How Much Does Teeth Cleaning for Dogs Cost? – Forbes Advisor

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Just like humans, a dog's oral hygiene is an important part of his or her overall health and well-being. While people may joke about the all-too-familiar “dog breath,” it could be a sign of something more serious, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Bad breath in dogs can be a sign of uncontrolled bacteria, which can lead to gum disease and eventually tooth decay and tooth loss.

Understanding and caring for your dog's dental health can greatly improve both of your lives. While brushing your dog's teeth at home can be helpful, the best way to prevent serious dental problems in your dog is to visit your veterinarian for a professional dental cleaning. Taking the time to take care of your dog's oral hygiene will make life easier in the long run.

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How much does it cost to clean your dog’s teeth?

Cleaning your dog's teeth by a general practitioner veterinarian typically costs between $170 and $350, and can cost up to $4,000 if performed by a board-certified veterinary dentist at a high-end facility, and may involve other procedures. While both can provide quality dental care, veterinary dentists have earned doctorates in veterinary medicine and surgery and have specialized knowledge and training in animal dentistry.

Several factors can affect the cost of a dental cleaning, including extractions, medications, advanced imaging, specialized procedures and the dog's overall health. Some dog owners may feel more comfortable with a veterinary dentist if their dog is older, has underlying health issues, or needs more extensive surgery (such as a root canal).

Factors affecting the cost of teeth cleaning

  • Who is doing the teeth cleaning. There will be a price difference between a general practitioner and a board-certified veterinary dentist working with your animal.
  • Scope of the program. If a dog only needs a simple tartar scraping, the cost will be less than if the dog needs a complete dental X-ray and ultrasound cleaning filling.
  • Pre-cleaning preparation. Some veterinary clinics require comprehensive x-rays and tests before performing a dental cleaning.
  • The overall health of the dog. If the dog is older or has health issues, more testing and closer monitoring will be needed during cleaning.
  • Severity of dental disease. If your dog's teeth are severely deteriorated, more work will be needed to restore your dog's mouth to health.

“The factors that have the greatest impact on pricing include the severity of the dental disease, the need for tooth extraction and the duration of anesthesia,” Dr. Paula Simons, a veterinary consultant at dog education website K9 of Mine, wrote in an email.

Other veterinary visit costs

Pet owners may encounter different types of fees at the vet, including:

What does the cost of teeth cleaning for dogs include?

It's always a good idea to request an itemized estimate before having your teeth cleaned to make sure you know the costs associated with the procedure and what's included in the final price.

While the cost may vary at each veterinary office, the cost of cleaning your dog's teeth usually includes an initial consultation, a pre-cleaning oral examination (often including dental X-rays), anesthesia during the procedure, scaling and polishing, and post-care medications. . Some clinics’ dental cleaning fees also include follow-up visits.

What is not included in the cost of a dog’s dental cleaning?

Any additional treatments or ongoing follow-up care are usually not included in the cost of a dental cleaning. Other things that are not typically included in a dental cleaning quote include:

  • Dental or post-anesthesia complications
  • Pre-anesthesia blood tests
  • Get an EKG or more extensive X-ray before cleaning
  • extract a tooth

Anything that requires more work from the veterinary clinic or additional work during the cleaning process will result in expenses on top of the total cost.

Do dogs need teeth cleaning?

Although dogs don't need it, veterinarians strongly recommend professional dental cleaning as part of a dog's oral health care plan.

The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that veterinarians examine your dog's teeth and gums at least once a year to look for early signs of oral health problems.

“Dogs will need regular professional dental cleanings throughout their lives, usually annually or biannually, depending on how they are doing during home dental care,” Dr. Alex Schechter, founder of Burrwood Veterinary Medicine in Detroit, said in an email to Forbes Advisor wrote. “Professional dental cleaning for dogs is necessary to maintain healthy oral hygiene and should never be overlooked.”

How often your dog needs professional cleaning depends largely on your home dental care. Brushing your dog's teeth regularly at home is the best way to protect your dog's oral health. Home dental care products such as pet toothpaste and dental chews can effectively reduce plaque and tartar buildup.

“However, please note that professional cleaning is still the most effective method of removing plaque and tartar and is recommended for dogs with severe dental problems,” adds Dr. Schechter.

Does pet insurance cover my dog’s dental cleaning?

Whether your pet insurance covers professional dental cleaning depends entirely on the coverage you choose for your dog and the extent of the required procedure. For example, some plans do not cover routine cleanings but do cover dental care for medical problems such as cracked teeth or periodontitis.

If your insurance doesn't cover dental cleanings, don't let the price tag stop you from caring for your beloved companion; there may be other options.

Some veterinary clinics offer patients in-house payment plans that break the final bill into manageable monthly payments. This may be a viable solution if you don't have enough cash on hand immediately to pay the full price.

If your veterinarian doesn't offer a payment plan, you might consider using a CareCredit credit card. This credit card is designed to be used to pay for medical expenses, including veterinary care.

If you choose to use CareCredit, you should double-check whether your veterinary provider accepts the card before applying. The card offers short-term financing options ($200 or more) with interest-free terms of 6, 12, 18 or 24 months, provided you pay the full amount due at the end of the promotional period. This warning is important to heed; if you do not pay the amount in full by the end of the zero-interest period, interest will be charged from the original purchase date.

An increasingly popular option for funding veterinary bills is crowdfunding on sites like GoFundMe and Waggle. If you turn to crowdfunding, you should be aware of any service fees charged by the platform. GoFundMe also lists 12 charity sites that will help pet parents pay for veterinary bills.

Can expensive dental cleanings be avoided?

Dr. Simmons says that while there's no substitute for a professional dental cleaning, routine dental care can go a long way in reducing serious dental disease in dogs.

“Giving your dog dry food and providing chews with nuggets can also help your dog scrape plaque from his teeth on his own, reducing the chance that you will need dental surgery,” says Dr. Simmons. “Your veterinarian can also provide a variety of dental supplements.”

There are some things dog owners can do to prevent extensive and expensive dental cleanings, including the following:

  • Don’t neglect your dog’s oral health. This means regular brushing and providing teeth-cleaning chews and toys.
  • Educate yourself. Watch this video to learn how to brush your dog's teeth regularly, effectively, easily and safely.
  • practice. Work with your dog regularly to train them to actually enjoy brushing their teeth.
  • Try at-home alternatives. Providing your dog with safe dental treatments, such as bones and chews, can help reduce tartar and plaque on the teeth.
  • Take advantage of preventive care. Take your dog to the veterinarian for regular checkups to catch dental problems before they become serious.

Symptoms of Dog Dental Problems

According to the American College of Veterinary Dentistry, most dogs will show some signs of periodontal disease by age 3.

“If you have any questions or concerns, please take your pet to your family veterinarian immediately for a proper oral examination,” Dr. Doug Mader, a triple board-certified veterinary specialist, wrote in an email to Forbes Advisor. “Prevention is always better than trying to solve a problem once it arises!”

If a dog owner notices the following signs, it is best to take the dog to the veterinarian and have the dog's teeth checked immediately:

  • Bad breath
  • Broken or loose teeth
  • extra teeth
  • Teeth that are discolored or covered with tartar
  • Unusual chewing, drooling, or dropping food
  • Loss of appetite or refusal to eat
  • pain in or around the mouth
  • Bleeding from mouth
  • swelling in or around the mouth

Just like humans, dogs can also exhibit behavioral changes, including irritability, if they develop dental problems.

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