How Much Does A Dog Teeth Cleaning Cost? Average Cost For Dental Cleaning & Extraction

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Dog having teeth cleaned by vet (caption: How Much Does A Dog Teeth Cleaning Cost?)

Just like humans, dogs need to have their teeth cleaned to make sure they stay healthy. This preventative dental treatment can be an excellent way to help keep your pup’s smile happy and healthy. But you may be wondering, how much does dog teeth cleaning cost? We explore the need for this essential type of dental care and what you can expect with dog dental cleaning costs.

Why Do Dogs Need Their Teeth Cleaned?

Dog's gums (caption: Gum Disease In Dogs)

Dogs develop plaque and tartar on their teeth just like humans do. The root cause of this is bacteria. All dogs naturally have bacteria that live in their mouth, and eating causes it to produce a sticky plaque that adheres to the surface of the teeth. When this bacterial buildup sits on their teeth, the body responds to it as something that doesn’t belong, and an inflammatory response occurs. This reaction causes red bleeding gums, or gingivitis, and can progress into periodontal disease when the bone around the teeth is affected. The best way to prevent gum disease in dogs is regular dental cleanings. This includes brushing your pup’s teeth at home every day and getting annual professional dental cleanings.

How Common Is Dental Disease?

According to VCA Animal Hospitals, dental disease is one of the most common diseases affecting dogs, and 80 % of dogs over age three have some form of dental disease!1

What Happens During A Dog Dental Cleaning?

Dog Dental x-rays

Dental cleaning appointments typically include:

  • Dental x-rays are needed to accurately assess the teeth, gums, and bone in the mouth and to diagnose treatment properly
  • A thorough dental exam to evaluate all areas of the mouth visibly
  • Scaling and polishing the teeth to remove soft plaque, hard tartar, and stains
  • Anesthesia to ensure comfort and compliance through the necessary procedures

How Safe Are Dog Dental Cleanings?

When performed by a licensed veterinarian, dog dental cleanings are very safe. The most significant concern for most people when it comes to dog dental cleanings is sedation. It’s essential to remember that the veterinary team will be monitoring your dog throughout the procedure to ensure his vital signs stay stable and that he is comfortable. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), anesthesia-related deaths are rare, and veterinary teams have specific training to provide sedation safely.2

How Much Should Dog Teeth Cleaning Cost?

So, how much is a dog’s dental cleaning? The average cost to get dogs’ teeth cleaned is between $300 and $700. However, the average cost of dog teeth cleaning can vary depending on where you live and where you take your pup.

How Often Should My Dog Get A Cleaning?

Most vets recommend a dental cleaning once a year, but maybe more frequently if your pup has or is susceptible to gum disease.

Are There Additional Costs?

Dog tooth up close (caption: Does My Dog Have A Tooth Infection?)

Depending on your pup’s situation, there can be additional costs. Also, the average cost of a dog teeth cleaning does not include any specialized dental treatment for gum disease or extractions that may be necessary due to a tooth infection, medications, or lab work. The dog dentist cost is really tailored to your dog’s specific needs. Once the vet staff can thoroughly evaluate your dog’s mouth, there’s a chance that additional treatments may be necessary. For instance, the cost of dog teeth cleaning and extraction is more expensive than just cleaning.

These additional treatments may add several hundred dollars to the cost of care, so you may want to prepare yourself by asking the office in advance what they charge for additional procedures.

Low-Cost Dog Teeth Cleaning

Vet jacket (caption: What Makes A Good Vet?)

If you’re looking for low-cost dog teeth cleaning, you need to shop around. Much like how the cost of dental care can vary from city to city, you’ll also find there are many different costs from office to office, even within a particular city. Make sure you take the time to find a good vet and then ask about them, “how much is dog teeth cleaning?” Then you can compare the cost in your area.

Some areas have anesthesia-free cleaning options, but be wary. It’s important to note that while this option may be less expensive, anesthesia-free dentistry is not safe or comparable to dentistry with anesthesia, according to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).3 Here are a few reasons why your pet needs anesthesia for dental care:

  • They must hold still for an exam and x-rays to be accurate
  • Dental instruments go below the gum line and can be uncomfortable
  • The experience may feel traumatic and could cause future anxiety
  • Some dental instruments are sharp, and safety is compromised when there is unexpected movement
  • Anesthesia provides a pain-free experience

How Do I Clean My Dog’s Teeth At Home?

Person holding toothbrush in front of dog (caption: How To Brush Your Dog's Teeth)

This four-minute video from Molitor Pet Clinic Staff shows you how to brush your dog’s teeth and other ideas for cleaning your dog’s teeth at home. If you want to learn more, you can read our articles on brushing your dog’s teeth and the best dog toothpaste and dental chews.

Covering The Cost Of A Lifetime Of Dental Care

Annual canine dental cleaning costs are only the tip of the iceberg for dog dental costs over a lifetime of a dog. The good news is there are options to help you lower the amount you’ll pay over time. Some pet insurance policies cover non-routine dental care for dental infections and emergencies. You’ll also want to consider adding a pet wellness plan that may include coverage for dental cleanings and exams. See which pet insurance companies offer the best dental coverage.

Sources: [1] VCA Hospitals, [2] American Veterinary Medical Association, [3] American Animal Hospital Association

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