Why are dental visits for dogs and cats so expensive?

May 9th 2018

The cost of a dental cleaning or surgery is understandably a big concern for many pet owners!
People may not realize all that’s involved in a dental visit for their pet. So, let's talk about what's included, what charges you may see on your bill and what they mean.

Anesthetic and Monitoring

Anesthetic is the injectable medication we use to make your pet sleepy and help calm their stress.

A well-trained RVT (Registered Veterinary Technician) places a catheter in a leg vein for access straight to the body system. Your pet is then given an injectable anesthetic drug that allows us to place an endotracheal tube down their throat. An anesthetic machine with an inhalable drug called Isoflurane and pure oxygen keeps them under.

Monitoring is a massive part of safety for your dog or cat. An RVT trained in anesthetics monitors for vitals, including their heart rate, systolic, diastolic and mean blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and breath rate.

IV Fluids

IV fluids help keep your pet hydrated during the procedure and the vein open in case we need to access to it during the dental appointment. It’s been proven that a hydrated patient will recover faster and feel better during recovery.

They will probably pee more that night, but you don’t have to be concerned!


Our lovely RVT takes care of your pet all day, making sure they are in a warm and fuzzy bed and removing waste (accidents happen before and after procedures). With the big dogs and some little ones (depending on temperament), the RVT will take them outside for a little stroll to do their business.
They will make sure your pet feels like a VIP as much as possible for the day.

Teeth Cleaning for Cats and Dogs

This is just like when you visit and the hygienist scales the teeth, making them shiny, white and smooth again. A polishing helps smooth down bumps to help prevent bacteria from sticking back to the tooth. Every tooth is checked with a probe for defects, pockets, mobility and more.

Dental Radiographs

Our RVT takes an x-ray of every single tooth in your animal’s mouth (42 in dogs and 30 in adult cats) to see what’s happening below the gum line such as abscesses and give’s a lovely picture of the tooth as a full, seeing if there is pulp exposure on broken teeth.

Dental Block

We inject a numbing agent into the “foramen,” canals in the jawline to numb the nerves in the tooth so your cat or dog can’t feel what we're doing and it helps them have a painless recovery.

Dental Surgery/Tooth Extraction

This is where the vet extracts your pet’s teeth. Teeth are often like icebergs, there’s more underneath than there is on top and with some teeth there are multiple roots. We need to be able to extract infected, broken, or diseased teeth and their roots to make sure your pet feels brand new and pain-free after their dental appointment.
We know dental visits for pets seem expensive, but if you keep up brushing and preventive dental cleanings your pet will end up with fewer extractions and less pain, which is what we all want.

If you have any questions about your pet’s teeth or dental care please contact us at 403-615-8016. 

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