Studies have shown that by the age of three, eight out of 10 dogs already exhibit signs of dental disease, with the top issues being fractured teeth, benign oral neoplasia, gingivitis, and deciduous teeth. Sadly, on the other side, one out of three pet owners believes bad breath is normal for dogs.
If you don’t yet know, the best way to avoid these is through preventive oral care of which dog teeth cleaning is a part of.
In this article, we’ll discuss the actual costs of dental cleaning along with the influencing factors and average dog dentist charges. Also in the discussion would be a few tips in determining dental diseases as well as ways on how your dog can prevent them.
The basic price of getting a dog’s teeth cleaned using anesthesia can be from $200 to $700. The biggest factors affecting the cost to get your dog’s teeth cleaned are the dog’s size, types of medications used, and the local market.
It is also recommended to get full mouth x-rays during cleaning and these can cost between $120 and $250.
Parts of Dog Dental Cleaning and Their Costs
- Pre-Anesthesia Health Checks:
Most pet dentists would require a pre-dental examination in order to determine your dog’s overall oral health status and the extent of the cleaning needed. This will also determine if additional services would be required.
These might include gum diseases, loose or broken tooth, etc. A short physical exam on the day of the cleaning will be performed and this typically costs $30 to $50.
Your veterinarian may recommend or require additional diagnostic testing based on your dog’s specific needs. They may also require less testing, but doing so can be risky. You should always consider discussing the pros and cons of not performing diagnostics with the vet.
Before the administration of anesthesia, a reputable vet clinic will require bloodwork. These are necessary to ensure that your dog is healthy enough to go under anesthesia.
For normal adult dogs, a basic blood chemistry panel and a CBC blood test should be performed. A fair price for this basic testing would be $80 to $120.
For older dogs, a full blood chemistry panel, a CBC, and a urinalysis are recommended. These fully ensure that your dog has healthy kidney and liver function enough to process the anesthesia. Fair prices for these tests are $175 to $250.
These tests tell the veterinarian which anesthesia methods are best to use. This includes which drugs to use, if IV fluids are needed etc.
Pets are not expected to cooperate during a dental procedure. That’s why the aid of anesthesia is almost always necessary. But if your dog is extremely well behaved and its teeth are in pretty good condition, it may not need anesthesia at all.
However, for deep teeth cleaning, anesthesia is not only recommended – it is required. This ensures that the procedure can be carried out efficiently and your dog can be as comfortable as possible.
The cost of anesthesia includes the amount and type of drugs required and the monitoring of vital signs. The size of the dog determines the amounts of drugs needed.
Longer dental cleanings for dogs with more tooth decay will also require more time under anesthesia. In total, anesthesia cost should range from about $100 to $300.
Be sure to ask your veterinarian how they monitor vital signs during the dental cleaning. Pulse, EKG, respiration, and blood pressure should be closely watched during anesthesia.
Higher prices do not necessarily mean that your dog is being well-monitored. Ask your vet if they have a dedicated staff member to monitor the anesthesia during the procedure.
- Dental X-Rays:
A veterinarian may recommend dental radiographs to be done on your pet which can greatly affect the average cost of dog deep teeth cleaning. This is to ensure that he doesn’t have any serious dental issues that may worsen or may need to be addressed first before any dental procedure can be carried out.
However, not all clinics have dental x-ray machines. Having full mouth X-rays performed can detect diseased teeth early.
These teeth can then be removed and can prevent the need for a dental procedure in the future. In the long run, the full mouth X-rays can save money and can save your dog several trips to the dentist. They typically cost $120 to $250.
Even if you decline x-rays, try to find a clinic that has a dental x-ray machine. This typically indicates that the clinic performs dental cleanings regularly and is highly-skilled.
- Cleaning the Teeth:
While your dog is under anesthesia, a technician will ultrasonically scale tartar off the teeth and polish them. They will also alert the veterinarian to any potentially problematic teeth.
After the cleaning is complete, the veterinarian will examine each tooth individually, record decay, gingivitis, and any other issues. A fair cost of the cleaning process is $50 to $150. This will depend on the skill level of the technician, local market rates, and the amount of cleaning that was required.
- Anesthesia-Free Cleaning:
Anesthesia-free dental cleanings are a cost-effective option. However they have significant drawbacks: teeth cannot be extracted, oral health cannot be well accessed, and cleaning can be extremely difficult in the back of the mouth.
There is also a risk that the tartar will be scaled but the technician will be unable to polish the area. This creates a rough surface for plaque and tartar to quickly regrow on.
