How much do canine tooth extractions and jaw surgery cost?

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How much do canine tooth extractions and jaw surgery cost? - A black lab outdoors with their mouth open and tongue out

Dental procedures such as tooth extractions and surgeries on the mouth and jaw are common for dogs. These procedures can be expensive, so it’s important for dog owners to have a plan in place to cover emergency vet bills. If you have a dog, read on to learn:

  • Why does my dog need a surgical dental procedure?
  • How much does dental surgery cost for dogs?
  • How did my dog hurt their jaw or teeth?
  • Can I improve my dog’s oral health?

Periodontal disease is the most common form of dental disease in dogs and the main reason why dogs need to have their teeth pulled. Broken jaws are also a common occurrence in dogs and may require extensive surgery to fix. Surgical expenses can add up quickly, and dental problems cannot always be avoided, so learning more about the costs of dental procedures can help you prepare for any unexpected vet bills.

Why do dogs need dental surgery or tooth extractions?

Oral surgery and dental extractions are part of treatment for a number of dental diseases and injuries in dogs. Some of these dental diseases and injuries include:

Periodontal disease is the most common reason for tooth removal. Dental disease, including periodontal disease, affects 80% of dogs before the age of two and can lead to diseased teeth that require extraction. Fractured teeth and jaws are also common ailments that require veterinary care. Cavities and tooth decay are extremely rare in dogs, making dental extraction the go-to treatment option for your dog’s diseased teeth rather than dental fillings.

How much do surgical dental procedures cost for dogs?

The cost of dental procedures in dogs varies depending on:

  • The length and type of procedure
  • The complexity of the problem
  • The location of the veterinarian

Simple extractions that do not take much time cost less than long, complex surgical procedures that require a board-certified veterinary dentist or surgeon. In addition, the cost of veterinary services in large cities is often higher than in rural areas due to a higher cost of living.

The cost of tooth extractions can vary depending on the complexity of the procedure, typically ranging from $50 to over $500 per tooth. These costs do not include additional fees associated with surgery, such as:

  • Presurgical testing
  • Dental X-rays
  • Anesthesia medication and monitoring
  • IV fluids and medication
  • Pain medication to take home
  • Dental scaling and polishing
  • Full dental exam

The average cost of jaw fracture repair varies from $1,000 to over $3,000, depending on the complexity of the fracture. Not all jaw fractures in dogs require surgery, but some require surgical treatment from a specialist and can involve hardware such as wires, pins, and plates to set the jaw. In addition, teeth may also be damaged and require extraction when the jaw is broken due to trauma.

Other dental procedures, such as dental fillings and root canal therapy, also vary in cost depending on the severity of the problem and who performs the procedure. If your dog needs these procedures, your veterinarian can present a treatment plan with an estimate of the expected cost.

Can I offset the cost of my dog’s dental treatment?

Dental accidents, injuries, and illnesses are common in dogs. It’s important for dog owners to have a plan in place to cover unexpected vet bills. Different pet insurance policies, including dental insurance, may cover some types of dental treatments. Read each policy closely to know what is covered. Most pet insurance requires the policyholder to pay the veterinarian up-front, then submit the invoice to the insurance company for reimbursement. In addition, the insurance policy must be in place before the procedure is needed to qualify for coverage.

Some pet parents opt to put money aside in a savings account for veterinary expenses rather than paying a monthly premium for canine dental insurance. Having an emergency credit card or medical credit card on hand is another way to pay unexpected medical expenses when they arise.

How do dogs get jaw fractures and other dental problems that need surgery?

“Periodontal disease due to poor dental hygiene is the most common reason for a dog to end up needing a tooth pulled,” explains Vetster veterinarian Dr. Jo Myers. “The best way to avoid expensive dental procedures is to brush your dog's teeth regularly and have your dog's teeth professionally cleaned whenever recommended by your veterinarian.”

Jaw fractures and broken teeth are often caused by trauma in scenarios such as:

  • Car accidents or being hit by cars
  • Falling or jumping from a high place
  • Being bit by a larger dog or other animal
  • Being hit by another object

Dogs also frequently break teeth by biting or chewing on hard objects such as bones, antlers, and wires on crates or cages. Jaws and teeth can be weakened by dental disease, cancer, or developmental problems, leading to a higher likelihood of fracture.

