What do you pay for cat teeth cleaning?

CassandraFebruary 18, 2007

My cat Basil is having his teeth cleaned for the first time this week. As far as the vet can tell, he'll need no extractions, so the procedure will be routine. Standard cost (ie. if no problems are found) is a whopping $230. How does that compare with what others pay?

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This type of thing may vary depending on where you live. I live in the St. Louis area and one of my cats had a full dental x-ray, cleaning, two extractions, and antibiotics for about $150.00.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 2:33PM
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I am happy to report - I don't know! I had 18 year old George into the vets on Friday for his annual well checkup and the vet was so impressed with his teeth, that after she checked everything else she went back and looked again :-) It wasn't always like that with my kitties, diet can make such a difference. $200 does sounds in the ball park for a cat dental. Figure a mini CBC prior to anesthesia, the cost of anesthesia, monitoring, pain meds, the cleaning itself and post-op for maybe half a day? I mentally estimate 300 and up for any procedure that requires bloodwork and anesthesia.

After the cleaning you may want to consider using a Dental Diet or switching to a raw diet, or at least offering raw chicken necks to kitty once a week. These will all keep teeth clean and keep kitty healthier in general, not to mention save you the worry of the cleaning and the expense.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 2:50PM
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Depends on what the price includes. To do a proper comparison, you need to know if pre-anesthetic bloodwork is included, if they clean AND polish (if they don't polish it's no use bothering to do the dental), what anesthetic they use, what pain meds are used, what monitoring they use for when your kitty is under general anesthesia (if the procedure is not done under general anesthesia, RUN don't walk away), if they place and IV catheter and run IV fluids. Once you find out what the price includes, you can make a fair comparison.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 4:42PM
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The pre-op bloodwork was not included in the $230. price. I had that done last week, and it was $75.00. Otherwise, here's the price breakdown that they gave me:

IV catheter/fluids 30.00
anethesia 85.00
ecg monitor 15.00
pulse ox monito 15.00
dental cleaning 70.00
gingivectomy 15.00 (possibly needed on a couple)

I don't see anything that says polishing. meghane, what does polishing do that cleaning doesn't?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 5:23PM
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Including pre-op blood-work, I just paid 255.00 for one of my cats. I am very lucky, as this is the first time either cat has needed their teeth cleaned. I've had them seven years!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 5:47PM
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June, I'm in Minnesota, your neighbor state, so I guess prices are fairly close. Basil, too, is 7 years old and it is his first cleaning. His twin sister doesn't need cleaning yet, so just like you I am feeling lucky (money-wise, that is).

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 5:55PM
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I forgot to add that the $150 included IV fluids. The bloodwork before hand was around $50.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 6:56PM
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Consider yourself lucky....I spent over $700 for my cat to have her teeth cleaned, however, she also had to have some teeth pulled! Her mouth was in pretty bad shape and I have to admit I was negligent in having them looked at very often. I have always had cats during my 54 yrs. of life and never have I had a cat with teeth problems until this one!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 12:19AM
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I'd ask and make sure they polish too. If you just scrape/ultrasonically scale the teeth, you leave a very rough surface that makes it easier for bacteria to stick to the teeth. This will make plaque and tartar come back more quickly than if you never had the teeth cleaned at all. Since they are doing all the right stuff as far as monitoring I would suspect that they do polish. It seems like places that don't polish skimp on other stuff too, like IV catheters and monitoring.

That's not a bad price for everything that's included.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 8:44AM
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twotogo, wow, $700! Ok, now I do consider myself lucky! By the way, the vet is also pushing oragel, evidently a "sealer" for the teeth that they put on post-cleaning and then you have to purchase and put on afterwards. I'm not going to do it, mainly because of the additional expense. Just wondering whether anyone has done this. I'll ask about polishing, meghane.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 8:51AM
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Hmm...my vet suggested a sealant that would be applied after the cleaning, while my cat was still "out". I declined, mainly because the sealant was to be reapplied (by moi) weekly and because she doesn't appear to be a cat who gets a lot of tartar build-up. Seeing as how it took seven years for her to get to this place of minimal tartar. My other cat would not mind my poking around in her mouth, but this one would never tolerate it, so it seemed like a bad idea. Do you know, marita, would you have to apply this sealant yourself on a weekly or bi-weekly basis?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 9:37AM
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I think they said a weekly basis, so we're probably talking about the same thing. They put on the initial coat; you keep it up. Besides the price factor, Basil also is very resistant to me trying to touch his mouth. I have tried and failed to brush his teeth over the years. I guess I'd rather just have the teeth cleaned when needed.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 10:21AM
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I just paid 257$ but that included two teeth extractions at 35$ each. I only expected one but they found another bad tooth while she was under. There wasn't any blood work done that I know of, but she's healthy and has seen this vet for a couple of years, so maybe they don't worry as much.
On a side note, she was totally out of it when she came home and had to spend the whole evening and night being held by me or she would stumble around and would let out the most blood-curdling yowls. She also slept a lot more for the next two days; it was a relief when she perked up and had crazy hour again.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 10:58AM
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Your rates are very reasonable. Mine were:

