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Dental Deep Dive: How Long Does Deep Cleaning Take?

March 11, 2024

Ever found yourself in the dentist's chair, wondering just how long you've committed to being there? We've all been there. But don't fret, we're here to give you the scoop on dental deep cleaning.


When it comes to our pearly whites, ensuring they're in top-notch condition is a must. Regular cleanings are a given, but every once in a while, our dentists might suggest a "deep cleaning." But what exactly is this, and more importantly, how long does deep cleaning take? Let's sink our teeth into this topic!

What is Dental Deep Cleaning?

Think of it as a spa day for your gums and teeth. While regular cleaning deals with the surface, deep cleaning goes, well, deeper. It's all about cleaning below the gumline, targeting the nasty plaque and tartar that regular brushing might miss.

Why is it Necessary?

Deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing, becomes essential when there's a risk of gum diseases like gingivitis or periodontitis. It's more than just aesthetics—it's about oral health!

How Long Does Deep Cleaning Take?

You've hit the million-dollar question! Typically, a dental deep cleaning takes between 1 to 2 hours. But, and there's always a "but," this can vary.

Factors Affecting the Duration:

  1. Severity of the Condition: Got a little tartar? Or is it a full-blown gum disease situation? The deeper the issue, the longer the cleaning.
  2. The Expertise of the Dentist: A seasoned dentist might be quicker than someone fresh out of dental school.
  3. Your Comfort Level: Some of us need more breaks, and that's okay!

Deep Cleaning vs. Regular Cleaning

Aspect Deep Cleaning Regular Cleaning
Purpose Targets gum diseases Routine maintenance
Depth Below the gumline Surface cleaning
Duration 1-2 hours 30 minutes
Frequency As needed Every 6 months

After the Deep Cleaning

You might feel like a champ, but your gums could be a tad sensitive. Here's what you might experience:

  • Tender Gums: Feels like after a heavy workout, but for your mouth.
  • Bleeding: A little spotting is normal.
  • Swelling: Just like how our feet swell after a long walk!

How to Care Post Cleaning:

  • Use a soft toothbrush.
  • Rinse with salt water.
  • Avoid hot or spicy foods (Sorry, hot wings!)

FAQs About Dental Deep Cleaning

  1. Is deep cleaning painful?

    • Generally, it's more uncomfortable than painful. Most dentists will use an anesthetic to numb the area.
  2. How often should I get a deep cleaning?

    • This really depends on your oral health. Some might need it yearly, while others might need it less frequently.
  3. Will my insurance cover deep cleaning?

    • Most dental insurances do cover it, but it's best to check with your provider.
  4. Can I eat immediately after the procedure?

    • Ideally, wait till the anesthesia wears off so you don't accidentally bite your cheek!
  5. How can I avoid needing deep cleaning in the future?

    • Regular oral hygiene, including flossing and routine cleanings, can help!
  6. Are there any risks associated with deep cleaning?

    • Risks are minimal but can include gum tenderness, bleeding, and swelling.


To wrap it up, dental deep cleaning is like a detox for your mouth. While the answer to "how long does deep cleaning take?" isn't set in stone, it's a small time investment for long-term oral health. After all, a smile is the best accessory one can wear, so let's keep it sparkling!