A graphic of the quote above

The smaller teeth of toy breeds break more easily than those of bigger breeds, and dogs with crowded teeth or misshapen jaws (toy and pug-nosed breeds) are also more likely to need dental work over the course of their lifetime.

How common are dental cavities and jaw fractures in dogs?

While dental cavities are common in humans, they are rare in dogs. Cavities are caused when bacteria in plaque combines with saliva and sugar in food to erode the tooth enamel. Low levels of sugar and carbohydrates in dog food, the shape of canine teeth, and the pH of dog saliva all contribute to preventing cavity formation in dogs. Tooth decay is more likely to occur as a result of trauma to the teeth or enamel deformities. Because cavities in dogs are not common, dental filling treatments for dogs are also rare. Tooth loss from periodontal disease or tooth fractures is far more common than cavities in dogs.

Jaw fractures from trauma to the face are also common in dogs, though not seen as regularly as periodontal disease.

How do I know if my dog has a jaw fracture or dental disease?

Symptoms of jaw fractures vary depending on the location of the fracture and the severity of the break. Symptoms may include:

  • The lower jaw hanging down or a gaping mouth
  • Inability to close the mouth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Difficulty eating or a lack of appetite
  • Oral pain or head shyness
  • Visual malalignment or deformity of the jaw
  • Blood in the saliva or coming from the nose
  • Bruising or swelling around the face

Symptoms of gum disease and other dental issues can include:

  • Bad breath
  • Visible fractures or pink spots on the teeth
  • Yellow or brown buildup on the teeth
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Inflamed gums
  • Blood in the mouth or saliva
  • Excessive drooling
  • Difficulty eating or favoring one side of the mouth

Dogs with dental disease usually continue eating normally, even when they’re in severe pain. Don’t assume your dog’s teeth are healthy simply because their appetite is normal. It’s best to talk to a vet whenever your dog exhibits poor dental health symptoms.

Can I prevent dental disease in my dog?

You can improve your dog’s oral health and prevent gum disease by practicing good oral hygiene. Daily brushing is the best way to prevent plaque buildup, in addition to regular dental cleanings with a veterinarian. Jaw fractures are most often caused by accidental trauma to the face, so they cannot always be prevented. You can limit the risk of jaw fracture by:

  • Ensuring your dog is properly strapped into your car in case of an accident
  • Keeping your dog leashed, especially near vehicles and other animals
  • Putting a physical fence around your yard at home

In addition to these precautions, restricting your dog’s access to hard chews such as bones, hooves, and antlers can help them avoid broken teeth.

If you suspect your dog has dental problems or if you have questions about how to best take care of your dog’s teeth, a virtual vet appointment with Vetster is an excellent way to quickly connect with a veterinary professional from home.

FAQ - How much do jaw surgery and tooth extractions for dogs cost?

How much does it cost to fix a dog’s broken jaw?

The cost to fix a dog’s broken jaw varies widely depending on the severity of the fracture. Some minor jaw fractures can be repaired without surgery, while others require complex procedures with a surgical specialist. Be prepared to spend at least $1,000 and possibly over $3,000 to fix a jaw fracture, and expect the veterinarian to go over a more precise estimate with you when determining your dog's treatment plan.

How much do dental extractions for dogs cost?

Tooth extractions for dogs range from $50 to $500 per tooth, depending on the severity and complexity of the extraction. This estimate does not include fees for other services and necessities involved with dental procedures, such as anesthesia, IV fluids, medication, dental X-rays, and dental cleaning. Schedule a dental exam with your veterinarian to get a more precise estimate for the type of care your dog needs.

How much does it cost to fill a dog’s cavity?

Cavities in dogs are extremely rare, which means dental filling treatments are rare procedures for dogs. Instead, dogs get plaque and tartar buildup, causing gum disease that affects the tooth structure and leads to teeth being pulled. Extractions can range from $50 for a simple extraction to over $500 for more complex cases. Other dental procedures and necessities, such as anesthesia, IV fluids, medication, dental X-rays, and dental cleaning, also add to the total bill. The best way to get a more precise estimate for the type of care your dog needs is to have the veterinarian see your dog prior to the procedure.