Anesthesia package (electric monitor, intubation, injectable anesthesia, isoflurane) $147.25

Dental cleaning (antibiotic injection, nursing care, sonic scale and polish, sterile instrument or supply) $108.76

Premolar 2 extraction $ 19.10
Premolr 3 extractions (2) $ 95.50

Surgery Fluids Package (catheter, fluids/bag, potassium) $67.44

Medication (buprenex - pain, clindamycin - antibotic - liquid) - $43.95

Xray - >5 views (full mouth) $122.57

They did have a discount to the above of about $25.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 7:09PM
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I forgot to say my total bill was $748, but that included bladder xrays ($100), and the stupid oravet stuff (stupid because I paid them $26.55 for their part, and another $28 for the starter kit knowing full well it just wasn't going to happen). There was also another $20.05 for a pain killer injection we brought home 'just in case'. So, just for the dental/ 3 extractions: $ 587.

Not the cheapest, but every time I check out what my vet is using or doing, it seems state of the art with no cutting corners as meghane mentions.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 7:19PM
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LOL! Sounds like the same stuff, marita. There's no way my little cat will let me rub goo on her teeth, either. I think she'll "get by" without the sealant. It's hard...because I want to do the best thing for my cats, but within reason. In the long run, how much will my cat benefit from a sealant that I won't continue to apply? Because it would be a nightmare to attempt to do so. One thing that bugs me is that a couple of weeks ago, I got a postcard informing me that it was time for my older cat, Bob, to come in for a dental exam. I just took both girls in for their annual check-ups in December. Bob just had her first dental hygiene last July, the first in seven years. So, I was irritated by the postcard. I called my vet's office and told them that not only had Bob just had her teeth cleaned six months earlier, she'd just been in for her check-up and her teeth were fine. They told me they were now notifying pet owners every six months, just to be on the proactive side. I know that some cats have really bad teeth and they do need to be cleaned that often...but I also expect the folks at my vet's office to do a bit of research and see that my cats do not fall into that category. Don't get me wrong, I think my vet is good and she doesn't cut corners...but I don't want to feel that they're attempting to rail-road me into procedures that are costly and unnecessary.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 7:56PM
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I usually leave my vet feeling somewhat guilty, too, because I haven't bought all they've offered me. You said it well, June--I also want to do what is best for my cats but within reason. I have learned to view the vet (who is a very good vet) like I view my hairdresser. She, too, always tells me about great new (and expensive) products which I nearly always decline. I guess it is just part of the vet's job to make sure we are aware of what is out there. (I love Bob for a girl cat's name! I once had a beloved female cat named Paul--not Pauline or Paula, just Paul.)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 6:47AM
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I paid $150 for "senior" preanesthesia blood work, and urine. The more basic panel was $110, so I thought the extra tests for the older cat made sense.

Two different vets in town have given me estimates for cleaning, anesthesia, pain med, IV ... etc the $500 range.

When I lived in Central PA this only cost about $330. Seems like it is about $170 more in Corvallis Oregon.

It feels like too much. Maybe I am too cheap. I wish there was more information available on prices for this kind of thing.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 5:50PM
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I dont know either because my cat's vet has never mentioned that he needed one yet.
I about fell out of my chair when I saw how much you are paying though.Is that like a deep cleaning or just a average cleaning? If it is average why does it cost so much? That is way more then I pay for my own teeth for a cleaning.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 2:16AM
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I was quoted $600 without extractions which is why it was not done. I plan on having it done (if necessary) at a different vet's about 2 hours away.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 1:15PM
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Can I ask you all what causes a cat to need this though?
Arent their mouths supposed to be sort of self cleaning?
(I have always heard cats have a detergent like substance in their saliva that they use to clean themselves)
Also,doesnt dry cat food help clean their teeth?

