How much is a scale and clean?

A scale and clean will cost around $200 without health insurance, but it’s free with most basic extras policies.

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A scale and clean costs between $150 and $350 if you don't have health insurance. Luckily, it's included in most basic extras policies which cost about $3 a week and can cover 100% of the costs.

What is a scale and clean?

A scale and clean removes plaque, calculus and some stains from all the nooks and crannies in your mouth that your toothbrush or dental floss may miss. The whole procedure normally takes about 30 minutes in a dentist chair and can be booked as part of a check-up. It can sometimes include deep cleaning which generally consists of 2 parts:

  • Scaling – this involves removing plaque from under the gumline.
  • Root planing – this involves removing plaque and build-up from the roots of your teeth.

What does a scale and clean cost?

With a $3-a-week extras insurance policy, a scale and clean is unlikely to cost you anything. Here's a breakdown of scale and clean costs with and without insurance.

Extras Cover

With extras cover

General dental covers a scale and clean, and costs around $12 per month. Many health funds offer no gap dental check-ups (which includes a clean and polish or scale and clean) – so you won't have any out-of-pocket expenses.

No Extras Cover

Without extras cover

Scale and clean costs between $150 and $350 without health insurance, though prices vary depending on the dentist you go to.

Extras cover that includes deep cleaning

Here are some Finder partners that offer a no gap check up with scale and clean:

Name Product Detail Limit Price Per Month Hide CompareBox Apply
HCF Starter Extras
100% back on one dental check per year
$350
$12.70
ahm black 50 saver
Includes no gap dental check-ups
$400
$12.60
Frank Basic Extras
Get the same amount back each time you visit
$350
$13.55
HBF Flex 50
75% Extras claim back
No limit
$27.59
Qantas Basic Extras
60% rebate up to your limit
No limit
$33.05
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Compare up to 4 providers

Prices are based on a single female living in Sydney, NSW.

Find an extras policy that covers routine dental

Explore your dental insurance options from over 30 Australian health funds. For dental, just compare extras cover then simply filter for general dental.

How does a scale and clean work?

A dental scale and clean can help you keep gum disease, tooth decay and other oral health problems at bay. It involves the dentist removing the plaque and calculus that has built up on your teeth with an electric instrument called a scaler.

The scaler moves along your teeth and gums with fast vibrations that loosen the plaque and calculus without damaging your teeth. It removes the plaque, calculus and stains not just on the part of the tooth that you can see, but also just under your gum line. This can pick up any bacteria that may potentially start to damage the root of your teeth.

A scale and clean can also protect your teeth and gums, especially if you already have gum disease that has advanced below your gum line. After the scaler has removed the build-up, the dentist will then use a rotating toothbrush and paste to polish your teeth.

How often you should have a scale and clean really depends on how frequently you brush your teeth and how quickly they accumulate plaque, calculus and stains. As a rule of thumb, most people need a scale and clean once every 3 to 6 months.

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