How Long is the Average Teeth Cleaning Appointment?

A dental prophylaxis, or dental cleaning, is an important routine preventative appointment that you should attend at least twice a year to check on the health of your teeth and gums. You may be wondering how long your appointment will last? Keep in mind that there is more that goes into your visit besides just cleaning and polishing your teeth. What should you expect during your dental cleaning appointment?

Your dental hygienist will update your medical history and health changes such as pregnancy, medications, or other health updates. If you are due for checkup x-rays, the hygienist will also take bitewings to check in between your teeth for cavities and evaluate your bone levels. A physical and visual examination of your head and neck will also be completed to screen for oral cancer. Next, your hygienist will do periodontal charting of your gums to check for gingivitis and periodontal (gum) disease.

After updating your health history, x-rays, and periodontal charting are complete, then comes the actual teeth cleaning portion of your prophylaxis appointment. The hygienist will then use various tools to scrape the plaque and tartar buildup off of your teeth. This can be done by “hand” using dental scalers or “ultrasonically” using a Cavitron which uses water and vibration to remove the plaque and tartar buildup. Think of the Cavitron as a power washer for your teeth!

This process should take anywhere from 30-60 minutes. If you have good oral health and maintain excellent oral hygiene at home, your appointment may not take as long. If you are a person that develops a lot of buildup or has gum disease, your hygienist will need to spend extra time with you. As a general rule, if you want to spend less time in the dental chair, the best thing you can do for yourself is to keep up with your oral hygiene at home. Most dental offices schedule their hygiene appointments for 45 minutes-1 hour. Allot this amount of time for your appointment to be safe.

If you are in the Kinston, NC area and looking for a dentist, please contact us at Carlyle Dental! We would be happy to serve your dental needs.