- Many dogs will need to have a tooth extracted at some point — Dental disease, injury, and infections are just a few reasons why your dog may need to have a tooth extracted.
- Dental surgery for dogs can be pricey, and isn’t always covered by insurance — It’s best to check your policy before surgery, so you know what costs to expect.
- If your dog does have a tooth extracted, follow the post-operative instructions — This will help you avoid complications or further issues.
Dog teeth extractions can vary widely in cost depending on several factors. These include the number of teeth, which teeth need to be extracted, and whether the procedure is routine or an emergency.
A simple, non-emergency extraction during a routine cleaning might be on the lower end of the $500-$2,500 cost range. While every pup is unique with its own dental needs, if your furry friend has serious tooth troubles needing multiple extractions, the costs might go up. But don’t worry, your vet or doggie dental expert is there to help. Have a chat with them to figure out what you can expect cost-wise for your pet’s specific needs.
Why your dog might need a tooth extraction
There are many reasons why your dog might need to have a tooth extracted. The most common include:
- Overcrowding. This can happen if your dog has retained deciduous teeth – also known as baby or persistent teeth – that do not fall out before the adult teeth come in. Overcrowding is more common in smaller breeds that have the same number of teeth occupying less space. If a dog’s teeth are too crowded, the vet may recommend that some teeth be removed to prevent discomfort and difficulty eating.
- Abscess in the roots of a tooth. This occurs when there is a bacterial infection around the root(s) of the tooth. To clear up the abscess, the tooth is extracted — and a course of oral antibiotics is used to treat the infection.
- Gum disease. Like people, dogs can also suffer from gingivitis — which, if left untreated, can lead to gum recession. When the gum recedes, the surrounding bone and teeth roots are exposed and bacteria sets in, leading to loose teeth and infection.
- Periodontal disease. Periodontal disease , similar to gingivitis, can create pockets where bacteria can cause infections, pain, and even loose teeth. Routine dental care check-ups and cleaning can help catch periodontal disease early before it becomes a bigger problem.
- Fractured tooth. There are many ways your dog could break a tooth. The most common causes are chewing on a hard toy/or treat, chewing on their crate, or trauma to the face. Having a broken tooth can be quite painful, so your vet will likely recommend removing the tooth.
- Unerupted tooth. An unerupted or impacted tooth is a tooth that never made it through the gumline. Just as people often develop impacted wisdom teeth that become infected or damage other teeth, impacted dog teeth can also become painful or infected. Your veterinarian might recommend removal in this case.
- Trauma. If your dog is in an accident and suffers trauma to the jaw or mouth, part of the treatment to help them heal may include having some teeth removed.
- Cancer. Sometimes, teeth will need to be removed due to a cancerous mass that is affecting a tooth (or several teeth).
Many dental procedures recommended by veterinarians are covered by pet insurance — find out what is (and isn’t) included by reading our pet insurance coverage guide.
What happens during a tooth extraction procedure
Unlike human dental work, dental procedures for dogs are typically done under general anesthesia. The vet may also take some dental X-rays to examine the roots of the teeth.
In the case of a non-emergency tooth extraction, your vet will most likely conduct a thorough dental exam and cleaning — which accounts for some of the cost of tooth extraction. The vet will then perform a nerve block to numb the area of the mouth and proceed with the tooth extraction. Once the dental procedure is complete, the vet will wake your pet up from anesthesia.
Following the procedure, your dog will likely be prescribed pain medication, and in some cases, antibiotics. All of these services may be line items on your bill. Here are some average costs of the most common charges, giving you an idea of what you’ll be paying for:
Cost of a dog tooth extraction
|Pain medication and anti-nausea medication
|These are sometimes administered prior to a dental procedure.
|Bloodwork is required before anesthesia to make sure it is safe for a dog to go under anesthesia.
|Anesthesia keeps your pet comfortably asleep while the vet performs the extraction
|$200-$300 depending upon the size of your dog and how long they need to be under anesthesia for extractions +/- dental cleaning
|X-rays allow the vet to examine the roots of the teeth to check for fractures and tooth root abscesses
|Tooth extraction (with or without root elevation or sectioning)
|This cost covers the removal of the tooth (or teeth)
|$10-$100 per booth
|Nerve blocks are used to numb the area of your pet’s mouth where the tooth is being extracted so that they are comfortable when waking up from anesthesia
|$25 per site
|Cleaning removes any tartar or plaque on your pet’s teeth and under the gumline
|Antibiotics and pain medicines
|The vet may send you home with antibiotics and pain medicine to keep your pet comfortable and prevent infection after surgery
Factors that affect the cost of tooth extraction
While we can guide you on the average cost of a tooth extraction, many factors will impact the dollar amount you’ll see on your total bill. These include:
- The reason for extraction. For example, a simple tooth extraction that is not an emergency will cost significantly less than a tooth that is unerupted, broken, or abscessed.