This type of cleaning is only recommended for very patient dogs with mild dental issues. The cost varies depending on the market and the skills level of the person cleaning the teeth.
A fair price would be $50 to $150.
Aside from the treatments mentioned above, there could be a few additional dental cleaning costs depending on the status of your dog.
From the oral exam and X-rays, the veterinarian will determine if any teeth are not worth saving. When that happens, tooth extraction would automatically be recommended. This will save your pet the agony of experiencing pain once the condition gets worse over time if left untreated.
Veterinarians typically charge per tooth type or by the minute for extractions. A simple loose incisor extraction may only cost $5, while a complex molar extraction can cost $150, but can cost up to $500 for extensive extractions, depending on where you are.
It is common for dogs to need several teeth removed during a dental cleaning. The veterinarian may require post extraction x-rays to determine complete removal as well, which is why the price range has a wide gap.
A simple illustration of how cost can vary based on location can be found below as shared by pet parents:
- Southern Wisconsin – Simple tooth extractions would cost $20 while complicated ones that require gingival mining would cost around $100 each for a medium-sized dog.
- New York City – $50 was charged for extraction of a simple incisor and up to $250 for carnassial extractions which is the most complex tooth to extract of all.
Extractions are the most variable cost in any dental cleaning and can be very hard to predict until the dog is already under anesthesia. Try to get a good understanding from your vet about how many extractions you can expect.
- Other Procedures
Sometimes, a dog’s teeth will have fractures but won’t need to be extracted. When this happens, a bonded sealant may be used in order to preserve the teeth. Applying a bonded sealant costs around $40 per tooth.
When there is an excess in gingival tissue, a gingival resection may be done on your dog. This cost will vary based on how extensive the procedure is. Expect roughly $100 to $200.
Finally, there are take-home medications associated with the dental. Your dog will likely be on pain medication and antibiotics after its teeth have been cleaned or extracted.
1. Antibiotics –
Sometimes, a vet would need your dog to take antibiotics before and after the dental. This is particularly necessary if infections or tooth root abscesses are discovered before the cleaning.
Some clinics use long-acting injectable antibiotics. These can cost over $100 for a medium-sized dog.
A cheaper alternative, especially for larger dogs, are antibiotic pills. These usually cost under $30 but can cost to as much as $70.
2. Pain relievers –
When deep teeth cleaning or tooth extractions are performed on your pet, the vet would also prescribe pain relievers. Pain medication will vary greatly depending on your dog’s blood test results, size, and the number of extractions performed.
Total take home pain medication is usually under $60 but can cost more depending on the factors mentioned above.
Don’t be afraid to ask your veterinarian if there are cheaper medication options available before you schedule the dental cleaning.
Payment and Savings Option
- Affordable Pet Care Clinics – if you look around really hard, there are some extremely affordable pet services out there. For instance, Helping Hands Veterinary Clinic offers very affordable dental services that include dental cleaning and extractions.
- Animal shelters – if you live in an area where there are animal shelters nearby, you can inquire if they offer dental service for the community. These are typically extremely low cost. One pet owner has shared his final fee for the extraction of 8 teeth for his dog only cost $125.
- Insurance – most comprehensive pet insurance does not cover dental services unless medically necessary or if brought about by accidents. But since the insurance coverage is constantly evolving, it never hurts to inquire.
- Care plans – some insurance companies and vet clinics that cover routine vet visits and medications, outpatient surgery, vaccinations, and non-emergency check-ups may cover dental services such as teeth cleaning as part of the Wellness plan.
- Discount plans – these are part of some promos and discount coupons that some vets and clinics have participated in to reward loyal customers or to attract new ones. Just be sure to check if dental services are covered.
- Care Credit – this works just like an ordinary credit card but is intended to settle expensive pet service fees not covered by pet insurance. It offers different financing terms that go from 6 months up to 2 years.
- Installment Payment Plans – when insurance companies declined covering certain dental health services and you cannot afford to pay cash outright at the time of service, some clinics may extend flexible payment schemes than subject your pet to untimely euthanasia just because you can’t afford to save its life.
Find Trusted Dog Dental Cleaning Services
When it comes to your dog’s dental health, it would be best to find a reputable veterinary clinic composed of highly-trained professional staff and led by qualified and licensed veterinarians because, that way, you’ll know your beloved pet is in safe hands.
There are extremely few laws ensuring a standard of care in veterinary clinics. It wouldn’t hurt if the clinic you choose is affiliated with recognized veterinary organizations, such as America Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). This group periodically inspects vet clinics to make sure they are up to the highest standard.
You can find many reputable clinics that are transparent and offer affordable treatment costs.