Pet dental insurance: what does it cover?


As small as most are, a dog’s or cat’s teeth can cost as much or more to treat than a human’s – and paying attention to them should be among your health care priorities. as a pet owner. Pet insurance can help pay for that care and keep your pet’s oral health — and, therefore, overall health — high.

Unlike insurance for humans, where dental coverage requires a separate policy, pet dental insurance is built into regular pet insurance – or policies from some pet insurance companies. company, at least.

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Dental basics for pets

Here’s an overview of the dental issues a dog or cat can suffer from, as well as what pet dental insurance may or may not cover. Signs that your pet may be suffering from this include bad breath or drooling. Although there are dentists who specialize in pet care, much veterinary dentistry can be performed by the same professional who handles your pet’s other health care.

Common Dental Problems in Dogs

Dogs rarely get cavities, but are otherwise susceptible to the same dental problems as their owners. And, like in humans, many of these problems can be detected during a dental exam or with the help of x-rays or x-rays.

  • Here are some of the dental issues that most often bring pets to veterinary clinics:
  • Broken or damaged teeth and roots
  • Periodontal disease, which occurs along the gum line
  • Infected teeth or abscess
  • Mouth cysts or tumors
  • Misaligned teeth and/or bite
  • Broken or fractured jaw
  • Cleft palate or related problems

Common Dental Problems in Cats

Cats are susceptible to the same oral diseases as dogs, so most or all of the health concerns of dogs apply to felines as well. But cats are also prone to so-called resorption lesions – eroded areas in the tooth enamel that can be very painful and look like cavities in humans.

What does pet dental insurance cover?

Pet insurance usually covers at least these dental issues:

  • Extraction or repair of broken teeth
  • Root canals
  • Crowns
  • Stomatitis
  • gum disease
  • Gingivitis

What Pet Dental Insurance Does Not Cover

Pet dental insurance has some of the same coverage limits that apply to policies for humans. But it also adds other exclusions, such as preventive care. Here is a list of dental care that is not generally covered by pet insurance plans:

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Cosmetic, endodontic or orthodontic services such as caps, implants and filing
  • Routine care such as regular dental exams and dental cleaning

Companies That Offer Pet Dental Insurance Plans

Here are the companies that offer comprehensive dental coverage – such as sickness and accident, except for the exclusions we note above.

However, some companies exclude young animals from dental coverage; Lemonade, for example, does not cover dental care for animals under 2 years old. Also, arrangements may change from time to time, so pet owners should check details before signing up.

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Pet Dental Insurance FAQ

Can dogs get cavities?

Dogs (and cats) can get cavities, but the odds of developing such dental disease are much less likely than in humans, say veterinary dentists. The reasons include that canines produce less of the acid that contributes to a buildup of tartar and plaque; their teeth are more pointed, giving fewer places in which decay can begin; and their diet is less sweet, with fewer of the sugars that help trigger tooth damage.

How much does dog teeth-cleaning cost?

Having the teeth of your dog professionally cleaned at the vet typically costs between $200 and $700 or so. That relatively high cost is partly due to the typical need for the animal to be anesthetized during the procedure (although some cleanings can be anesthesia-free). Costs can also climb because x-rays and other diagnostics may be required, and if the vet discovers gum disease, and so has to take additional dental procedures.

How much does cat teeth cleaning cost?

Fees for cleaning cat's teeth are much like those for dogs - which is to say, between $200 and about $700.

How often should a dog's teeth be cleaned?

For most dog breeds, the typical recommendation is for annual professional teeth cleanings. However, some dogs, especially smaller breeds, may require 2 cleanings per year, to prevent loss of teeth. After a cleaning, your vet can recommend the appropriate cleaning interval for your pet.

How can I get plaque off my dog's teeth?

You can take care of some aspects of your pet's oral care yourself. Brushing or wiping your dog's teeth daily should suffice to remove dental plaque before it turns into tartar that can cause damage, say veterinarians. However, consult your vet on the best brush or cloth, toothbrush and toothpaste (if any) to use. (Human toothpaste is not recommended, since it contains ingredients that can upset the animal's digestion when swallowed.)

Key takeaways from pet dental insurance

Dental coverage is a potential benefit of pet insurance. But you can’t buy a policy just because you want coverage for your pet’s teeth. Rather, it is important to assess whether the overall benefits of the insurance meet a need for a worthwhile pet. (For many people, this is not the case, in our opinion.)

If you decide to purchase a policy, research the dental care provisions of the different providers. This coverage varies in what it will cover, and the differences may affect your choice. Also, since regular pet insurance policies typically don’t cover preventative procedures, such as teeth cleanings and dental checkups, you may want to consider adding a wellness plan to your policy. , which will cover these expenses, dental and non-dental.

Finally, dental issues — and your potential need for a pet insurance policy to cover their treatment — can be reduced with an ounce of prevention. Veterinarians recommend brushing or wiping your pet’s teeth regularly, along with annual cleanings to avoid the possibility of oral surgery for conditions such as gingivitis and the need for tooth extractions.

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