A “dental” is a catch-all phrase referring to any procedure involving general anesthesia and the teeth. This includes prophylactic cleaning, extraction of diseased teeth, cutting back overgrown gum tissue, or any combination thereof. Overall, cost depends on how much is wrong.”Prophys” are less expensive than extensive tooth removal. Dentals involve multiple steps, are time-consuming and as a result, are somewhat expensive. Specifically:

1. General anesthesia is always required
2. Pre-op bloodwood and IV fluid used routinely, especially in older pets
3. Dental surgery many times performed – extractions, trimming away overgrown gums
4. Ultrasonic scaling and polishing always performed to clean the teeth. This is a time-consuming operation
5. Medication always administered. This includes medication given at the time of the procedure, such as drugs for pain, antibiotics, and regional nerve blocks. Oral pain meds and antibiotics after your pet goes home.

All of these costs can compound and result in costs many times higher than those you have at your veterinary dentist.

Dr. Erin Downes VMD

Dr. Erin Downes graduated valedictorian from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1992. She and her husband, Dr. Jay Rowan are the owners of Paoli Vetcare | Main Line Vet & Animal Hospital.