How to Choose the Right Vet to do your Pet’s Dental Cleaning

February 21, 2017 at 9:00 AM by Nikki Wardle

pet getting his dental cleaning

Cost can be an understandable barrier for proper pet dental care. Many pet owners wonder whether they're buying their vet a new car every time they come in for any dental work. Why, they ask, is it so expensive to take care of your dog's teeth?

Here's the answer: Quality dental care for pets requires expensive equipment and a highly trained staff. On the bright side, a well-qualified veterinarian clinic will ensure that you get the most bang for your buck—and that you leave with a happy, healthy dog. When you know that you can trust your vet and that your furry friend is receiving the best care possible, you can know that your money is well spent.

What's the Real Cost of Pet Dental Care?

First off, it's important to note that you can make your pet's dental care less expensive. As a general rule, the more extensive work that your pet requires, the more expensive it will be. The best line of defense against dental disease is daily brushing and annual teeth cleanings. Learn how to brush your dog's teeth with our resources here, and read about at-home practices to keep your dog's dental health in check here. These healthy habits will ultimately keep your pet dental care costs lower.

Your pet's dental heath is so important

But what if Fido needs more than a cleaning? What if, despite your best efforts, your dog has gingivitis, fractured teeth, dental disease, or other problems? To give you an idea of how extensive the work is, here's what a dental procedure involves at a bare minimum:

  • Dental radiographs (x-rays)
  • Pre-anesthesia blood work
  • IV catheter and fluids
  • Endotracheal intubation, oxygen, and inhaled anesthetic
  • Patient warming while anesthetized (requiring special equipment)
  • Constant monitoring of anesthesia levels, temperature, and blood pressure
  • Supragingival scaling, subgingival scaling, polishing, lavage of gingival sulcus
  • Medication administered for pain after procedure (if needed)
  • Novocaine and other local pain management for tooth removal (if applicable)

If you're not sure whether you've chosen the right vet, ask how they perform their dental procedures. The list above should be the minimum services offered during a dental procedure to ensure that your dog is comfortable and safe.

Is Low-Cost Dental Care an Option?

Here at Intermountain Pet Hospital, we strive to keep our costs as affordable as possible for our clients. Good dental care can be costly—much more costly than, say, spay or neuter services—but the long term health benefits are worth it. Keep in mind that services like radiographs and anesthesia may seem unnecessary, but they're actually vital parts of our high standard of care that provides the best outcomes for you and your pet. We take your pet's health seriously, and our dental procedures show this commitment. As always, please contact us if you have any questions.

Topics: Pet Dental Health

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.