- Type of tooth. Whether it’s a small baby tooth, a canine, or a large molar can also impact the final cost of the tooth’s removal. A canine tooth is typically more expensive because it takes longer to extract due to the length of the root. Also, teeth that have more than one root are more expensive to extract than a single-rooted tooth.
- Location. Every vet wants the best for your pet, but location matters. The vet office in a big city or at a large veterinary school may have access to the latest equipment and do these procedures more regularly. Because of that, you might find that they charge more for these procedures than a veterinarian in a smaller town.
- Time of procedure. An emergency vet visit will almost always be more costly than a preventative one. This is one of the many reasons why being proactive about your pet’s oral health can save you money.
- Size of your dog. In the chart above, the ranges might seem wide, but that price difference is due, for the most part, to the size of your dog. Large breeds will need more sedatives, the doses for pain medication will be larger — and some procedures, like X-rays, may take more time or require special equipment.
- Who performs the extraction. Your regular vet may charge less for the procedure compared to a specialist like a veterinary dentist. While your vet is fully qualified to perform extractions, a veterinary dentist has additional training and equipment, which can be beneficial if your dog has complex dental issues.
How to care for your dog during recovery
Your veterinarian should give you some discharge instructions on how to take care of your dog while they recover from their tooth extraction. We’ve also included a few tips here to help ensure that your dog’s recovery goes smoothly:
Encourage rest — Your dog’s mouth might be sore after surgery, and they will need time to heal. Skip the rowdy playtime so everything heals properly.
Administer medication on time — Your pup’s vet might send them home with some antibiotics and pain medications. It’s important to give these as directed to prevent pain or infection.
Use softened food and take away any hard toys for two weeks — If your pup chews on hard kibble or hard toys, this may cause discomfort at the extraction site and may cause the stitches at the extraction site to pop or come undone. Monitor play and mealtimes to keep your pet safe.
Schedule a post-op checkup — The vet might ask to see your dog a week or two after surgery to ensure things are healing as they should and there are no signs of infection. Stay on top of follow-up appointments to help your pet heal.
Monitor for signs of complications — Keep a good eye on your pup to make sure they aren’t experiencing any complications. Monitor for signs of infection, refusals to eat or drink, or even signs of tooth pain or other dental issues.
Does pet insurance cover the cost of tooth extraction?
Sometimes. The answer to this question depends on the insurance policy you have and why the tooth is being extracted.
For some policies, no dental work is covered, and others will only cover extractions in the case of some type of injury or trauma. If your dog’s tooth is not being removed as part of emergency surgery, it would be best to check with your insurance company first to find out if any of the costs of this dental work will be covered.
Remember, it’s crucial to understand the specifics of what each pet insurance company covers before making a decision. Always read the fine print and ask questions to ensure your pet has the coverage they need.
Frequently asked questions
How much does a dog’s dental cleaning cost?
The cost of cleaning varies based on geographic location and the severity of the dental disease. If your dog has a severe buildup of tartar and plaque, then it will take longer to perform the dental cleaning and the costs will be greater.
While some providers may promote cleanings not performed under anesthesia as safe, effective, and less expensive, the American Veterinary Dental College does not recommend or support anesthesia-free dentistry.
Should I have my dog’s rotten teeth removed?
Yes! Rotten teeth can cause pain, bad breath, and problems at mealtime. They also put your dog at risk for an infection — which, if left untreated, can be fatal when an infection in the mouth spreads to the kidneys and heart.
How long does it take a dog to recover from tooth surgery?
It depends on the nature of the surgery. Recovery times can be as short as a week, or as long as two to three weeks. Remember to follow your vet’s instructions to ensure your dog has time to heal properly.
What will happen if I can’t afford my dog’s dental surgery?
It depends. You may be able to pay for the surgery through a lender that offers health care financing such as credit cards or lines of credit. You might also be able to find a low-cost clinic in your area where the cost of the procedure can be subsidized.
The Humane Society has a full list of aid organizations you could check out as well. If you are afraid you won’t be able to pay, be honest with your vet so you can work together to ensure your dog’s comfort, health, and safety.
Can a dog’s tooth be pulled without anesthesia?
No, it’s not safe or humane to pull a dog’s tooth without anesthesia. Veterinarians use anesthesia to ensure that your pet doesn’t feel any pain during the procedure and to keep them still, preventing any undue discomfort or accidental injury. While under anesthesia, your dog will be closely monitored to ensure their safety.