Affordable Teeth Cleaning in Philadelphia

Finding affordable teeth cleaning in Philadelphia, PA, as in many places, can be challenging. When money is tight and families can’t make budgets stretch any further, regular dental care, including dental cleanings and inspections, often gets deferred.

But at Penn Dental Medicine (PDM), we’re making affordable dental cleanings possible for more patients in and near Philadelphia.

PDM is the teaching clinic of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, one of the nation’s oldest, most respected dental schools. As such, we offer teeth cleanings and other dental hygiene and oral health services for a fraction of what they cost elsewhere.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Cleanings


At PDM, our third- and fourth-year student doctors, supervised by experienced faculty, perform teeth cleaning services. They use proven, evidence-based techniques and the highest quality materials.

When you come to PDM, you get skilled, conscientious care from motivated future dentists. You’re also making a valuable contribution to their education. As a result, your cost for teeth cleaning in Philadelphia, as well as other services, is 50% to 70% less, on average, than what you would pay at private practices.


We want you to leave our dental clinic with your teeth looking and feeling great. But routine cleanings benefit you in several ways.

Masked and gloved dentist uses dental scaler and suction tool to give woman in dental chair an affordable dental cleaning.During a typical teeth cleaning, your dentist may provide three types of services.

1. Diagnostic Services

Diagnostic services include:

  • Updating your medical history.

Your dentist will want to know about changes in your health, medications you’re taking, and how to contact your primary care provider and specialists. This information helps the dentist ensure the oral health care you receive supports your overall health.

  • Evaluating your gum tissue for signs of periodontal disease (gum disease).

Your dentist will look for plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. They will check whether your gums bleed easily. They may also measure the spaces between your teeth and gums. (In healthy mouths, these pockets are 1-3 millimeters deep.) Keeping gums healthy reduces your risk of tooth loss and other problems.

  • Taking X-rays.

Your dentist will take X-rays to look for damage to or disease in your teeth, roots, jaws, and facial bones. X-rays help give your dentist a complete picture—literally—of your oral health.

  • Screening for signs of oral cancer.

Your dentist will look for red or white patches or sores in the lining of your mouth. They will feel your soft oral tissue and examine your throat and neck for lumps. Catching oral cancer early makes treatment easier and positive outcomes more likely.

2. Preventive Services

Preventive services typically involve some combination of:

  • Removing plaque and tartar.

Plaque (the sticky bacterial film always forming on teeth) and tartar (hardened plaque, also called calculus) cause tooth decay. While regular brushing and flossing at home can remove plaque, only a trained dentist using a manual scaler (scraper) or ultrasonic tool can remove tartar.

  • Removing stains.

Our dentists will use manual or ultrasonic tools and jets of mild abrasives and aerated water to remove stains from your enamel (the surface of the teeth).

  • Polishing teeth.

After cleaning teeth, the dentist will smooth their surfaces using a special, professional paste. Polishing further removes plaque and stains, and leaves your teeth feeling fresh and smooth.

  • Applying fluoride and sealants.

Your cleaning may include a fluoride gel, foam, or rinse. Fluoride safely remineralizes enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay. Your dentist may also recommend applying sealants—thin coatings painted on the back teeth to protect enamel from plaque and acids.

  • Cleaning and adjusting dentures (if applicable).

Like natural teeth, dentures can get stained and accumulate plaque and tartar. They need routine professional cleaning and regular checks to ensure a proper and comfortable fit.

3. Educational Services

Educational services your dentist may provide include instruction in proper brushing and flossing, and discussions of recommendations for future treatment.


The Academy of General Dentistry recommends patients schedule a dental cleaning at least twice a year, or as often as directed by their dentist.


In between teeth cleanings, you can maintain your teeth’s cleanliness and health when you brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and floss daily.

Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet low in sugar can promote good dental hygiene, as well as your overall health.

Find Affordable Dental Cleaning in Philadelphia at PDM

Because PDM is an educational dental clinic, you’ll find our costs are among the lowest for teeth cleaning in Philadelphia and its suburbs—and for other vital services, too.

We work with patients to create workable, realistic payment plans for our affordable care. We accept cash, personal checks, money orders, and credit and debit cards.

We also accept direct payments from most dental insurance plans, including all Medicaid plans offered to Southeastern Pennsylvania residents. For qualifying patients, we offer financing options through Care Credit.

PDM makes affording dental care easier for more people in and near Philadelphia. We’re helping make the “City of Brotherly Love” a city of brighter, cleaner smiles.

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We look forward to serving you and your family.