We excel at veterinary dentistry at Tequesta Vet Clinic and pride ourselves on our dental care. We get many new clients specifically because our dentals are affordably priced. Dr Sutton is not a board certified dentist, but has a real knack (and speed) at extractions. Her nursing staff obtains full mouth digital xrays of the pet's mouth rapidly at the beginning of anesthesia. This typically takes about 5 minutes for small dogs and cats and about 10 minutes for big dogs. Dr Sutton has top end dental and anesthesia equipment and highly skilled nurses who not only perform the dentals but also monitor the anesthesia. She likes to joke that when we have your pet under anesthesia for a dental it is like a NASCAR pit crew working on your pet. Please also read about anesthesia and safety nets under a separate tab on our website. A dental is not just a dental. It is anesthesia as well, and we do our best to ensure the safety of your beloved pet!
How we charge out dental procedures at Tequesta Vet Clinic:
All dental packages receive pre-medication, an iv catheter, iv fluids, general anesthesia, anesthetic monitoring, nerve blocks, dental cleaning and polishing of the teeth, the bair hugger and full mouth dental xrays as part of the dental package. We monitor blood pressure, end tidal carbon dioxide output, ECG, pulse oximetry, temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate throughout the procedure. When we anesthetize a pet we utilize all the safety nets in our arsenal. We expect pre-anesthetic blood work within a few months of anesthesia and offer pre-anesthetic global FAST exams the morning of the procedure to help minimize any anesthetic risk. We incorporate courtesy dental nerve blocks for free to keep the pet on the lowest plane of anesthesia possible for the pet’s safety. DENTAL XRAYS ARE FREE WITH DENTALS.
If you had a "senior care package" within 3 months prior to a dental we will give you $100 off the dental package.
If there are no extractions we do all the above for $350 (plus the $20 that all pets under anesthesia pay for the anti-nausea med, cerenia). We encourage early intervention and reward clients for this by charging a modest $350 for all the bells and whistles mentioned above. We call this a “Level 1” dental.
If there are extractions there will typically be a $10 fee for each hydromorphone (or buprenorphine) injection and $10 for an injection of an anti-inflammatory drug. Pain management is not optional. We will give narcotics and anti-inflammatory meds if a pet has extractions. Typically we give one anti-inflammatory med and one narcotic to each pet that gets extractions. Again, nerve blocks and our therapeutic laser for analgesia are FREE.
Nerve blocks are particularly important as they allow us to keep a pet on a very light plane of anesthesia. A light plane of anesthesia helps keep the pet's blood pressure normal under anesthesia and helps the pet maintain body temperature. Additionally, nerve blocks provide post op analgesia. Dr Joi uses bupivicaine which lasts 4 to 6 hours. She adds in a bit of buprenorphine which doubles or triples the duration of local anesthesia to all of her dental nerve blocks. She gets nerve blocks in early to keep your pet from being in pain. Dental nerve blocks are FREE.
If the dental requires extractions, clearly there is added anesthesia time, sterile surgical instruments, suture, doctor time, nursing time and nerve blocks. We don't charge "per tooth" extraction time as sometimes teeth just fall out whereas other times it may be quite tricky. Dr Sutton is a pretty efficient surgeon, and tries very hard to keep the bill low. We charge $100 per added 15 minutes of time over the routine "level 1" dental. This $100 per 15 minutes pays for the nursing staff, the added anesthesia and Dr Sutton's surgical time.
For up to 15 min of surgery time the dental is $450. We call this a “Level 2” dental.
For procedures requiring more than 15 minutes but less than 30 minutes of surgical time, the price to $550. We call this a “Level 3” dental.
For procedures requiring more than 30 minutes of surgical time the price for the dental is $650. We call this a “Level 4” dental.
For procedures requiring more than 45 minutes of surgical time the price for the dental is $750. We call this a “Level 5” dental.
For procedures requiring more than 60 minutes of surgical time the price for the dental is $850. We call this a “Level 6” dental.
For procedures requiring more than 75 minutes of surgery time the price of the dental is $950. We call this a “Level 7” dental.
We try not to keep pets under anesthesia longer than 90 minutes. Dr Sutton knows a lot of veterinarians who will leave a pet under anesthesia for a dental for 3 or 4 hours at a time, but she disagrees with this mentality. And, she has been in practice since 1993 and has a speed and confidence with dental extractions. If a pet is doing well under anesthesia we may extend the dental beyond her usual 90 minute cut off, but we take into account how the pet is doing including vital signs, blood pressure, end tidal CO2 and temperature. IF there is more pathology than we can do under one anesthetic procedure, we may wake the pet up and reschedule a 2nd dental procedure. If the same pet has a dental within 4 months of the original dental, we will discount the “phase 2 dental” by $100, using the same parameters as above ($350, $450, $550, $650 or $750).
The dental packages do NOT include blood work prior to the procedure nor antibiotic injections nor any anti-inflammatory and narcotic injections nor medications that go home after the dental. (We include any nerve blocks and our class 4 therapeutic laser to decrease pain intra-op and post-op as a courtesy.) Any medication prescriptions that go home with pets after a dental or procedure are not included in the procedural packages. A five pound chihuahua needs far less milligrams of whatever medication than a 100 pound dane.
We are unable to take dental xrays without general anesthesia as the sensor that goes in the mouth for our digital xray unit costs $8,900 and if a pet chomps on it, we must replace it.
Our nursing staff is amazing at taking dental xrays! It typically takes them about 5 minutes for a small pet up to 10 minutes for a large pet at the onset of anesthesia to take full mouth dental radiographs.
ALL PETS UNDERGOING ANESTHESIA RECEIVE AN INJECTION OF THE ANTI-NAUSEA MED, CERENIA. THIS IS AN ADDITIONAL $20. Since Dr Sutton started this in 2016, peri-operative inappetence/nausea is now a rarity at TVC.
You can clearly see that early intervention keeps dental care affordable. We send a courtesy “dental kit” home with patients to help owners keep the teeth healthy. We strive to make dental care affordable.
Dr Sutton or one of the staff veterinarians will of course help you assess the situation on your consultation prior to the day of the dental.
Dr Sutton sincerely enjoys dentals. In fact, despite her years of experience with vet dentistry, she is now taking a year-long dental "master class" by Dr Brett Beckman, one of the past presidents of all the board certified vet dentists in the nation. It's fun to be part of their monthly Zoom meetings and their Facebook group. As the year progresses (and as Covid settles down) she will travel to Orlando for certification.