In the veterinary industry, there is an increasing concern with our pets’ teeth and oral hygiene, with so many products out there claiming to keep their teeth clean, while there is even debate about dental without general anaesthetics.

There have always been concerns from pet owners as to why veterinary medical bills are so much more expensive compared to humans’. In particular, dentistry. My dentist charges me roughly $500 for a scaling and polishing and another $200 to $300 for a full dental radiograph. So why does veterinary dental cost so much more?

In fact, the dental fee vet charges actually includes the day stay in hospital, the cost of drugs for anaesthetic, the use of an endotracheal tube, the anaesthetic machine and anaesthetic monitors, the cost of nurse care before, during and after the procedure, the cost of us examining the mouth properly and then performing the procedure.

Many owners are concerned about whether tooth extraction, scaling or polishing is necessary.

I recommend dentals and that they should be performed based on the pet’s oral condition. By recommending prophylactic dental procedures, we are trying to prevent the need for extractions, avoid tooth root abscess, and reduce the risk of bacteraemia and septicaemia, helping our patients to stay healthy and prevent chronic pain.

Recently, some vets are starting to offer dental works without general anaesthetic, it might seem like a great option initially for our pets to do oral care without anaesthesia. However, the harm is much more greater than the benefits, and it is not recommended by ADVC (American Veterinary Dental College), not only does such scaling provide the same benefits of a proper scaling under anaesthetic, sometimes it can even be harmful.

And then comes to what most owners are concerned about, “Will they able to eat after extracting so many teeth?”

Of course they will be because we have removed the source of pain and discomfort and prevented any further complications. Another concern is our pet’s appearance after extraction, especially when the tongue is left outside the mouth during most of the day after extraction. As vets, our primary concern is our patient’s health and their well-being, we do take into account of their appearance sometimes when we do certain surgeries; however, our first priority is their medical health.

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