Teeth Cleaning

So Your Pet Needs A Teeth Cleaning

This is what you can expect:

Prior to anesthesia your pet will have pre-anesthetic labwork performed. The type of labwork done will be determined by your pet’s doctor and is based on your pet’s age and health status. If the doctor tells you that your pet will need a “health screen”, it will be per- formed the same day of the dental cleaning. If your pet needs to have a more extensive “general wellness profile”, please bring your pet in one week before the dental cleaning so that we can submit that bloodwork to the laboratory and get the results back in time for your pet’s dental work. If it is not possible for you to come in before the dental work, we can perform this same bloodwork in our laboratory the morning of the procedure. Please note that if we do the bloodwork in our laboratory it is more expensive than if we have the time to outsource it to our outside lab.

The morning of the procedure, your pet will need to be at Case Veterinary Hospital between 7:30-8:30 am and a technician will discuss the procedure and answer any questions you may have. Your pet will need to arrive with an empty stomach, so do not feed any food after 10 pm the night before arrival. They may, however, have water.

After the doctor examines your pet, a pre-anesthetic medication is given that calms them down and eases the transition into anesthesia. Depending on the age and health status of your pet, the doctor may decide to insert an intravenous catheter prior to anesthesia and keep them on intravenous fluids throughout the procedure. Your pet is then put under general anesthesia and an endotracheal tube is inserted into the “wind-pipe” to keep the airways open. Patientsbreathe in an anesthetic gas to stay asleep and their vital signs are carefully monitored. The doctor will also give an antibiotic injection.

During a dental cleaning the teeth are scaled and polished, much like what occurs at your own human dentist. Please note that when your pet is asleep and we are able to get a very close look at the teeth, we sometimes find abnormalities that we did not ex- pect prior to anesthesia. In these instances we may need to perform dental x-rays to make sure that the teeth are not only healthy above the gumline, but be- low the gumline as well. There may also be diseased teeth that need to be removed or extracted. While we make every effort to perform as many procedures as we can at one time, there are instances (ex. An animal that needs multiple extractions or a root canal) where we clean the teeth on the first visit and have the pet return a second time to finish any remaining procedures. If you would like to be contacted for any unforeseen decisions that need to be made, it is IMPERATIVE that you leave a number at which you can be easily reached because your pet will be under anesthesia and we don’t have the luxury of waiting for returned phone calls.

Most of our dental patients go home the same day that they are dropped off. If you arrive between 4:30 – 5:30 pm a veterinarian will be able to discuss with you the dental findings and procedures performed. Remember that one of the most important ways to keep your pet’s teeth looking healthy is to maintain them at home. Refer to the rest of this pamphlet for further information in keeping the teeth healthy at home.

At Case Veterinary Hospital we feel strongly that dental disease is a serious concern for our patients. Not only can dental disease result in pain for our animals, but if allowed to progress there can be spread of bacteria from the mouth to the rest of the body. This could result in secondary damage to other parts of the body like the kidneys or the heart. We worry about dental disease in cats because when it re- sults in them not eating well we can get life threatening liver disease.

It is best to start a dental program early in life so that we can prevent significant dental disease. This involves not only preven- tative dental cleanings here but also dental care at home. There are several things that you can do at home for your dog and/or cat to take care of the teeth. At home care includes: brushing the teeth, using dental rinses, using appropriate chew toys or treats, and Science Diet T/D food. Even with the best at home care we will still periodically recommend dental cleanings in our clinic.

We also like to start a dental care program early in life because if we start cleaning the teeth before there are major issues it usually takes less time under anesthesia to clean the teeth and there are less issues to address (periodontal disease, extractions, etc). It is safer to have a young healthy animal under anesthesia for a shorter period of time for preventative oral maintenance than to have a geriatric pet that has to be under anesthesia for a longer amount of time to address multiple dental problems. Having said that, many of our current dental procedures are on our older patients and they do quite well and feel much better when we are able to take care of any oral problems.

One of the common questions we get asked when we recommend dental work is about the cost. Obviously the cost will vary depend- ing on the preliminary workup that needs to be done, the condi- tion of the teeth before the procedure, whether or not any dental x-rays need to be performed, and whether we have to do anything other than clean the teeth. We recommend a more comprehen- sive pre-anesthetic workup in our older patients. This usually consists of bloodwork and a urinalysis and occasionally, if there are any underlying heart problems, we may recommend some tests for the cardiovascular system. If we have to perform any ex- tractions or address any periodontal pocketing there are fees in- volved with this. In order to simplify this for our clients we have come up with estimates to address the different types of dental disease. We have chosen to call them mild, moderate, or severe.


  • Pre-anesthetic labwork ($45-105.75)*
  • Pre-anesthetic examination ($33)
  • Anesthesia ($130-215)
  • Dental cleaning ($77)
  • Dental x-ray if indicated ($85)
  • $285-520


  • Pre-anesthetic labwork ($45-105.75)*
  • Pre-anesthetic exam ($33)
  • Anesthesia ($130-215)
  • Dental Cleaning ($77)
  • Dental x-rays if indicated ($85)
  • Extractions if necessary: ($50 to $200 depending)
  • Pain control in the hospital following the procedure: $50
  • Antibiotics/pain medication to go home with: $50
  • $500-700


  • Pre-anesthetic labwork ($105.75)*
  • Pre-anesthetic exam ($33)
  • Anesthesia ($215)
  • Dental Cleaning ($77)
  • Dental x-rays ($85)
  • Extractions ($50-400)
  • Pain control in hospital following procedure: $50
  • Antibiotics/pain medication to go home with: $50
  • Rarely animals need to spend the night in the hospital for us to observe and examine $50
  • $700-1000

Please note that sometimes we do not know the severity of the dental disease until after the pet is under anesthesia as we cannot probe under the gumline on an animal while they are awake for their exam. If there is any unexpected dental disease we will call you prior to performing any more involved procedures. Please be available the day of your pet’s dental cleaning in case we need to call you.

*Additional charge may apply for same-day lab work done in-house.

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