A “dental,” also sometimes called a “prophy” or prophylaxis, is a cleaning and polishing of a dog’s or cat’s teeth.
A dental cleaning should be performed on your pet when gingivitis (red area along the gum lines) is seen or bleeding during brushing is noted. Many pets get their teeth cleaned once a year, but a yearly cleaning is not necessarily appropriate for all pets. Diet, chewing behavior, and preventative care (daily tooth brushing) are among the important factors affecting the potential of your pet getting dental disease and how fast dental disease can progress.
How much does it cost?
The cost of a dental procedure for your pet can vary widely, mostly depending on the extent of dental disease the appropriate treatment. Including anesthesia and monitoring, a simple cleaning and polishing may cost $250-450, and prices will vary between cats and dogs. Any significantly involved procedure, which may include extractions and/or periodontal treatment, the use of dental radiographs, local anesthesia, and more general anesthesia time, can be more expensive, ranging up to $1000 or more.
Above paragraphs are excerpts from: http://www.mspca.org/vet-services/angell-boston/dentistry/dentistry-what-is.html
Nice explanation of the procedure.
Know Your Mouth Disorders http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/ten-steps-your-dogs-dental-health
Getting familiar with the possible mouth problems your dog may encounter will help you determine when it’s time to see a vet about treatment:
•Periodontal disease is a painful infection between the tooth and the gum that can result in tooth loss and spread infection to the rest of the body. Signs are loose teeth, bad breath, tooth pain, sneezing and nasal discharge.
•Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums caused mainly by accumulation of plaque, tartar and disease-producing bacteria above and below the gum line. Signs include bleeding, red, swollen gums and bad breath. It is reversible with regular teeth cleanings.
•Halitosis—or bad breath—can be the first sign of a mouth problem and is caused by bacteria growing from food particles caught between the teeth or by gum infection. Regular tooth-brushings are a great solution.
•Swollen gums develop when tartar builds up and food gets stuck between the teeth. Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth at home and getting annual cleanings at the vet can prevent tartar and gingivitis.
•Proliferating gum disease occurs when the gum grows over the teeth and must be treated to avoid gum infection. An inherited condition common to boxers and bull terriers, it can be treated with antibiotics.
•Mouth tumors appear as lumps in the gums. Some are malignant and must be surgically removed.
•Salivary cysts look like large, fluid-filled blisters under the tongue, but can also develop near the corners of the jaw. They require drainage, and the damaged saliva gland must be removed.
•Canine distemper teeth can occur if a dog had distemper as a puppy. Adult teeth can appear looking eroded and can often decay. As damage is permanent, decayed teeth should be removed by a vet.
Let me also say that it’s a very good idea to do pre-anesthesia bloodwork.
Boone had a dental recently, with 2 extractions & a 20% discount on the actual dental, it was almost $400. His bloodwork a couple weeks prior was almost $200
Totally right, InkedMarie! I always do bloodwork first! My Lab’s bill was $2K, but we did a root canal and a couple of extractions as a preemptive due to deep fissures on the opposite side. Normally my vet is around $300, but he is a specialist and it’s money well spent. Many of the issues as a dog ages can be directly related to poor dental health.
We are now doing a dental on a foster I have as she had very high liver ALT. I’ve brought it down so she is on the schedule!
Many states or areas (mine does) have low cost dentals. We have a local group that does it as a special for $99 plus blood work @ $35. Such a low cost for such a valuable procedure!
Unfortunately where I live and the vets that I chose to use are very expensive, but they know my dogs so I wouldn’t have it done by someone that doesn’t know my dogs and that I don’t know them. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong. Just me being neurotic about my girls. I have always had blood work done before anything having to do with anesthesia. Also, that wouldn’t be just my choice but by the doctors orders also.
Have your dogs teeth professionally cleaned is a must when needed. Hopefully before needed too much. It’s just like ourselves. We brush our teeth, of course, but we still go the the dentist so that the hygienist does a complete dental cleaning. Bacteria would probably also go into our bloodstream and do harm to our kidneys and liver just as it would with our animals if we never cleaned our teeth.
Yeah, I choose the more expensive vets. I have certain criteria for any surgery: te vet concentraes on the procedure & the (well qualified) vet tech takes care of the anesthesia. I expect my dog to be monitored after the procedure, not coming home too early. I expect pain meds if needed as well.
I’m lucky enough that my vet is a dental specialist. Of course he is on the expensive side, but well worth it as he can use very special anesthetics for dogs with special issues. The vet clinics that offer the specials do not have this option, but for people who would not or could not do the dental, often due to a lack of funds, I think the low cost dental clinics is a good opportunity to help the dogs that wouldn’t receive the needed dental work otherwise. The whole point behind them in my state is to get dogs treated that wouldn’t be due to owners not having the funds to get treatement for their dogs.
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