I have seen cat toothpaste sold at Petsmart and have wondered if I need to be cleaning my cat's teeth?

How do the vets determine if a cat needs this done???

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 5:17AM
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Does anyone know how often this needs to be done? I've only had two cats - the first one I had because cleaning became common (vet never mentioned it in his 15 years) and the second couldn't be put under anesthesia, so it wasn't an option.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 9:04PM
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I worked for a vet that charged $55 for the cleaning and $25 for the pre-op blood panel- this was in the country. Moved to the city and the same dental was $175 and the blood panel was $55. Even better, I worked with a vet that worked in both of the clinics and it was the same method just different location that caused the price increase.

Plasticgarden- cats can get an excessive build up on their teeth, over time this can cause decay which can lead to infections and other medical issues.
Sue- varies from animal to animal. Your vet should check the teeth during the annual checkup and let you know if it needs to be done. I've seen dogs that need it every 6 months and some that can go years without it. Cats don't seem to be that needy though, most dentals we did on cats were older cats (7+ years) We do have a holistic vet in the area that does dentals without sedation, even on cats.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 6:35PM
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"What do you pay for cat teeth cleaning?"
In San Francisco? Through the nose, apparently. I just called the vet to get a quote and am still in shock: SIX HUNDRED TO EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS!!! That is just out of control. I don't spend that much for my own dental care in a year.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 2:01PM
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Here in NY I just got a quote for $830. Can someone recommend a vet around the city for less? I called 2 vets already and got vague numbers from them all high.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 12:15PM
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There is a thread a little further down on the same subject. If you ask for an itemization, you'll probably find that there are blood tests, urnialysis, anaesthesia, costs of recovery involved.

You might try calling the animal hospital affiliated with the ASPCA on East 92nd st...I think its called the Berg Hospital, but if you call the ASPCA, I'm sure they will put you through. I adopted my cat from the A, and she came with completed dental work including a pulled tooth. She's just fine now.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 8:18AM
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cats on prepared raw or prey model diets never need dental work. They suffer from far less issues like bad breath,UTI, Kidney failure,stones, rental failure.

Also the oldest cat on record lived before cat food and was in her mid 30"s when she died!

Honestly though the cost probably amounts to the same as dental work IMHO

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 10:21PM
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If someone knows something about cat teeth cleaning without anastesia, but with hypnosis? I beleave they practice it in CA.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 8:08PM
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@ Jen,

I, too, live in the City. And my cat has 2 very high factors for gingevitis: siamese (adopted!) and FIV. I take him to my local vet in Meriden, CT. When I had him neutered, It was cheaper round trip with train tickets and all the bloodwork/testing/IVs/Surgery, than it was to have it done at the cheapest place in Queens.

I'm having him go for his first cleaning this summer (because after 2 years I can finally afford it!) and I plan on doing the same thing. I'm not sure of the costs, but honestly, find a vet outside the City/Westchester/Long Island area. You're going to pay through the nose any way you look around there.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 11:05PM
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unbelievable...my vet quoted us for a cleaning at 450$ which is ridiculous compared to the other prices quoted here...I guess I will shop around.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 12:37PM
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It cost us $100.00 even - we walked into a local vet's office to pick up some of that flea medication you apply to a cat's neck and saw they were running a special for $100.00 for teeth cleaning. Granted, they tried to get us to do a million other things that we respectfully declined...but I refuse to pay more than $100.00 total for a cleaning.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 5:56PM
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As some others have mentioned, teeth cleaning is absolutely unnecessary if animals are fed properly (a raw, species appropriate diet). And I disagree with one poster who said the cost is probably the same as dental work. What s/he fails to factor in is the suffering the animal must endure, not only from dental disease but from periodic anesthesia (which is not harmless), cleanings and extractions, not to mention other very common health issues that result from the same causes (primarily, commercial pet foods) like UTIs, liver disease, FIV, and the like. Even if you just consider the financial cost, you're way ahead feeding raw. Dental cleanings are big business in the vet industry, and a vet will never tell you how to avoid them. They are not taught this information in school, because the system that trains them would fold up and die if it taught vets how to keep animals healthy and illness-free for life. Feeding cats raw is the easiest thing in the world. Cut a leg off a cornish game hen and put it on a plate. That's dinner. If your cat won't eat it that way, cut it in small bites or use some of the transition strategies that are published in various places on the web.

Here is a link that might be useful: No More Vet Bills

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 3:52PM
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