How much does dog teeth cleaning cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does dog teeth cleaning cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does dog teeth cleaning cost?

$560 – $1,100average cost (without tooth extractions)
$600 – $3,000+average cost (including tooth extractions)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$560 – $1,100 average cost (without tooth extractions)

$600 – $3,000+ average cost (including tooth extractions)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
Are you a vet clinic? Get new customers
Ellen Russell, DVM, MPH
Written by
Ellen Russell, DVM, MPH
Edited by
Kristen Cramer

Dog teeth cleaning cost

Dog teeth cleaning costs $560 to $1,100, including an oral exam, bloodwork, anesthesia, and x-rays. Costs increase to $600 to $3,000+ if tooth extractions are needed. The cost of dog dental cleaning depends on the severity of your dog’s dental tartar and periodontal disease.

Average cost of dog teeth cleaning - Chart
Average cost of dog teeth cleaning - Chart
Average cost for dog teeth cleaning
Procedure type Average cost
Teeth cleaning without tooth extractions $560 – $1,100
Teeth cleaning with tooth extractions $600 – $3,000+

If your dog has a tooth that needs to be removed due to severe dental disease, your veterinarian will recommend extracting the tooth during the dental procedure. Multiple tooth extractions are sometimes required and can dramatically increase the price of the procedure.

Get free estimates from vets near you.

What is included in a dog teeth cleaning procedure?

A dog teeth cleaning procedure includes a comprehensive oral exam, pre-surgical bloodwork, anesthesia, dental radiographs (x-rays), teeth scaling, and polishing. The table below shows a cost breakdown for the procedure.

Dog teeth cleaning cost breakdown
Procedure Average cost
Initial consultation and oral exam $60 – $100
Pre-surgical bloodwork $100 – $200
Dental radiographs (X-rays) $200 – $400
Anesthesia, tooth scaling, and polishing $200 – $400
Tooth extractions (if needed) $40 – $100 per tooth
Average total cost $600 – $3,000+

Oral exam and pre-surgical bloodwork

Before the dental cleaning, your veterinarian will thoroughly examine your dog’s mouth. They will look for tartar, gingivitis, loose teeth, and signs that teeth may have more significant problems, such as infection, unusual wear, and gum recession. This appointment usually occurs a few days or weeks before the cleaning.

Your veterinarian will also perform bloodwork to evaluate organ function and screen for abnormalities before putting your dog under anesthesia.

A veterinarian examining a dog's teeth during an oral exam for dental heath
A veterinarian examining a dog's teeth during an oral exam for dental heath


Before the dental cleaning, your dog will be anesthetized. Anesthesia is one of the primary reasons dog teeth cleanings can be more expensive than pet owners anticipate.

Unlike humans, dogs must be anesthetized to clean their teeth. It is impossible to tell a dog to “open wider” or “stick out your tongue” during a dental cleaning. If awake, dogs would move their heads and may even try to swallow or bite down on the dental equipment.

Teeth cleaning and polishing

Veterinarians use tools similar to those used in human dentistry to remove plaque and calculus (tartar) from the surface of your dog’s teeth by scaling. Tartar is also removed from beneath the gum line. This process ensures bacteria do not have a place to replicate, grow, and cause pain and infection.

After scaling, the teeth are polished to smooth out the surface. Smoothing the surface of the teeth removes tiny ridges that can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria.

Radiographs (X-rays)

Your veterinarian will perform x-rays of your dog’s teeth to see the part of the tooth below the gums. A large portion of a dog’s tooth lies under the gums and includes essential structures like the tooth root and surrounding upper or lower jawbone. Without x-rays, tooth disease under the gums cannot be seen.

If problems under the gum line are missed during the procedure, it could lead to painful tooth problems and the need for additional procedures under anesthesia in the future.

A veterinarian taking dental x-rays during a dog teeth cleaning procedure
A veterinarian taking dental x-rays during a dog teeth cleaning procedure

Tooth extraction

During the procedure, your veterinarian will determine if any teeth must be removed. If plaque and calculus build up on teeth, the surrounding bone and tissues can become damaged over time in a process called periodontal disease. If the teeth aren't removed, advanced periodontal disease leads to infection and pain.

  • Veterinarians only recommend extracting a tooth when the damage is so significant it cannot be fixed by just removing plaque and tartar.

  • Because the full extent of dental disease cannot be determined while dogs are awake, veterinarians often don't know ahead of time how many tooth extractions will be needed.

  • Discuss your expectations for your dog’s teeth cleaning with your veterinarian beforehand and always be available for a phone call during the procedure in case the vet finds something they weren’t expecting.

Why do dogs need their teeth cleaned?

Maintaining your dog’s dental hygiene is vital to ensuring their overall health. Poor dental health in dogs can lead to a host of health issues, such as:

  • Pain – Dental plaque and calculus can cause severe gum inflammation (gingivitis), infection, and loose teeth. These issues can lead to your dog having a poor appetite or reluctance to eat hard kibble because it hurts too much to chew their food.

  • Tooth loss – The structures that keep teeth attached to the mouth can degrade with prolonged infection and inflammation, leading to loose teeth that ultimately fall out.

  • Organ damage – Bacteria in the mouth can spread to vital organs, including the heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs. Chronic infections and inflammation in these organs can result in costly and time-consuming treatments and possibly shorten your dog's lifespan.

A veterinarian cleaning a dog's teeth
A veterinarian cleaning a dog's teeth

What is the aftercare for dog teeth cleaning?

Aftercare for a teeth cleaning depends on whether your dog had teeth extractions. Aftercare for dogs that do not have extractions is less time-consuming.

  • Recovery from anesthesia – Because of the effects of anesthesia, your dog will likely feel sleepier and a little groggy for about a day. It’s important to keep them in a comfortable and quiet environment while they recover.

  • Antibiotics and pain medications – Antibiotics and pain medications are usually prescribed for 7 to 14 days after a dental procedure with tooth extractions. Let your veterinarian know if you cannot give your dog pills.

  • Feeding a softer diet – While your dog’s mouth is healing from the procedure, your veterinarian may recommend watering down their hard kibble or feeding a wet food diet for a couple of days.

  • Monitoring for complications – Watch your dog closely for signs of post-operative complications, such as bloody drool lasting more than a day, excessive drooling, poor appetite, bad breath, or swelling around the mouth or eyes.

  • Recheck appointment – Most veterinarians recommend an in-person recheck appointment 10 to 14 days after the procedure.

Get free estimates from vets near you.
A dog owner brushing the teeth of a cute Golden Retriever with a finger-toothbrush
A dog owner brushing the teeth of a cute Golden Retriever with a finger-toothbrush

Dog teeth cleaning FAQs

How often do dogs need teeth cleaning?

Veterinarians recommend a complete teeth cleaning about once a year, on average. However, the frequency your dog should have their teeth cleaned depends on many factors, including:

  • Genetics – Certain dog breeds are predisposed to worse dental tartar than others. Toy and small breeds usually need more frequent teeth cleanings than larger breeds.

  • Diet – Dry kibble can help decrease tartar build-up on teeth.

  • At-home dental care – Maintaining an at-home dental care plan for your dog will significantly reduce their tartar buildup, and they will require less frequent professional dental cleanings.

How do I know if my dog needs a teeth cleaning?

Common signs that your dog may need a dental cleaning are:

  • Bad breath

  • Visible tartar on their teeth

  • Loose teeth or broken teeth

  • Difficulty eating, dropping their food, or having trouble chewing

  • Poor appetite, especially for dry kibble, due to mouth pain

  • Reluctance to be touched around their face or mouth

  • Pawing at the mouth or rubbing their muzzle on objects around the house

  • Excessive drooling or bloody drool

The best way to know if your dog should have their teeth cleaned is to ask your veterinarian. Discuss your pet’s oral hygiene with your veterinarian at every annual appointment.

Can I clean my dog's teeth at home?

A complete teeth cleaning with your veterinarian is the only way to remove all the accumulated tartar on your dog’s teeth. However, there are several things you can do at home that will help prevent tartar buildup and increase the time between complete teeth cleaning procedures with your vet.

  • Brush their teeth – Daily toothbrushing is the best way to prevent tartar in your dog’s mouth. You must use dog toothpaste, as human toothpaste contains ingredients harmful to dogs if swallowed. There are different styles of dog toothbrushes, so you can choose what works best for you and your dog.

  • Feed dry food – A dry food diet, rather than an all-wet diet, is generally better for your dog’s teeth. Wet food can linger and predispose dogs to bacterial growth in the crevices of their teeth, leading to faster tartar accumulation.

  • Use veterinarian-approved dental products – The Veterinary Oral Health Council has compiled a list of dental products—including dental chews, treats, and diets—that are effective at slowing down plaque and tartar buildup.

Find vet clinics nearby