Whew, that dog breath. (And cat breath, for that matter.)
Every so often, you throw a dental chew your pet’s way. You don’t have time to brush Mittens’ teeth (you may barely have time to brush your own).
As a pet parent, you may wonder whether you can do more and whether tooth extractions are a foregone conclusion.
Main Issues that Lead to Tooth Extractions
One of the most common reasons for extractions is advanced periodontal disease, according to the MSPCA–Angell. Periodontal disease, an infection of the tissues that hold your pet’s teeth in place, is common in itself, occurring in 80-85 percent of dogs and cats over two years of age. Advanced or end-stage periodontal disease often requires extraction.
Other reasons for tooth extractions:
Fractured teeth, typically the result of inappropriate chew items — nylabones, antlers and marrow bones.
Malocclusion, or an abnormal alignment of the teeth, also called an abnormal bite.
Crowding/supernumerary teeth, which refers to teeth, or tooth-like structures that have either erupted or remain unerupted in addition to primary or permanent teeth.
Tooth resorption, or the erosion of cementum and dentin that often progresses into the pulp of the affected tooth.
Feline chronic gingivostomatitis, or severe and chronic inflammation of a cat’s gingiva (gums) and mucosa, the moist tissue that lines its oral cavity.
To help avoid some of the most common tissue diseases and the exacerbation of accidents, take your pet for routine teeth cleanings and check-ups.
Dog Teeth Cleaning Costs
Tooth cleaning costs a few hundred dollars (1) — but what starts out as a cleaning could cost more if your vet discovers that your pet needs an extraction.
It’s a good idea to have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned anywhere from once every six months to once a year, depending on the dog. Smaller breeds often need more cleanings because their teeth usually grow closer together.
What do you pay for? Dog dental cleaning usually involves:
- X-rays of the mouth, jaw, and the tooth roots
- Visual examination of the teeth, gums, tongue cheeks and roof of the mouth
- Removing tartar and plaque buildup
- Polishing the teeth
Get a quick and easy pet insurance quote!
Dog Dental Extraction Costs
A simple extraction can be as little as $10 to $15. (1) Elevated extractions, which involves elevation of each root, costs more, depending how much work it is to get a tooth out — up to $25 to $35 per tooth. Multiple roots split with a drill can cost up to $100 per tooth.
A three-rooted tooth could cost between $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the root. Teeth like the upper fourth premolar, a three-rooted tooth is three root canals.
Cat Dental Extraction Costs
Seventy percent of cats are affected by a dental disease by the time they’re three years old, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society. Excessive tartar and plaque or tooth decay can cause painful dental problems in cats. These problems can also lead to other medical conditions in the heart, liver and kidneys.
What do you pay for? Cat dental extraction usually involves:
- Surgical supplies
- General anesthesia
The costs vary by condition and your location, but can range from $300 to almost $1,300. (2)
Cat Teeth Cleaning Costs
Having your cat’s teeth cleaned can be expensive, but forgoing it can be even more costly to your pocketbook and can hurt your cat if problems go untreated.
Dental cleanings for cats can range from $190 - $40, depending on if they need treatment for a dental disease. (1) Your veterinarian can give you a more individualized estimate.
Pet Insurance that Covers Dental
Overwhelmed by the costs? Pet insurance can help you out. If your dog has an accident or an illness* that requires treatment with an extraction, it could be eligible for coverage with a pet health insurance plan. You could save hundreds (or thousands!) off of the above price tags with the right coverage. Check out SPOT’s dental insurance page to learn more about dental coverage and get a free quote for your pet.
Insurance for Routine Pet Dental Care
What about help with the bills for routine teeth cleanings? SPOT’s preventive care options, which can be added to an Accident & Illness Plan, include coverage for dental cleanings and other routine care. SPOT’s two preventive care plans, gold and platinum, allot $100 - $150 a year to dental cleanings for dogs or cats.
With preventive care, you don’t have to meet a deductible and there’s no reimbursement percent–you get reimbursed the set amount from your plan.
*Pre-existing conditions are not covered. A pre-existing condition is any injury or illness which occurred or had symptoms before the start of your pet’s policy, or during a relevant waiting period. A condition is considered pre-existing whether or not it’s been officially diagnosed or treated; all that matters is when it occurred or symptoms first displayed.
Guest written by: Melissa Brock, Money editor at Benzinga