do you need pet dental insurance?

German shepherd dog with toothbrush in mouth | Pet dental insurance | Petplan
Posted by fetch! blog editors on Feb 15 2016

Every pet parent worries about the “big stuff” that can affect our pets, like cancer or knee injuries, but we rarely think about their dental health. And while we know pet insurance covers those accidents and illnesses, many people with pet insurance aren’t aware if their plan includes coverage for dental injuries and illnesses.

But here’s the truth about the tooth about pet oral health: 85% of all pets have signs of periodontal disease by the time they’re 3 years old – and that’s not the only thing that can wreak havoc on your pet’s pearly whites! Injuries like tooth fractures are common, too (particularly if your dog is fond of chewing). Vet bills for dental treatments can really sink their teeth into your budget – which is why having pet insurance that can help pay for unexpected, non-routine dental treatments is essential.

What dental conditions does pet insurance cover?

As long as the condition is not pre-existing, most pet insurance policies can cover treatments for:

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  • Periodontal disease - average cost $1,054 
  • Fractured and broken teeth - average cost $1,493
  • Gingivitis - average cost $693
  • Tooth extractions due to injury or disease - average cost $925
  • Retention of deciduous teeth - average cost $610
  • Tooth root infections - average cost $706

*average costs to treat condition in pets according to Petplan 2018 claims data

Not only is dental disease extremely common, but it’s also very painful and can snowball into serious systemic health issues. Pet insurance gives you peace of mind that if your pet shows signs of dental disease, you can treat it before it progresses.

Does pet insurance cover dental cleaning?

Dental cleanings are an important part of maintaining your pet's oral health, and critical to preventing costly and serious dental disease. However, because they are preventive in nature, they are usually not covered by a pet insurance policy, which focuses on covering your pet against unexpected injury and illness. 

To help save on routine dental care, ask your veterinarian if they offer a wellness package that discounts a number of packaged services in exchange for a monthly or annual fee. 

Preventing dental issues in pets

Of course, you want to prevent painful dental disease from happening in the first place. To brush up on best practices, check out these blogs for tips on dental health:

the tooth about dental disease – do you know what dental disease looks like? Learn the symptoms and find out why it’s so painful and potentially dangerous.

diet and dental health – just like in humans, sugar can cause cavities in pets. Find out which foods to avoid feeding your pet, learn what to look for on the label and consider adding beneficial supplements to your pet’s diet.

dental care for the lazy pet parent – it’s OK to admit that brushing your pet’s teeth isn’t your favorite chore, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp out on dental care altogether. Try these three dental care hacks to boost your pet’s oral health.

decoding the dentist – go behind the scenes of a dental cleaning and find out what your veterinarian is looking for in an exam.

anything that can go wrong… though it’s the most common, dental disease isn’t the only thing that can affect pets’ teeth. Learn about veterinary orthodontics (no, it’s not braces for pets), why broken teeth shouldn’t be overlooked and the tricky symptoms of tooth root abscesses.

How to get pet dental insurance

When researching your pet dental coverage options, look for a comprehensive plan that:

  • Protects all teeth against multiple accidents and injuries including broken teeth. Some plans limit which teeth are covered.
  • Covers periodontal disease. Some plans limit your coverage for oral disease or don't cover it at all.
  • Reimburses for tooth extractions and advanced dental treatments such as root canal therapy – with no dental condition exclusions.

Luckily, Petplan pet insurance offers comprehensive coverage for oral disease and injuries for all teeth. Now that's something to smile about! 

Updated December 11, 2019

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