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Tooth extraction is a common surgery among dogs of all ages. It’s very likely your dog will need a tooth — if not several teeth — removed during their lifetime. Because dog tooth extractions cost several hundred dollars, it’s helpful to know what to expect and prepare for the expense.

Learn how tooth extractions work, how much they cost, and if pet insurance can help offset the bill.

How Does a Dog Tooth Extraction Work?

Both the American Veterinary Dental College and American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommend all dental procedures be performed under general anesthesia.3,4 This includes tooth removal.

Tooth extractions involve a few steps. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, the veterinarian will:5

  1. Clean all teeth and gums
  2. X-ray the affected areas
  3. Identify the affected tooth or teeth
  4. Surgically create flaps in the gum tissue around the affected teeth
  5. Drill affected teeth to isolate roots
  6. Clean out the gum line to remove any remaining debris
  7. X-ray the area to ensure proper removal
  8. Stitch the gum line

If your dog requires a more advanced treatment, your vet may refer you to a Board Certified Veterinary Dentist™.6

Reasons for dog tooth extractions

There are a few reasons your vet would recommend a tooth extraction. According to Merck Veterinary Manual, the most common reasons are periodontal disease and endodontic disease—injury, unerupted teeth, and fractures.7

Periodontal Disease: Periodontal disease is an advanced form of gum disease. A buildup of bacteria and plaque leads to gum deterioration and tooth decay. Extractions are often necessary for dogs with periodontitis.7

Unerupted Teeth: Just like humans, dogs have “baby” (deciduous) and “adult” (permanent) teeth. Your dog’s permanent teeth should be present by 7 months.8 If deciduous or permanent teeth fail to erupt and lead to problems, they should be removed.

Fractured Teeth: Fractured teeth are usually caused by external trauma or chewing hard objects.9 If a broken tooth cannot be repaired with root canal therapy, your vet will extract the tooth.

How Much Does Dog Tooth Removal Cost?

The cost to remove a dog’s tooth widely varies, but you can generally expect to spend $500 – $900. For the most accurate estimate, talk with your vet. Your cost will depend on the type of tooth, its level of damage, and the type of extraction or repair required.

Keep in mind that this price range and your vet’s quote may not include additional expenses. Even when necessary, some parts of the procedure may be billed separately, including anesthesia, X-rays, and antibiotics.

A vet examines a small dog’s teeth.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Tooth Extractions?

Pet insurance could cover your dog’s tooth removal cost if it’s required after an accident or injury. However, pet insurance likely will not cover recommended extractions found during a routine dental cleaning.

MetLife Pet Insurance1 may cover dog tooth extractions resulting from accidental injury and illness.2 Like most pet insurance companies, extractions recommended after your pet’s regular dental exams are not covered. Learn more about our dog insurance options, how pet insurance works, and periodontal disease coverage.

How Can You Prevent Removing Your Dog’s Teeth?

The best way to prevent tooth extractions is practicing good pet dental health at the vet’s office and at home.

At the vet’s office, schedule regular dental cleanings. The AVMA recommends a professional dental cleaning performed under anesthesia at least once a year.4

At home, regularly brush your dog’s teeth with a vet approved toothbrush and toothpaste. Some treats may help keep your pup’s teeth clean but shouldn’t be used as a replacement for brushing. The Veterinary Oral Health Council’s accepted products are also a great resource for vetting pet dental care products.

Always talk with your vet for their expert guidance and recommendations.

Keep your Dog Smiling

Coverage in 3 Easy Steps

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

3 “Companion Animal Dental Scaling Without Anesthesia,” American Veterinary Dental College

4 “Pet dental care,” American Veterinary Medical Association

5 “Essential steps of dental cleaning & therapy,” American Animal Hospital Association

6 “Animal Owner Resources,” American Veterinary Dental College

7 “Dental Disorders of Dogs,” Merck Veterinary Manual

8 “Dental Development of Dogs,” Merck Veterinary Manual

9 “Fractured Teeth in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospitals