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

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Here’s how it works.

inspecting dog teeth with dental mirror.

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?

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 (bad breath), 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?

Professional teeth 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 before the dental procedure
  • 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 or consistently has very bad breath.

Are There Additional Costs?

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

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 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

Our Personal Experience With Dog Dental Cleaning

Lexie dog at dentist in swaddle jpg
The non-anesthesia dental cleaning involved putting our dog in a baby swaddle to keep them calm and relaxed.

Our dog Lexie had both anesthesia-free cleanings and cleanings with extractions while under anesthesia multiple times. When we rescued her, her teeth were practically falling out, so we wanted to do everything we could to make her mouth better. They do bloodwork beforehand to make sure your dog is not at risk of being put under, and if there is nothing abnormal, they’ll be able to clean their teeth while under anesthesia. I prefer anesthesia-free, but not many places offer it, and your dog’s mouth must be in good shape and not require a deeper cleaning that involves sharper tools and possible removal of teeth that have decayed. The bloodwork, anesthesia costs, and cleaning itself can add up quickly. So I shopped around for pricing, and we ended up taking her to a clinic further away, which was worth it to have more affordable care. We dropped her off first thing in the morning, and then they called mid-afternoon after she started waking up and the medicine wore off. They also send you home with a painkiller medication (which is an additional cost). Our pet insurance covered the extractions and related costs but not the cleaning itself, which was preventative.

Sadie Cornelius, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel pet parent

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

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 to help with clean teeth and bad breath. Dogs who are resistant to traditional teeth brushing can try a system like BARK Bright Dental.

What About Tooth Extractions?

Even with proper cleaning and care, there are many dogs who need a tooth extraction, a root canal, or other dental procedure at some point. Dental work can often happen with senior dogs or if a dog has injured or broken a tooth. Extraction can also be necessary if a dog has an abscessed tooth, infection, overcrowding, or disease. Dental extraction for dogs has a wide range of costs. This dental procedure can run from about $500 to over $2,500. The expense will depend on the specific circumstances and what services are needed.

Generally, there will be X-rays and blood work before the extraction. Pain medication, anesthesia, nerve blocks, and antibiotics will also add to the expense. Many veterinarians charge between $15 and $100 per tooth just for the removal. Often, extraction and professional teeth cleaning are done at the same time. A canine root canal can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000.

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

Tagged With: ,

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments