Twinkle is an 8 year old Chihuahua who was seen for her annual exam in February, 2019. During her complete physical exam, the veterinarian noted that Twinkle had significant tartar buildup on her teeth, and recommended a dental scaling and polish under general anesthesia. Preliminary bloodwork was ordered shortly thereafter, when Twinkle’s owner decided to pursue the dental cleaning.
Significant tartar buildup
1.) Scale and polish, stage 2
“Stage 2” means there are signs of early periodontitis, which is inflammation of the gums and the supporting structures of the teeth. Periodontal disease can cause loosening of teeth. Periodontitis is caused by certain bacteria (known as periodontal bacteria) and by the local inflammation triggered by those bacteria. Although these periodontal bacteria are naturally present in the mouth, they are only harmful when the conditions are right for them to increase dramatically in numbers. This happens when a layer of bacteria and food debris, known as plaque, builds up and is left undisturbed on the teeth, commonly in hard-to-reach areas such as between the teeth.
For more information about dental disease in pets, visit the American Veterinary Dental College web site topic “For Pet Owners” at
2.) Multiple tooth extractions (7 teeth)
Twinkle’s case is not terribly uncommon. Upon physical exam, it was evident that she had significant tartar (also called plaque, or calculi.) However, once she was under anesthesia and the treating veterinarian was able to do digital x-rays and probe Twinkle’s teeth, it was evident that she also had a lot of loose teeth and bone loss, requiring multiple extractions. This often isn’t obvious when examining the mouth during a routine physical exam, which is why it can be challenging to give an accurate estimate for the total cost of a dental.
Here are the itemized charges for Twinkle’s dental cleaning and extractions:
Anesthesia, additional 30 minutes: $45
Propoflo induction: $60
IV catheter placement: $40
Intravenous fluids: $50
Fluid pump: $25
Scale and polish, stage 2: $95
Tooth extraction, single root (7 teeth): $175
Additional suture pack: $30
Ampicillin injectable 100mg/mL (antibiotic) Qty 2.8: $25.74
Amoxidrops 30mL (antibiotic to take home): $25
Rimadyl injection 50mg/mL Qty 0.4 (analgesic/pain relief): $19.39
Carprofen tablets (analgesic/pain relief to take home): $12.50
TOTAL COST: $727.63
Twinkle’s story was shared with permission from her owner.
This story was posted by Suzanne Cannon on behalf of Jarrettsville Veterinary Center.
Twinkle did fine after her dental procedure, apart from a little minor coughing that can be a result of intubation. The coughing resolved on its own after a few days.