The Cost of a Healthy Mouth

dogtbCan you guess the leading disease in our dogs and cats?  If you’re reading this article, you probably have an idea – dental disease.

 

But just what is the cost to you, as a pet owner, to prevent pain and infection in your pet’s mouth?  This is a combination of annual veterinarian health visits, regular dental homecare, and yes, regular examination of the pet’s mouth under anesthesia.

catdentalYour dog has 42 individual patients (their teeth) within their mouth; your cat has 30.  Your veterinarian simply cannot assess disease above and below the gum-line without anesthesia and dental radiographs, and certainly cannot go using sharp and potentially dangerous equipment in the mouth without the pet being well-anesthetized.

Unfortunately, expenses can add up.

But are they really all that different from human dentistry?

 Costs*:

Thorough Oral Exam: Human Dentistry $129  – New patient exam Veterinary Dentistry $90.60 – Includes dental prophylaxis and polish
Full Mouth Dental Radiographs:  Human Dentistry $123- $132 Veterinary Dentistry $139 – Includes anesthesia
Root Planing/Scaling:  Human Dentistry $55 per 15 minutes Veterinary Dentistry $47.50 per 10 minutes
Oral Surgery (extractions, etc):  Human Dentistry $120-420 per tooth – Fee is by procedure i.e. an uncomplicated extraction might be $120, whereas an extraction requiring the drill and more time up to $420. Veterinary Dentistry $117.40 per 10 minutes – An uncomplicated extraction could take <5 minutes, however an extraction requiring use of the drill could take 10-20 minutes or more, depending on the extent of disease.

 

Anesthesia: This is unique to veterinary patients, unless a person is undergoing an invasive dental procedure. Clinics often ‘bundle’ these fees to make them more affordable.catdental1

For example: If you add up all the costs associated with anesthetic induction, an intravenous catheter and fluid therapy, and a sixty minute procedure as outlined by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association Fee Guide, cost of anesthesia alone would be $503.50. Most bundled Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment Plans will start close to this price depending on the size of the patient, including within them the above oral exam, radiographs, and root planing/scaling costs.

Notice how similar the costs are between human and veterinary dentistry.  That is because the medicine and technology behind both services are extremely comparable.  This extends to homecare as well.  So if you arehumandental expected to brush and floss daily, in addition to seeing your dentist every 6-9 months so that they can assess trouble spots…Why should we expect that any less is required to keep our pets’ mouths healthy?

No doubt about it, costs do add up, just as they can for our own dental care. Making a financial plan (which may or may not include pet insurance), is important to have for your pet to keep their mouth pain and infection-free.

*Prices taken from the Ontario Dental Association Fee Guide 2014 and from the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association Fee Guide 2014

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