Dental Cleaning questions

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

Hunter- *Dreamboat- #82*

Master of- Disaster!
Purred: Wed Mar 6, '13 9:36am PST 
Hunter went to the vets last night, and the vet mentioned that Hunter needs a dental cleaning. He is only 3! I've never had a cat that needed a dental cleaning. Then again, I've never fed a cat exclusively wet food either. I'm starting to think that dry food actually does scrap plaque off of the teeth. (No, i'm not going to feed Hunter dry food) Anyway, the vet showed me Hunters back teeth. They're really dark yellow and yucky looking.

I'm 85% sure I'm going to do it. However, its $500, which I have to save up for. What happens if I don't do it? I'm assuming just like human teeth, they'll rot and have to be removed right? The vet said that while I'm saving up for it, I should get Hunter used to having my fingers up against his teeth. After the dental cleaning I should brush his teeth daily. That way I can keep up with it, and he won't need a cleaning so soon.

Is it normal for a 3 year old cat to need a dental cleaning? I don't want to be taken advantage of. Or could it be possible that Hunter just has bad teeth?

I saw a video of what they do. I know they have to put him under which I'm a bit nervous about. Does the cleaning hurt?

Any positive responses are welcome.


Purr Bug
Purred: Wed Mar 6, '13 11:21am PST 
Chaucer just had his teeth cleaned last week and he was perfectly fine by the next day. He is also 3 and is fed a mostly raw food diet, although they usually get canned for breakfast.

I think that whether or not they need cleanings might depend upon the individual cat. My two 4 year old cats, who are fed exactly the same foods, have never had to have their teeth cleaned, no tartar, no red gums. We think that Chaucer might have stomatitis, and although that is a gum condition, he also had bad tartar on his back teeth and he really needed that cleaning, even I could tell.

I'm sure that Hunter will be fine if you have the cleaning done!



Butt-kicker of- all other cats
Purred: Wed Mar 6, '13 3:23pm PST 
I personally think 3 is not that old for them to need a dental cleaning. And $500 is robbery!!! Look around at other vets, I've never heard of paying that much! My dog just had her teeth cleaned and it was like $150, plus $38 for bloodwork, which I did because she also was having lump removed. Oh, I know there are vets out there that would charge $500 for a dental, but there are good vets out there also that would not do this to someone. I would be suspicious and think they are after your $$ if the cat is only 3 and they are saying the teeth are that bad and it is $500. I probably would have laughed out loud at that price! I'm sure you probably love your vet and trust them, but I am sure there are other good vets out there that do not charge that much. Ask some friends who they use, and call around and just see how much other vets in the area charge. As far as safety, I'm sure the cat would be fine, they do this all the time. I know that people that raw feed say they have less of a need to get the teeth cleaned, because all that chewing of the meat keeps their teeth free of plaque. I know I give my dog some raw meaty bones on occasion to help keep her teeth clean. I'm still in shock over the $500! shock My doberman that had the lump removed, teeth cleaned, FULL bloodwork, an e-collar, pain meds AND pathology report, the entire bill was $595.

Merlin - An Angel- Forever

Purred: Wed Mar 6, '13 6:35pm PST 
$500 is pretty typical for a big city. Ask the vet for a break down of the cost. Thisngs like day boarding fee, biohazard wate fee, anesthesia, x rays, medication, etc are sometimes included.

Febraury is Pet Dental Health Month and many vets offer discounted dental preocedures. Keep that in mind for the future way to go

Negletcing dental health can lead to pretty bad teeth in cats. 3 years isn't young for some dental issues to occur. Some breeds are prone to certain dental issues like gingivities. Even if you're just an average DSH, genetics can play a role in your dental health.

I recommend doing the dental for a cleaning and then maintaining dnetal health at home with regular toothbrushing and/or raw poultry gizzards and neck bones.

Edited by author Wed Mar 6, '13 6:35pm PST


Hunter- *Dreamboat- #82*

Master of- Disaster!
Purred: Thu Mar 7, '13 5:05am PST 
When I inquired about the dental cleaning, she quoted me a price of $455 actually. That includes everything she says. I rather save an extra $100, just incase. Of course it would be more if he needed extractions but the vet doesn't think he'll need to do that. I do trust my vet, which is a big thing for me. Maybe its more money because its a feline only vet. Or it could be because I live in a somewhat large city.

I'm thinking that I would rather do it now, and be proactive in Hunters health. Instead of not doing it, Hunter ending up with rotting teeth, which needs to be taken out (I was told costs $600+). He would end up being maybe 6-7 years old with no teeth. Thats horrible. I'm going to wait a few months though. Save up some cash and make an appointment at the end of May/begining of June.

Thanks everyone for the support. Guess I just needed to talk it through. big grin


No Not-Moms!!!!
Purred: Fri Mar 15, '13 4:14pm PST 
My vet and I had this discussion just this morning. Mordred is 12, and his doctor said his teeth are pretty dirty, so I'll call and make an appointment soon to have them cleaned. Be aware that a reputable doctor will do bloodwork to ensure that the cat can tolerate anesthesia.

There's another aspect to good dental care for cats (and dogs, even humans) - poor dental health can lead to heart problems, and then you've got really serious problems! I was once chatting with some people in a speciasts' practice who had their cat to see a cardiologist because of bad teeth, so dental health is not something you want to neglect.

Mordred's teeth were cleaned a few years ago at another practice; I can't remember exactly how much it was, but it was no where near $500, and he was even intubated (the best way to admister anesthesia, I'm told).

Do check around, but don't neglect Goo's teeth; it may cost you much more later on.

Knigget- (nig-get)

Purred: Fri Mar 15, '13 5:18pm PST 
I have real bad teeth and have since I was young. My brother, who isn't with us anymore, and I had our teeth cleaned first at the age of 2 and it was $250. Due to my breed, I have constant tartar buildup which causes gum inflammation. Mom was right in starting young. I had my last cleaning about 2 years ago and they had to extract two teeth as well, it was $472. So $500 is highway robbery, but teeth cleaning is a good preventitive. I hate wet food and only get dry, but I still get bad tartar buildup that reoccurs even with dental type treats, and I chew mouses alot too. Gum inflammation can cause bleeding and sometimes lead to sores in the mouth. So its really up to the owner I think, but I am glad mom got ours done. Our sisters teeth have never been done because she hates people, and the world in general, and her teeth are very yellow and she had inflamed gums so she prefers to eat only wet food.