A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. Most dental cleanings take only between 25 and 30 minutes. Cleanings should be performed every three to six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup depending on your history of, and susceptibility to disease. Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. A routine dental cleaning should include scaling and polishing. Dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand. However, new and advanced technology has led to more modern methods such as ultrasonic and piezo-electric scalers. These sophisticated instruments allows dental cleanings to be performed more efficiently and in less time. To achieve best results, both electric and manual scaling methods may be combined for dental cleanings.