it will take them to scrape a particular area.

Is dental cleaning an unpleasant procedure?

Dental cleanings do not have to be painful! The most important thing to remember is that dental cleanings do not have to be painful! Dental cleaning does not have to be painful or difficult.

What exactly is tartar on teeth?

Teeth tartar, also known as dental calculus, is a type of tartar that occurs below and above the gum line. Tartar is a coating on the teeth that traps stains, causing discoloration. Certain foods, such as blueberries, coffee, and other darkly colored foods, might cause stains.

How long must I wait before eating after having my teeth cleaned?

Unless you had a fluoride treatment, you can immediately start eating following a routine tooth cleaning. You should wait 30 minutes before eating if you had a fluoride treatment. For the treatment to be effective and for the fluoride to be absorbed into the teeth, it takes time.

What not to do after brushing your teeth?

While your mouth is still numb, avoid eating anything.
On the first day, avoid eating anything tough, piercing, crunchy, or gritty.
For roughly 48 hours, refrain from drinking hot beverages
For roughly 48 hours, avoid mouthwash.

Leave a Comment