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The Importance of Dog Dental Care and How Much It Costs

We often normalize “doggy breath,” but that unpleasant odor can actually be a sign of underlying dental disease. Bad breath in dogs results from an overgrowth of bacteria releasing foul-smelling compounds that can damage the gums, leading to inflammation and gingivitis. Fortunately, gingivitis is both preventable and reversible with proper dental care.

Regular teeth cleanings and exams by a veterinarian are essential for preventing dental disease in dogs. These cleanings remove plaque and tartar above and below the gumline, treating gingivitis and giving your dog a healthier mouth.

How Much Does Dog Teeth Cleaning Cost?

The cost of dental procedures for dogs varies widely depending on location, services provided, and the provider. Here's a breakdown:

  • General Practitioners: Teeth cleanings can range from $250-$900. This may or may not include extractions.

  • Veterinary Dentists: Typically more expensive due to advanced training and equipment. Services including x-rays, exams, and cleanings start at $800-$1,300. Additional procedures like nerve blocks, extractions, advanced imaging, and root canals will increase the cost.

Veterinary dentists are board-certified specialists who have undergone extensive training in dentistry, pain management, x-ray interpretation, and anesthesia, allowing them to provide the best care possible.

What’s Included in a Dog Teeth Cleaning?

A comprehensive dog teeth cleaning typically includes:

  • Anesthesia: Ensures the procedure is painless and stress-free for the dog, preventing water from entering the airway.

  • Oral Exam: A thorough examination of each tooth, measuring gum pockets and checking for any issues.

  • Scaling and Polishing: Removal of plaque and tartar, followed by polishing to smooth the teeth surfaces.

  • Dental X-rays: Essential for assessing the health of tooth roots, bones, and surrounding tissues. They help detect bone loss, dead teeth, infections, and other issues.

Additional Costs

Before anesthesia, a blood panel is conducted to assess internal organ function and other health markers. This can cost between $75-$200 and may not be included in the dental procedure fee.

If teeth are diseased and need extraction, it can cost as much as $400 per tooth. The cost depends on tooth size, extraction type, number of teeth, and added surgery time.

How Often Do Dogs Need Their Teeth Cleaned?

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends:

  • Small- and Medium-Sized Dogs: First cleaning at 1-2 years old, then annually.

  • Large Dogs: First cleaning at 2-3 years old, with cleanings every 1.5-2 years thereafter.

Certain breeds, like brachycephalic dogs (Pugs, French Bulldogs, etc.), may need more frequent cleanings due to crowded teeth and abnormal bites.

Signs Your Dog Needs a Professional Cleaning

  • Bad breath

  • Bleeding, redness, or swelling of the gums

  • Difficulty picking up food

  • Dropping food while eating

  • Loose teeth

Does Pet Insurance Cover Dog Teeth Cleaning Costs? Dog Dental Care,

Not all pet insurance policies cover dental costs, especially if your pet was diagnosed with dental disease before acquiring the policy. Coverage for root canals and extractions varies by policy. Always check your policy details before scheduling a dental procedure.

How to Save Money on Your Dog’s Teeth Cleaning, Dog Dental Care

  1. Schedule Cleanings Early: Starting dental cleanings when your dog is young is a good investment. Multiple cleanings over time are cheaper than extensive treatments later.

  2. Start At-Home Preventative Care: Regular brushing, dental diets, chews, sprays, and water additives can help maintain your dog’s dental health and extend the time between professional cleanings.

  3. Find the Right Pet Insurance Plan: Look for insurance plans that cover dental care or do not exclude it as a pre-existing condition.

  4. Avoid Anesthesia-Free Cleanings: These are not effective for treating dental disease and can be stressful for your pet. They do not remove plaque or tartar under the gumline and are not endorsed by veterinary organizations.

Regular dental care is crucial for your dog's overall health. By investing in professional cleanings and maintaining good at-home dental hygiene, you can prevent dental disease and keep your dog's mouth healthy and clean.

Dog Dental Care and How Much It Costs
Dog Dental Care and How Much It Costs


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