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Current Replies for Are Dentals too Expensive?
3/16/2009 8:23:09 AM
Posts: 112
I took our IG in and had her teeth cleaned last week. She is 10 years old so I had them do a complete physical (which amounted to blood work and a few other basics). Her teeth were already very clean because we scale them and keep her mouth in good shape. However, she is getting older and her top incisors had become loose. So, the vet decided those 4 teeth needed to be pulled and one molar also needed to go. I was a bit concerned with pulling the front teeth as they appeared healthy-she still loves to play tug games etc...but they felt if they were loose that the roots could invite bacteria. Anyway, in the end our bill was just under $500. Does this seem excesive? While we can afford this cost, I think it would be cost prohibative for many families. I know the vets need to make money-it is a business afterall, but that seems high.

I know vets charge different amounts all over the country. I'm in the midwest and I think we are usually a bit cheaper than other parts of the country, perhaps not. Can I ask what you all pay on average for dentals?
3/16/2009 12:52:24 PM
Posts: 1904
Really it does depend on where you are, and what vet you use. IF you use any vet that is VCA affilated then you will pay thro the nose. If you use a local vet then it really depends on what the local market is like for vetting costs and those really can vary quite alot from area to area.

Here in CO, i have had dentals not unlike you describe as having done, and they are around 300, BUT, you have to factor in, once they hit a certain age, the vets will want an IV and want blood work done and those alone can easily add another 100$ to the bill.

I just had my 7 year old spayed, dental and rabies....and because of her age, they also did an IV, ... my total(and she lost no teeth) was over 400$.

Serena Galloway
IGCA rescue Colorado

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3/16/2009 6:51:31 PM
Posts: 97
My sister just got quoted $540 to pull 2 teeth.

My horror story is that I just paid $2000 for a root canal on a canine tooth! No wonder people don't take care of their dogs teeth!
3/17/2009 5:38:06 AM
Posts: 1904
thats pretty close to what you would pay if you had to pay for your own root canal!

Not all dental issues cost alot for dogs. Several years back i had an elderly male come in. Good Lord....i cannot even begin to describe how bad his teeth were. It was so bad.

We had a dental done and he lost about 6 teeth which surprised me as i thought he would loose more. He was adopted, but bounced right back in because of a landlord change and policy change where he was adopted too. He arrived at me for fostering and i took one look at his mouth again and realized the first Dental had tried to save TOO many teeth. First one was 350$. So he went for another dental, and that one took another 8 teeth, at a cost of 400$. They pointed out hsi canines were seriously bad, long term infection and needed to come out, but they were not equipped to do it.

I called around to any Doggie dental vets i could find and was quoted well over 1500$ to pull those 2 teeth and that was a low estimate based on there being NO problems. I did have a vet look at him, who agreed to LOOK at him gratis (this was a rescue dog after all and rescue had little money to do this with). His prognosis was well over 2000$ because the teeth were SO far into the jaw, that it was likely the jaw would break if they tried to extract, so there would be jaw reconstruction on top of the extraction.

I was pretty sure i would never get approval for such a huge amount. However another rescue group heard about the old man, and gave us a referral to another vet. We went to talk to him, and he said they could do it..for rescue...the whole thing for 1000$. bonus! however we had to fundraise the he asked how much we had raised, and i said. 355$. So he agreed to do the whole thing for that price.

Now little did i know that the person doing the actual surgery would be flying in to do Same doggie dentist/vet who does all the work on the famous Zigfried and Roy White Tigers.

The old boys jaw broke, they reconstructed it, he healed up, and went on to be adopted by the very person who recommended this vet to us in the first place.

So....there are good vets out there, but working in the dental field myself, i can tell DOES cost. and 2 grand for a root canal is not unheard of.

Serena Galloway
IGCA rescue Colorado

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3/17/2009 6:15:48 AM
Posts: 97
I agree- it was well worth the money- a top show dog and only 3 yo to boot I paid whatever it took to save his jaw! My dentist does all the zoo animals in Baltimore and operates a teaching facility to train canine dentists. Still and all it only costs $750 to do my own root canal so Jason now has a million dollar tooth :>0
3/19/2009 4:31:41 AM
Posts: 137
The price you mention seems about average for your area.. compared to what it would cost for the same treatment at a dentist.. and you can see that despite this "idea" that vet costs are so high they are still a bargin.. Rember your vets hospital is equiped and staffed like a COMPLETE medical office, Lab, Radiology surgery and emergecy hospital.. unlike the dental office.. or your doctors office..
Add to that cost is the fact that animal work includes anethesia..

Hmm.. still a bargin.. if you ask me..

my dogs tooth care to have one extraction.. of a fractured tooth because of a turkey carcuss :0 so yes RMB can fx teeth.. and you should have heard the lecture I got on that one.... that was just over $600 and that was with a employee discount.. I work there..

But you know what.. this dog is also 10 years old.. with care propper diet, my time investment on brushing the teeth.. this is the ONLY professional dental care this dog has needed in 10 years.. Also because the dog has good oral health.. his heart liver kidneys are also in GREAT shape too.. hmm.. seems like a bargin.. this dog has not cost me much to own..other than diet, time and preventitive care..

Prevention.. keeps the cost down..seems like you have had a similar result.. that it is the reposnsibilty of the owner.. and well within anyones pet ownerships price range..

BY owner responsiblity and PREVENTION.. the owner CAN save.. and not need more extensive professional care.. that is what is the point.. Not keeping cost down.. so owners can afford treatment WHEN the dog has such bad oral health/orveral health or preventable dieases...

ALL vets offer this advise and care at VERY minimal cost.. Nothing Cost prohibitive about up for expenses.. budget.. that is all that is needed..we do this for ourselves every day.. why not our pets?