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Dog Dental Implants: Restoring Smiles and Function or Waste of Money? - PawSafe

Dog Dental Implants: Restoring Smiles and Function or Waste of Money?

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

dog dental implants

Are you considering dental implants for your dog? It’s important to have realistic expectations about this specialized treatment. Dog dental implants are not as common as you might think. In fact, they are often reserved for very specific situations, such as working dogs that rely on their teeth for important tasks.

Dr. Sascha Jovanovic, a renowned expert in veterinary dentistry, has studied the use of implants in dogs extensively. In this article, we will explore what dog dental implants are, when they might be necessary, and the pros and cons of this procedure. We’ll also look at alternativ-e-archive solutions for missing teeth in dogs and what to consider before deciding on dental implants. Let’s dive in and find out if dog dental implants are the right choice for your dog.

Missing Tooth? Exploring Options Beyond Dog Dental Implants

Dental health is crucial for dogs, just like it is for humans. Healthy teeth and gums allow dogs to eat comfortably, play with their toys, and avoid painful infections. When a dog loses a tooth, it can lead to several problems, including difficulty eating, pain, and even behavioral changes due to discomfort.

Dog dental implants are one potential solution for tooth loss. These implants function like real teeth and can restore a dog’s ability to chew and play normally. However, implants are not common for most pet dogs due to their high cost and the complexity of the procedure. 

For most dogs, losing all their teeth is not the end of the world. Moving onto soft food is fine, and they can still have a fantastic quality of life, often better now that they don’t have any dental disease or inflammation.

But what about working dogs, such as protection, police, or military dogs? 

Well, for these dogs, having a full set of functional teeth is crucial for their jobs. If a working dog loses or breaks a tooth, a dental implant might be worth considering. These dogs often have thousands of dollars and endless hours of training invested in them, so losing their capability due to a missing tooth would be a significant loss.

For most pet dogs, simpler and more cost-effective solutions are available. While dentures for dogs are not practical, there are other options to explore when dealing with tooth loss, and so long as the tooth is properly removed, most dogs have no issue living a normal life.

When Are Dog Dental Implants Considered?

Dog dental implants are only used in special situations. They are not common for most pet dogs. Here are the main times when they might be considered:

  1. Protection, military, and police dogs often need all their teeth to do their jobs. If one of these dogs breaks or loses a tooth, an implant might be needed. These dogs are very valuable because of their training, so replacing a tooth can be worth the cost and effort.
  2. Sometimes, other dental treatments like extractions or bridges won’t work. In these rare cases, a dog might need an implant.

These situations are not typical for regular pet dogs. Most pet dogs can get by with simpler, less expensive treatments.

How Do Dog Teeth Implants Work?

Dog titanium teeth implants work like regular teeth. The process to put in a dental implant is long and complicated. Here’s how it works:

  1. The vet takes an X-ray to see if the bone is strong enough for an implant. If the bone is too weak, the dog might need a bone graft first. This means adding more bone to make it strong enough to hold the implant.
  2. If a bone graft is needed, it will take a few months for the bone to heal and get ready for the implant.
  3. If the bone is ready, the vet will put the dog under anesthesia. The vet cuts the gum to reach the jawbone, drills a hole, and inserts a titanium post that acts like a tooth root.
  4. The dog needs 3 to 6 months for the bone to fuse with the titanium post. This process is called osseointegration.
  5. After the bone has healed, the vet does a second surgery to put on a connector (called an abutment) and then the fake tooth.

How Much Do Dog Titanium Teeth Implants Cost?

Dog dental implants are expensive. The cost can range from $2,000 to $5,000 per tooth. This includes x-rays, surgeries, anesthesia, and the long healing time. It’s usually not practical to replace all a dog’s teeth this way, so only the damaged ones are fixed.

Most pet insurance does not cover dental implants, so you will likely have to pay for it yourself. Even good insurance plans often don’t cover dental cleanings unless you buy an extra wellness plan.

Reasons to Get Dental Implants for Your Dog

Closeup photo of veterinarian doing dental prosthetic for Pomeranian Spitz

Dental implants in dogs are becoming more common due to better technology. They are very important for working dogs that need all their teeth. For example, you might see titanium implants in protection dogs like this Pitbull video.

Benefits of a good dog implant:

  • Prevents Bone Loss – Stops the jawbone from shrinking after a tooth is removed.
  • Keeps Jaw Strong – Prevents other teeth from moving around and keeps the jaw in good shape.
  • Restores Chewing – Allows the dog to chew hard food as if it had a normal tooth.
  • Reduces Root Exposure – Protects the roots of other teeth as the gum recedes.
  • Maintains Bite Force – Helps protection dogs keep their bite strength, which can weaken if they lose multiple teeth.

