How Much Does a Feline or Canine Dental Cost?

The cost of a Feline or Canine dental is one of the most common questions I get asked. Unfortunately, while we would all like a quick and easy answer, the cost of a pet dental can vary widely for many reasons. Here’s why.

If I rang my mechanic and asked how much it would cost to fix my car, they would need to have a look to work out what is wrong with it. The same goes for your pet’s mouth (and living creatures are arguably more complicated than cars) – it is impossible to tell what needs to be done without having a good look. Dogs have 42 teeth (that’s 10 more than a human!), while cats have 30 teeth, and we cannot tell which ones have problems without getting a really good look.

While we can generally get a fair idea during an awake examination, most animals won’t sit with their mouths wide open while we check around the backs of each tooth with a dental mirror (many people even struggle with letting their own dentist do this!). Besides, about two thirds of the tooth is below the gumline, buried in the jawbone, and therefore impossible to see without xrays. Unlike humans, dogs and cats need to be under a full general anaesthetic for us to examine their teeth thoroughly and without pain or stress to your pet.

So what goes into the cost of a pet dental, and why can it vary so much between vets? As always, you need to check what an estimate includes, as different levels of service may mean that a cheap price does not automatically mean value for money.

An estimate may or may not include preanaesthetic blood testing, an individually tailored anaesthetic protocol, continuous anaesthetic monitoring (by a human, not just a machine), intravenous cannulation and fluid support (an IV drip), local nerve blocks, antibiotics, pain medication and postoperative care. The availability of dental xrays is an important factor, not only for diagnosis, but in case surgical complications arise and xrays are suddenly needed. Dental extraction (like wisdom tooth surgery in humans) can be a complex procedure, so the experience level of the surgeon can affect the length of time a surgery takes. Most vets are trained in basic dental care and surgery, some have undergone further training or gained extra experience, but not all are comfortable with advanced procedures.

So when you are wondering how much a Feline or Canine dental will cost, remember your vet needs to have a good look, and you need to check what is included in the estimate. Your pet deserves a healthy, pain-free mouth, so contact us if you have any questions about the best way to achieve this

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