How Long Does a Deep Gum Cleaning Take?

Deep teeth cleaning takes longer than regular dental cleanings due to extra steps taken for removing tartar buildup below the gum line. Learn more about how long it takes for deep teeth cleanings.

How Long Does a Deep Gum Cleaning Take?

In most cases, a deep clean will require two visits to clean both sides of the mouth. A deep dental cleaning takes longer than a regular dental cleaning and can take between 1.5 and 2 hours in total. The reason deep cleaning takes longer is because it requires an extra step to remove more tartar compared to a regular dental cleaning. Tooth scraping and brushing can often be done in a single one or two hour visit to the dentist.

However, if there are numerous problem spots or the infection is widespread, your dentist will normally work on one or two quadrants of your mouth per visit. The process of deep teeth cleaning usually requires more than one visit and should last between 1 and 4 hours. First, the hygienist will numb you by injecting you with a local anesthetic. Deep cleaning is a more complex type of dental cleaning than what is done during a routine dental exam and cleaning.

During a regular dental cleaning, the front, back, and side of your teeth will be cleaned. Deep cleaning is done below the gum line to remove tartar and plaque, which, if left untreated, can cause bacterial growth and gum disease. If bacteria are already present, deep cleaning will eliminate them. A deep cleaning can be done in just one office visit, but it often depends on your comfort level.

The entire process of deep teeth cleaning can take several hours, so some dentists and patients prefer to interrupt the cleaning at several appointments. If you're concerned about the length of your dental cleaning because you have sensitive teeth, gums, or a gag reflex, there are additional steps your hygienist can take to keep you comfortable. If the pockets are deeper than can be treated with standard cleaning and good home care, you'll need a deep cleaning to eliminate the infection and promote healing. But the only way to improve them is to eliminate the source of bacteria that cause discomfort, which is why dental cleanings are so important.

In general, dental insurance will then cover 4 normal cleanings each year, known as “periodic maintenance”. This procedure, often referred to as SRP (Scaling and Root Planing), goes beyond standard cleaning to smooth and clean the surface of the roots below inflamed gums with a pocket depth greater than 3 mm. It's vital to treat periodontitis as soon as the dentist tells you to, which is why it's important for everyone to have their teeth cleaned regularly every 6 months. As you continue to work to stop gum disease, your periodontist may prescribe regular deep dental cleanings like this one (sometimes every 3 months).

The length of a dental cleaning depends on the amount of plaque and tartar accumulated in your mouth, how long it has been since the last checkup, and even the equipment your dental hygienist uses. If bacteria invade below the gum line, you'll need a thorough dental cleaning to restore gum health. We offer several relaxation and sedation options to help you feel comfortable during your dental cleaning. People who have a slight buildup on their teeth are physically easier to clean, so their dental cleaning appointment doesn't take as long.

You can't do a deep cleaning if you don't need it because it requires cleaning below the gum line - there's usually no plaque buildup below the gum line in a normal dental cleaning so there's less to clean. Most of the time when someone wants to know how long a dental cleaning should last they probably have doubts about whether their hygienist did a good job or not and if they were quick to get in and out.