Military Dogs and Titanium Teeth Implants

It’s a myth that all military dogs have titanium teeth, but some do. Military and police dogs, like Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds, often need implants if they lose a tooth while working. These implants help them keep doing their jobs.

Training a military dog can cost up to $50,000. Losing a dog because of a missing tooth would be a big waste. It’s often cheaper to replace the tooth than to replace the dog.

Understanding the Risks of Dog Dental Implants for Pets

Dog dental implants can seem like a good solution, but they come with several drawbacks and limitations that make them less suitable for most pet dogs.

High Cost

One of the biggest drawbacks is the high cost. Dental implants are much more expensive than other options like tooth extractions or dental bridges. The cost can range from $2,000 to $5,000 per tooth. This makes them a costly choice for most pet owners.

Complex Surgical Procedure

The procedure to place a dental implant is complex and involves multiple steps. First, the vet must assess the bone condition and sometimes perform a bone graft. Then, the dog undergoes surgery to place the titanium post. 

After that, there is a long healing period of 3 to 6 months. Finally, a second surgery is needed to attach the fake tooth. This lengthy and complicated process requires a lot of time and care.

Lengthy Recovery

The recovery period for dental implants is long. After the initial surgery, it takes months for the bone to heal and integrate with the titanium post. During this time, the dog needs special care and might have restrictions on its activities. This can be stressful for both the dog and the owner.

Potential for Complications

There are also risks of complications with dental implants. The dog’s body might reject the implant, or the bone graft might not heal properly. Infections, nerve damage, and implant failure are other potential issues. These complications can cause additional pain and require further treatment, adding to the overall cost and stress.

Overall, while dog dental implants can be a solution in specific cases, they are not practical for most pet dogs. Other treatments are usually simpler, less expensive, and involve fewer risks.

Alternatives to Dog Dental Implants

For most pet dogs, there are simpler and more cost-effective solutions to address missing teeth. Here are some of the best alternativ-e-archives to consider:


One of the most common solutions for a missing or damaged tooth is extraction. This involves removing the problematic tooth entirely. While it may sound drastic, extractions are often straightforward and can quickly relieve the dog’s pain. 

After an extraction, your dog might need pain management and dietary adjustments to help with the recovery. Soft foods can make eating easier until the gums heal completely. Most pet dogs can live entirely happy lives without any teeth, so long as they get enough healthy soft food.

Dental Bridges

In some cases, dental bridges can be a good alternativ-e-archive to implants. A dental bridge involves placing an artificial tooth to fill the gap left by the missing tooth. This method uses the neighboring teeth as support. However, not all dogs are suitable candidates for bridges, and it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian to see if this option is viable for your pet. Dental bridges can help maintain chewing function and prevent other teeth from shifting.

Maintaining Good Oral Health

The best way to deal with missing teeth is to prevent tooth loss in the first place. Maintaining good oral health can help keep your dog’s teeth strong and healthy. Here are some tips to ensure your dog’s dental health:

  • Brush your dog’s teeth at least twice a week to remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup. This is one of the most effective ways to maintain oral health.
  • Providing your dog with dental chews and toys can help clean their teeth and massage their gums. These can be a fun and effective way to keep their mouth healthy.
  • Take your dog for regular dental check-ups with your vet. These visits can help catch any dental issues early before they become more serious problems.
  • A balanced diet can support your dog’s overall health, including their dental health. Avoid giving your dog hard or abrasive objects to chew on, such as bones or tennis balls, which can wear down their teeth.

By focusing on these preventative measures, you can reduce the risk of dental problems and help your dog maintain a healthy mouth.

Finding a Qualified Veterinarian for Dog Dental Care

When considering dental care for your dog, it’s important to seek out a veterinarian with expertise in veterinary dentistry. Here are some qualifications to look for:

Board Certification

 Look for a vet who is board-certified in veterinary dentistry. This certification indicates that the vet has completed advanced training and passed rigorous exams in this specialty.


Choose a vet with extensive experience in performing dental procedures, including implants if needed. Experienced vets are more likely to provide high-quality care and successful outcomes.


Research the vet’s reputation by reading reviews and asking for recommendations from other pet owners or your regular veterinarian.

Even if your dog does not need an implant, a qualified veterinary dentist can provide valuable advice and treatment options for maintaining your dog’s dental health.


While dog dental implants exist, they are a niche solution for very specific cases, primarily in working dogs that require all their teeth to perform their duties. These implants are not commonly needed for pet dogs.

It’s essential to consult a veterinarian to determine the most appropriate and cost-effective course of treatment for your dog’s dental health needs. Regular check-ups and preventative care can often address dental issues without the need for complex procedures.

Are dog dental implants worth it for dogs? In most cases, the answer is no. However, for certain working dogs, they can be a necessary investment to maintain their ability to perform their jobs effectively. Always discuss with your vet to understand the best options for your dog’s specific situation.

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.