How Long Does A Dental Cleaning Take?

How Long Does A Dental Cleaning Take?

Team General Dentistry

Getting your teeth cleaned is one of the best ways to protect your oral health. Studies show that maintaining good oral health can also reduce your risk of serious chronic health conditions. Even better? Getting your teeth cleaned will take less than one hour. Your appointment may take a bit longer though because you’ll also have a complete oral examination and evaluation. Still, spending just a few hours at the dentist every year is a minor undertaking compared to the major benefits it offers. Here’s what to expect when you book an appointment for teeth cleaning.

Bite Evaluation

At every dental cleaning, your dentist will evaluate your bite. A misaligned bite can lead to myriad problems in the future ranging from teeth grinding (bruxism) to cracked teeth and pain from a TMJ disorder. Your dentist will carefully evaluate how the teeth meet to determine if you could benefit from a treatment such as a night guard.  

Digital Imaging (Digital X-rays)

Digital imaging is typically done once a year as a diagnostic procedure to ensure that you are not suffering from a weakened jaw bone and to confirm that there are no growths beneath the soft tissues.

Screening for Symptoms 

During your cleaning appointment, your dentist and hygienist will thoroughly examine the entire mouth to look for symptoms of problems. They will check for changes in tissue, the color of gums, signs of inflammation, or any other indication that something is amiss.

In addition, your dentist will be examining all previous dental restorations, including dental crowns and dental fillings, to look for signs of damage. Your dentist will also evaluate your head, jaw, and neck for abnormalities.  

Cleaning (Plaque and Tartar Removal)

The primary purpose of professional dental cleaning is the removal of plaque and tartar that builds up on the teeth between your biannual dental cleanings. Your dental hygienist will often perform the cleaning. They will use specialized tools to gently scrape or pry hardened materials from the teeth, between teeth, and at the gum line. If you’ve developed plaque or tartar beneath the gum line, you may need to return for scaling and root planing (deep cleaning). 


Before you leave your appointment, your teeth will be thoroughly polished so that you leave the office with a clean, fresh smile. 

Maintaining Excellent Oral Health: 2 Hours/Year and Excellent Hygiene Habits

Patients who brush twice daily for a full two minutes, and those who floss daily, per the American Dental Association’s recommendations, are at reduced risk of oral health problems. However, even those who brush and floss meticulously cannot eliminate all the plaque that builds up on the teeth. That’s precisely why twice-yearly dental cleanings are so important.  

It is important to note that you may be predisposed to certain oral health conditions, such as gum disease. Some patients may also inherit weaker teeth than others. Do not be discouraged if you discover that you have a cavity or gum disease. It does not always mean you’ve done something wrong. In these cases, your dentist may recommend switching to an electric toothbrush, using a water flosser instead of dental floss, or adding an antibacterial mouthwash to your oral healthcare routine.

Book a Dental Cleaning and Exam in Carmel, NY

If you’re due for your dental cleaning (or if you’ve skipped a few appointments), it’s time to get back on track. Message us to schedule your appointment or contact our friendly team at Carmel Dental Associates at 845-225-2224.  For your convenience, we see patients until 7 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays.