Q: Is dental cleaning for my dog’s teeth worth the cost in the long run?

Original Question: "Being dental month I’m getting my two dog’s teeth cleaned. My veterinarian is recommending running a blood panel before putting them under anasthesia which will look at liver and kidney function which is what filters many of the medications used and screens for things like anemia, diabetes, liver, kidney issues, pancreatic issues, infection and so forth. I understand this is completely optional but welcome your input on the necessity of this work. Both boys are healthy; one is 8 years, 4 months old and his kid brother is 7 years, 7 months old. The older one had his teeth cleaned in 2015. The younger one has not had this procedure done. The estimate for the teeth cleaning is $1200 each. Is that a reasonable cost? Many thanks!" - Karen

Vet Certified Answer | Answered: March 5, 2018

Hi Karen,

It is great that you are thinking about all of this for your dogs. Dental health is so incredibly important! While I cannot comment on your cost question, I can give you some general information about dental assessments and cleaning. A comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment (a.k.a. “COHAT” as we vets prefer to call these procedures) in pets must be done under general anesthesia. Pre-anesthetic bloodwork is certainly helpful and important before anesthesia. This information can help guide your veterinarian in selecting the most appropriate anesthetic protocol for your dog and ensures that all is well in terms of organ function before proceeding. In general, the earlier you can intervene (i.e. before there is significant periodontal disease), the better. Regular dental assessments and cleanings, coupled with homecare, which includes brushing (most important!), can help prevent the need for tooth extractions and extensive oral surgery in the future. I hope this gives you some direction.

Wishing you all the best with your dogs!

Dr. Kim Hester

Disclaimer: and its team of veterinarians does not endorse any products or services mentioned. Advice presented by our veterinarians is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.

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